As an indie author, there are so many tools and strategies you can employ to grow your audience and even monetize your work. Below are 5: videos, podcasting, merchandising, crowdfunding, and social media.
Videos are a great way to connect with your audience on a more personal level. There are a few tools and resources to help you get started in creating content:
- “How to create a video with PowerPoint” on Build Book Buzz
- The Online Teleprompter (for help with reading while on camera)
- “Are YouTube Videos the Right Type of Content for your Art?” on Patreon Blog
And more resources on how to share your videos and grow your audience, as well as success examples:
- “What are the best places to share your YouTube videos?” on Quora
- “6 YouTube Tips to Improve Your Search Rank” on Social Media Examiner
- “Exclusive: 36% of businesses making basic video marketing mistakes” on MWP Digital Media
- “YouTube Partners With Book Publishers To Get Kids To Read More” on Fortune
- Eternal Network (for growing YouTube creator brands)
And as a bonus, you can monetize your videos:
- “9 Ways to Make Money on YouTube Without Ads” on Patreon Blog
- “An Update on Video Monetization” on Facebook
Podcasting is a great way to connect with readers (especially readers who love audiobooks):
- “How Podcasting Helped One Author Find Her Marketing Happy Place” on Digital Book World
- “The Best Podcasts for Writers” on Written Word Media
Writers can also start their own podcasts, and even grow them enough to monetize them:
- “Five Ways To Monetize Podcasts Using Apple’s iBooks Author” on LinkedIn
- “The 7 Best Podcast Promotion Strategies (And How to Use Them)” on Patreon
- “Apple is going to let podcast creators — and advertisers — see what listeners actually like” on Recode
- ART19 (a platform for monetizing podcasts)
Once you’ve created content, you can find ways to make more people aware of your characters with merchandising. The Creative Penn offers advice for merchandising for authors, which includes how to find designers, mistakes to avoid, and where to get your products made. Amazon also has Merch for Amazon, which allows designers to sell t-shirts, and there’s even a Merch Research site, to see which designs are already for sale.
And, just for fun is the site Litographs, which prints text from classic books onto t-shirts.
Crowdfunding has gotten popular as a way for anyone to raise money for their projects, but when done right, it can also grow your audience. You can use Kicktraq to see which projects are doing well and research how to run your project. Accelerant Media Group is a site that helps people with all steps in their crowdfunding.
And once you’ve launched your project, you can use sites like BackerKit and Prouduct to help ship your rewards and perks.
Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without a shoutout to social media. Here are some tips and insights for the various platforms:
- “4 Social Media Productivity Tips for Authors” on The Book Designer
- “Link Your Facebook Profile to Twitter” on Facebook
- “Is Your Social Content Picture-Perfect or Merely Taking Stock?” on Content Marketing Institute
- “What the heck is a Facebook Pixel and how can it improve book sales?” on Digital Book World
- “12 Facebook Groups To Join Before Quitting Your Day Job To Work For Yourself” on Fast Company
- Get Your Business on Google (if you have a physical business, could be good to make it easier to find)
- “Have You Seen These Social Media Changes? Part II” on Social Media Just for Writers
- “HarperCollins Continues Facebook Live Programming with Holiday Campaign” on Publisher’s Weekly
- “Snapchat: A summary report for publishers” on BookMachine
There are also tools out there to help your recycle your content:
- Recurpost (repurpose social media posts)
- SmarterQueue (repurpose social media posts)
And just for fun, Pinterest now has a tool that lets you learn how to cook your favorite restaurant dishes, according to Mashable.