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Recommended ways to promote your book

OK, after reading through pages and pages of “how to promote your kindle book for free (but not really)” blogs, sites, etc. I’ve come to the conclusion that most of them will not work (and especially won’t work for free).

Here are three things that I’m trying, and I will update to let you know how it’s gone:

  1. Asking friends to read and review the book. I will request three of my close friends to review the books I’ve published already with one request: if their reviews are lower than 3 stars, to withhold publishing the review. This means that I should pull the books and “retool” them to make them either publishable or what Stephen King refers to as “trunk novels”, which means “unfit for publication”. Hey, not all of us were meant to be professional authors.
  2. I’m advertising on Goodreads because it has the most info about readers and their preference in books. Other sites recommend Facebook, Google, etc., but I think Goodreads is slightly better (even over Amazon which owns them). Amazon’s ads look too “busy”. I actually tried Amazon’s and it led to no more interest.
  3. Posting some early chapters on Reddit’s content site and seeing what people think. This kind of feedback could lead to good ideas and/or early interest.
  4. Posting short stories on smashwords.com to see if that will create some interest as well. I’ve done a number of short stories, and since the Kindle Select Program does not allow you to publish on other sites, I can’t publish the books that I have on their platform. However, I can publish other content, including my short stories.
  5. Do the Amazon.com promotions every Kindle Select cycles. This means that Amazon lets me set the price at zero for my books for a period of up to 5 days. Five consecutive days is recommended because it generates the most buzz and raises the books higher. Each cycle seems to be about a quarter of a year or so, so I can set my books to be free 4 times a year. This is a great way to give books away.
  6. Write, write, write. Already I have 2 other books I’m working on now, and I think the more you have out there, the more exposure you will get. Hugh Howley said that he had originally planned to have 10 books out before he was through, but he struck it big on his first book, Wool. That’s my goal. I have 3 out now, but I think I’ll go for 10.
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