When I received my first contract through Rebel Ink I was elated. Then panic set it.

How on earth am I going to promote anything I write in the future?
*runs around flailing arms in a panic!*

Luckily for me, before I’d even trekked into the world of publishers, I self-published. Knowing the process and what it takes to get it done will make this round of books a little easier to promote. I guess you could say it was a trial and error of sorts but now I know what to do.

I’m mainly writing this blog as a support for a friend of mine who is struggling to sell books online. She’s done more footwork and sold a lot more hard copies and even though that’s an amazing feat, there is more out there, and a lot of venues and outlets to promote on.

I’m just going to break down a few and explain the benefits of social media.

Twitter – This was my first outlet. I’ve found that if you make friends with other indie-pubs, they’ll help you promote if you help them promote. It’s like “I’ll scratch your back, if you scratch mine” kind of agreement. In the process I’ve made some amazing friends and we can all squee together when a book is released or there is an amazing review posted. There are even some Twitter members that their sole point of Twitter is to help you promote your book. All you have to do is Tweet them your link.

Your Blog – Maintaining a daily blog lets your future readers have an insight into your world. The more they know about you, the more they are willing to purchase from you in the future. I try to do a blog a day so I can at least find some discipline in my writing, and so far it’s worked. I share my life with my readers and I love it when they share theirs. I feel more connected with them and I use them as a sounding board as to what they’d like to see me write.

Website – Let’s face it, not everyone can create stunning, gorgeous websites (I was a graphic artist for 14 years and I can’t). However, there are great companies out there with easy to use programs to help you create your website. There are even some that allow you to use it for free if you maintain their domain name in your web address. There’s no shame in that. In fact, I haven’t even registered my blog on WordPress. I just keep it the way it is. (I did however register my website so I could take full advantage of everything). The key to a good website is linking all your social media together. Find buttons that suit your needs and place them on there and there are some amazing tutorials out there to teach you how. If you don’t feel up to it and can afford it, there are webmasters out there who are willing to help; for a fee of course.

Facebook/Facebook Pages – I’ve seen so many authors that are anti-Facebook and I cannot understand why. It’s another free outlet that you can use to promote your books. Create a fan page if you don’t want others accessing your personal page. Upload book covers, reviews, connect to Goodreads(which I’ll explain in a minute) and connect with your fans. You’d be a amazed at how well it works.

Goodreads – How many times have you thought “I wonder what my favorite author reads?” Goodreads is a way to not only promote your book, but also get others involved in your reading. There are ways to create groups, blogs, promotions, give-a-ways, etc. You can even connect it to your Facebook so when you get a review it automatically posts to your Facebook for everyone to see.

Pinterest – This is a new one on me. The only issue I have with it is the wait time for a membership (however if you have a friend that is a member, have them send you an invite). Create a pinboard specifically for your books and pin away. People will repin your work and before you know it you’ll have over 300 people pinning your work.

Yahoo Groups – There are specific Yahoo groups geared towards promotion of your books. Sign up and share your writing with amazing writers who will mention your books to other writers.

Myspace – Even though not many people use Myspace anymore, there is still a use out of it. Create a page specifically for a book, or an author’s page.

I know this may seem like a lot of work but the neat thing about the internet today compared to two years ago is that almost all your social media sites can be linked together so you don’t have to do multiple things in a day. There are billions of people in the world and at least a quarter (if not more) are on some sort of social media. Explore your options but try not to become overwhelmed. It can be at first but once you’re signed up and connected, watch your book sales go up. I promise it works.

You know the cool thing about all this? You didn’t have to pay me to tell you.