Resources for Writers
5 Ways Self-Published Authors Can Find More Readers by Dave Chesson
As a self-publisher, your success rides on the number of new readers who are introduced to your work and enjoy your books as a result. In this article, we’ll go over five ways you can find more readers for your books.
- Sign up to Story Origin
Story Origin is a great website that authors can use to draw in more readers. It’s currently free, and it has plenty of great features.
Review Copies: You can get readers a review copy of your book.
Universal Book Links: Readers can find your book in their favorite store and set it as their preferred retailer. That way, every time they click on your book in the future, they’ll go straight to their favorite store.
Reader Magnets: Give away a free short story or a preview of your book when people sign up for your newsletter. This is one of my favorite features on Story Origin–you can upload your reader magnet and passively gain subscribers. It’s pretty amazing. And you can automate the process, as well.
Audiobook Promo Codes: Giving away audiobook promo codes and running competitions is a great way to draw more traffic to your books. With Story Origin, you can distribute and track Audible reviews and Findaway promo codes–you’ll be able to manage your giveaways much easier.
Newsletter Exclusives: Have a giveaway in your welcome email sequence? You can limit downloads to your subscribers–that way, only people who are on your mailing list will receive those exclusives. That’s going to make getting onto your mailing list very appealing for new readers, especially if you make that clear in the back of one of your books.
Newsletter Swaps: Connect with other authors in your genre to swap mentions and shoutouts in one another’s newsletters and draw in more readers.
Group Promotions: Work together with different authors to promote an individual landing page that has everyone’s books on it.
And with over 300,000 members, the quality is great too. Just check out one of these newsletter swaps. You could potentially have free access to a list of nearly 7,000 readers.
The best part is, Story Origin is completely free. As the tool is still quite new, it’s in BETA testing form. The owners want to produce the best product possible before they start charging.
- Use Facebook Groups
Just about everyone is on Facebook–and so are a lot of your readers. Facebook groups are a great way to connect with readers in your genre. You can be a part of a pre-existing group or create your own. When starting out, I’d suggest joining relevant groups and becoming an active member.
To make the most out of your time in a Facebook group, here are a few steps you should take:
- Be an active part of conversations.
- Help people by answering questions.
- Don’t self-promote unless there’s a dedicated thread to do so–seriously, there’s nothing worse than ‘that guy’ who constantly shares their own work regardless of topic or timing. That said, when people see your name pop up, they’re more likely to visit your author Facebook page, where they can learn about your books.
If you do want to start your own group, you’re up for a lot of work. Growing a group and keeping the conversations flowing every day isn’t easy. But if you get it right, you could get a constant stream of readers joining the group every day.
- Create a BookFunnel Account
BookFunnel makes an author’s life easier. And in the self-publishing business, easier means faster, and faster means more time to write.
BookFunnel lets you create landing pages for your books, along with distributing ARCs and freebies. You can also join author promos. My favorites are the newsletter promotions. In these, you and a bunch of other authors get together and share each other’s reader magnets with their mailing lists. You’ll see a big influx of reader sign ups to your mailing list, and you can join as many of these promos as you want.
Newsletter promotions are divided by genre, so there’s something for everyone.
It’s a great way to have all your book-related content and downloads in one place too. As far as pricing goes, for $100 a year, you could do a whole lot worse!
BookFunnel also has a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it out for yourself.
- Start Using Advertisements
While you’re probably familiar with advertising on Amazon, you can also use Facebook to get more eyes on your work, and I don’t only mean through ads selling your books. Lead generation ads are an amazing tool for growing your mailing list.
Simply target your ideal readers with a lead generation ad and offer a freebie to get potential readers to join your list. That way, when you do have a new book out, you’ll have an engaged and targeted list to promote to–readers who’ve already devoured your free book and can’t wait to read more of your work. If you’re interested, here’s an article that goes into more detail on Facebook advertising for authors.
- Use Your Books to Grow Your Email List
The best way to get more readers is to write a book that leaves people hungry for more!
That’s why it’s smart to have a sign up link in the back of each of your books offering an exclusive reader magnet in exchange for joining your mailing list.
This helps you grow your email list for future book promotions, so you don’t have to start from scratch every time.
When you’re writing books worth sharing, your current readers can refer new readers, your books can lead to email subscribers, and you can start to build a community of true fans who will help you reach your author goals.
As you can see, there are plenty of free and paid ways to get your work in front of new readers. You don’t have to try everything at the same time, but you should put consistent effort into garnering more readers and growing your following. For most self-publishers, this is the missing step that can help them reach their goals.
(c) Dave Chesson