Derek Haines' blog is one that I read regularly, it was one of his posts that convinced me to set up my own website, although that is still a work in progress. Here are the first 5 of his 10 ways to promote your books, the remaining 5 can be found on his website.
- Use a Facebook Page. I made the mistake of using my personal Facebook profile for too long before realising my error. Keep your personal life away from your book marketing and set up a Page. It’s more professional and much easier to manage.
- Always be positive. It doesn’t matter in what form your communication takes. Whether it be posting on Twitter, Facebook or another social platform, never be negative. Even if you are insulted, do not react. Ignore, and even block that user. Keep what you post friendly, informative, complimentary and of course also add news or interesting tit bits about your books.
- Use multiple Twitter accounts. This may have been frowned on earlier, but I believe it’s a necessity for effective promotion. It serves to keep your main account, that is the one using your own name, relatively free of direct promotional material. As it is the account you use to interact with friends and probably other writers, filling your own timeline with book promotion is not going to be received well. By setting up another account (or two), you can aim at different target groups to follow and build a new following. Of course you need to add content to these accounts, but there are many ways to almost automate the process. Think about posting interesting bloggers, related news stories or even selective retweeting. Then add your promotional content in between.
- Use Stumbleupon. This is a great way to get your books and blog posts discovered, and by a large audience. Stumbleupon is second only to Twitter for me in attracting new traffic to my blog.
- Write and publish under a pen name. This may sound off topic when talking about self promotion, but it’s a great way to experiment and try new writing ideas. Amazon allows publishing under a pen name on your own account, so it opens up a lot of possibilities. I have used it to experiment with writing short novellas in new genres. To do a little promotion and test the market, I use one of my secondary Twitter accounts. If it looks like it could work, you can then unpublish, change the cover and title as well as make any other changes you think would improve the book then republish under your own name. As you hold the rights under both names, there’s no problem in republishing the same book again under your own name.
Honesty is the best policy. Represent yourself as yourself. If you want multiple Twitter accounts, that's fine, just be sure to clearly identify yourself as the account holder of each one.]
I have a StumbleUpon account, but hadn't thought of using it to promote my own books. Great idea! This is one of the reasons why I love the wonderful community of indie bloggers, they're so marvelously helpful.
[Update (Oct 29, 2012): I never used my StumbleUpon account to promote my books or my blog, at least not in any way objectionable. And, as you can see if you look at the account, I clearly identified myself as Karen Woodward. I'm not passing judgement on anyone who used the sort of tactics Derek describes, I just want to make it clear I never followed suit and that I do not recommend the practice.]
Here's a tip of my own: Pinterest. I've been using it off and on for the past few weeks just because it's fun, but I think it could be a great way to share links with a new audience. In case you're interested, here's my Pinterest page.