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Promoting my ebook: review round up and why self-promotion is hard work

One of the things I have been blogging about recently is the sometimes arduous task of promoting my novel, Dark Dates. As I made the choice to self-publish (having been traditionally published before, albeit by a small press) I knew it would involve a lot of work, but I have been surprised by just how much it involves: researching marketing opportunities, contacting bloggers, writing guest posts and doing author interviews – at times it has felt like a job in itself!

Still, I am starting to see some results, and hopefully this will lead to increased sales. Below are some examples of what I’ve been doing and the results…

Review: Fangs for Fantasy – was delighted to get a 5 out of 5 review at this site, which provided me with my favourite quote so far – ‘Tracey Sinclair has turned me into a fan poodle’. I’m not entirely sure what it means, but I’ll take it. This is also a great example of how these reviews cross-sell for you – based on this review, the book got recommended as an interesting read over at Coffee, Cookies and Chili Peppers.

Guest post: Rebeka Harrington – author and blogger Rebeka Harrington is very active on the cross-promotion front, and does an enormous amount of work promoting her Vampires Released series. I connected with her via Goodreads and we arranged to do guest posts on one another’s blogs (you can read mine here). I’d really recommend this, because it means that your guest is not only helping promote your book on their site, but they are invested in promoting your blog, too. I’ve already seen an increase in hits and Twitter followers off the back of several guest posts.

Guest Post: Interview: A Book A Day – another cross-promotional opportunity, this time with author and blogger Tonya Cannariato, who reviews and writes for this site. We did author Q&As for one another: bringing new guests to my site (it was clear a lot of fans checked her interview out from the comments) while the interview she hosted for me got an awful lot of retweets.

Reading Lark After Dark: Another interview, this time for the more ‘grown up’ arm of Reading Lark.

Metamodo: Guest post – an example of blogs wanting not just straightforward interviews, but fun content that their readers will enjoy even if they aren’t interested in your book. These can be tough to come up with – it can be a struggle to find topics! – but bloggers like them because they are very little work on their side (as I’ve said before, most bloggers are non-professional and are fitting their activities around full-time jobs), and because they are quirkier than straightforward Q&As. In keeping with the slightly saucy nature of the site, I did a post about my favourite fictional love triangles…

Nocturnal Reviews: Guest post – this was quite similar to the above, but the blogger likes ‘top tens’ so my post was on the top ten places to take a vampire on a first date – yup, really! It sounds silly but was actually great fun, and it was also my first ‘giveaway’: I’d been wary of these because I find Amazon a bit confusing when it comes to organising freebies, but as most bloggers seem happy to offer PDFs or .mobi files as prizes, I am likely to do more in future…

As you can imagine, this has been quite time-consuming – especially when you take into account that I repost links to all of these on my own blog, Body of a Geek Goddess, and I am still reviewing at Byte The Book and Exeunt, writing for Unleash The Fanboy (who did a nice story on my book here) and Strictly Writing. And I am, of course, currently working on the sequel to Dark Dates as well as juggling all the other balls in my freelancing career. So never let anyone tell you that self-publishing is easy… but is it worth it? Watch this space…

Dark Dates by … me.

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