How to market?

If there's one thing holding me back, I think it's that I'm terrible at marketing my books. At most I might mention them here or there online, or put a link to my site in my tag on a forum, but other than that I'm completely lost. Here's my dirty little secret: I have asperger's syndrome. Socializing and talking to people don't come easy for me, and doing it in a way that makes them want to invest the time/money to read my stories is even harder. So... how do you guys do it? Got any cool marketing strategies to share?

If you're talking ebooks, check out Nik's page. It's the most comprehensive guide I've found and his advice is spot on.

Ebooks or web serials.

You're gunna HAVE to socialize to market yourself. Unless you want to hire an agent to help you out, but that's not really a viable option unless you have a book ready to sell.

In my extremely limited experience, I have found it behooves you to find your audience. If you're writing a specific genre, find forums that cater to that genre, and try to mingle within it. Don't just spam links to your site right away, of course, but try to interact in the forum some, put links to your site in your signature. If you're lucky, they'll have a dedicated thread for story promotion.

Reddit apparently despises self-promotion, but if you do get fans, they can help spread word of your work via Reddit and other such social medias.

YouTube is not exactly easy to get noticed in, but if you want to be anybody on the internet, being a video creator is really the way to go. You gotta have something to talk about, though.

If you are super into a fandom, you could attempt to do fan fiction, fan art, analysis videos, etc. That's how some people get noticed, and its one of the easier ways to get your name out there, is to be a talented fan creative, get your name noticed, then start doing original stuff and pray your following follows along.

But I'm sure the above link TC provided actually knows what its talking about more than I do, so I'd follow that.

I'm going to have to disagree with Sharkerbob here, you do NOT need to socialize to sell ebooks. At all. I certainly didn't, and I'm an Aspie myself. Everything ebook can be done by email.

Effective marketing requires that you first invest in the book itself, though. Did you invest in a professional book cover? Did you get your book(s) professionally edited? Is the 'look inside' portion as appealing as it could possibly be? All of these determine whether the book will be noticed on Amazon or not. you can't just slap a homemade cover on an unedited book and expect it to sell. And when it's as perfect as it could possibly be, you temporarily drop the price to 99c and book a slot with one of the various (quality varies, beware) bargain book marketing services to boost sales rank and thus visibility. Note that this is most effective right after the book's official launch on Amazon.

I made a long thread about this stuff here:

Hey, email is socializing! :P

No, you don't have to be a social butterfly, but if you want to maximize your profits, you will likely have to talk to somebody at some point. I'm not what you call "in the businesse" though so take what I say with a grain of salt I suppose.

If by 'talk' you mean in any way other than email, then no. Email communication isn't social interaction in my book. :) I made a Facebook author account but never use it, and I don't think it made a difference even when I did use it. Stick to what you're comfortable with. You don't need social media if you dislike using it (like I do). Making use of your indiviual strengths will serve you better.

I'm neck deep in the business, or used to be. Need to finish this new book before I can get back into it.

I suppose I'm just thinking in the broadest sense. I don't use social media, but I do go to writing sections on forums and interact with the sparse comments I get on my blogs and go on the occasional chat room. I probably get more sales through word of mouth than it seems though.

Social media can be a really good tool for marketing, engaging with an audience and seeing what else is out there.

As an artist especially, it's incredibly crucial for getting work out there.

Thanks, guys. What about marketing free web serials? Any suggestions for that?

Social media can be good, yes, but if you really, really dislike it, readers will notice. In that case it's better not to use it. I don't think it's a requirement, at any rate.

I also don't think web serials can be marketed. Word of mouth will either happen, or not - it can't be forced. The best you can do is write and update more, and try different web fiction platforms. And make a TWF vote link that you post at the end of every update. Even just a few votes a week can help visibility quite a bit.

Though I am not content with Chrysalis' assessment that web serials can't be marketed, they are probably right. As far as I can tell, things like blogger outreach and even advertising seem to convert very little or not at all. You could try submitting to, though that only seems to be a viable option with your first few chapters, and only if you have a good and engaged twitter following.

I am pretty new at this (I have only been writing for 8 months) so feel free to ignore my advice, but I might have a solution for you e-mail wise that would reduce the awkwardness of being social. However you get readers to your site, make sure that you have mechanisms in place to "capture" them by getting them to sign up for your newsletter. I have done this by offering a "Nihilist's Horoscope" upon signup ( at the bottom of each chapter. This gives them an incentive to sign up, and it has given me an excuse to be less social in my newsletters. Each week they get a new "horoscope", which is just a 200 word creative piece and I encourage them to vote for me or share on social media at the end of the email. Since I started doing this I have doubled my list in a month (bringing it to an extremely modest and not at all bragable total of 50) and my open rate (with clicks) has doubled as well as it contains something they look forward to.

Your newsletter does not have to be updates on your life or be a social act all.

I hope that helps, like I said, I am pretty new so you might want to take my advice with a grain of salt. Honestly Chrysalis's advice about a good cover ...etc is going to help you way more.