It could be reasonably--and easily--argued that I didn't learn a ding-danged thing about marketing ebooks when I released Goodness & Mercy last summer.
And then my husband begrudgingly accepted a Kindle last Christmas.
He never puts it down! He's become a voracious reader--again--and discovered authors otherwise unknown to him. In that way, independent publishing is a fabulous opportunity to write for an audience. (Notice I didn't say make a lot of money.)
Rather frequently, the indie authors include a letter to their readers at the end of the books he reads. The letters are meant to be a thank you to the audience, but it's also a way to encourage readers to get the word out about the story they've just read.
More than most writers, indies depend on word-of-mouth marketing. The challenge is to get them talking. I believe the letter works. I saw an uptick in reviews for my books after I added a unique letter to the end of each book.
I'm about to re-release an out of print book, The Queen of Sleepy Eye. Here's the letter I wrote for my readers:
Thanks so much for reading The Queen of Sleepy Eye. There are tons of stories to choose from, and I appreciate the chance you gave me to entertain you.
For centuries there have been gatekeepers of art. Rich patrons chose which artists and authors deserved their support. The only writers who escaped this tyranny were already rich or those who could subside on pine nuts and berries. And then came the publishing houses, who will freely admit that many good writers don’t gain entrance because of factors totally unrelated to talent.
Let’s start a revolution, a very chatty revolution. If you enjoyed The Queen of Sleepy Eye, go here to write a review on Amazon. This is how we’ll democratize art together.
Your endorsement means more than any other factor in the promotion of stories. You’re very powerful that way. Since I don’t have a patron, nor am I rich, and nuts and berries are best on ice cream, I invite you to help me keep writing stories by saying a few kind words about The Queen of Sleepy Eye. I promise to keep writing as long as I can buy ice cream with pine nuts and berries.
By the way, there can never be too many voices saying a story is worthwhile. No matter the number of reviews already posted for The Queen of Sleepy Eye, I appreciate your time and effort in adding your voice.
Many, many heartfelt thanks for your support. God bless you!
Some review online services will only consider books that have a healthy number of reviews already posted on Amazon and other online outlets, so garnering reviews is very important. You can check out BookBub, BookGorilla, and The Fussy Librarian to target the audience of your marketing.
Have you come across a letter to the reader at the end of an ebook? Would you follow the link after a plea for a review? What motivates you to write a review for a story? Do you use personal review services for your reading choices? Which is your favorite?