A lot of indie publishers (for example, this guy) are desperate to get some kind of exposure that will allow their work to reach a broader audience. Out of that desperation, I’ve devised three brilliant schemes to reach massive success.
1. Fake Your Death
There’s nothing like the Cobain Effect. Here’s the rough draft of my own obituary:
Local author Alex Hansen passed away late last night in a tragic automobile fire that burned so hot that it completely obliterated his corpse, leaving no body. Though he was only 27, due to the sheer scope of his potential, this is perhaps the greatest loss the literary community has suffered since the passing of William Shakespeare almost four hundred years ago. His second novel, Tiem Mechine, will live on as his magnum opus, though he was sure to surpass its perfection with each successive release.
Don’t be afraid to lay it on thick! After all, you’re dead. Nobody’s going to call you on your rampant arrogance, right?
2. Fake a Celebrity Endorsement
I’m currently in the process of trying to expertly photoshop one of Stephen King’s tweets to read:
Tiem Mechine is the most hilarious book I’ve read in years! Anyone who hasn’t read it yet has no business reading anything else!
Obviously, you won’t be able to retweet this unless you spend a lot more time making a convincing fake Twitter account for good old Stephen, but you can use a screenshot and pretend like it was just that much of an honor that you had to save the picture to your hard drive. Be careful about keeping your fabricated blandishments short and sweet, though. Anything over the usual 140 characters will arouse unwanted suspicion (well…extra unwanted suspicion, anyway). Mine only has room for maybe one good hashtag at the end, but I’ll have to make those last few characters count. For example, I don’t have enough room for #thisistotallylegit.
3. Use Your Book to Start a Religion
Loyal readers are great, but loyal believers are even better. They won’t buy your next book just because they like it. They’ll buy it because it’s essential to their eternal salvation. In my case, since Time Machine features an alien from a planet called Pyson, I’d probably have to set up some cult surrounding the worship of Pysonians. I’m sure I can work out the details pretty quickly. And even if the book itself is a flop, I might be able to make a little side income by reminding my followers that their financial donations are required for us to build our sacred rocketship and travel to Pyson, where we can forever serve our alien gods in all their glory.
Fair warning: you’ll probably have to be a little bit more of an amoral jerk for this one.
Yes, this has all been a shameless attempt for me to promote my latest book (the title is Tiem Mechine, in case you hadn’t picked up on all my subtle hints), but if this drew a chuckle or two out of you, you might actually like my book (For God’s sake, click on my Amazon link!). And, in the interest of not being a total bait-and-switch kind of jerk, I suppose it would be decent of me to share a few actual resources for promoting my book that I’ve found helpful:
1. Book Marketing is Dead. This book goes through lots and lots of ways present your book and market it so that it will actually sell. If you only use ten percent of the ideas you get from these pages, you’ll still have plenty of useful stuff to do.
2. Network with other indie authors. Lots of other writers are willing to share their experiences in the indie publishing world. Follow them on twitter or peruse their blogs and you’ll probably find lots of helpful tips and firsthand accounts of what works and what doesn’t. Nat Russo’s blog has been a particularly useful read.
3. The self-publishing subreddit. This is where indie authors of all shapes and sizes get together to commiserate, provide advice, and occasionally share in each other’s success. If you have an unusual question that you haven’t seen addressed elsewhere on the internet, this is the place to ask it.
While you’re welcome to use any of these six suggestions, if you decide to use one of the first three, don’t tell anybody it was my idea.