Marketing Q&A with Stefani Milan
Looking to improve your marketing and publicity efforts? Check out our Book Publicity Tips series where we ask real authors to share their experiences, thoughts, and advice to assist both new and established authors.
What is the #1 tip you could give to a writer looking to go the self-publishing route?
Self-publishing is not as easy as it looks if you want to do it the right way. The perk of self-publishing is that you can publish a book without waiting months or years to do so. But you’re going to make mistakes. Relax, learn, and keep going. My first novel, The Secret of Kolney Hatch, went through four republications with each piece of self-publishing information I learned. Self-published authors are the publishing company. Formatting, editing, and cover design are all things publishing companies take hours to do, and when you learn how to self-publish the right way, you appreciate the time traditional publishing companies put into crafting a book. So learn as much as you can, correct your mistakes, and perfect the art of self-publishing.
How do you use Instagram to market your book? Would you recommend Instagram to other authors?
I love using Instagram to promote my books. Certain hashtags have a lot of traffic. Instagram exposes my books all over the world in one click. This doesn’t necessarily yield sales, but exposing your book is extremely important. The more people who know your book, the more popular it becomes, followed by sales. Find the most used hashtags and market your books using them. For example, #picoftheday and #instapic are good ones. Millions of people use these hashtags. Don’t forget the relevant small hashtags. For my children’s book, I Liked You Much Better When You Were Outside, I hashtag #catsofinstagram and #animalwelfare because a portion of my proceeds go to helping homeless animals.
How do you use social media in your book marketing efforts?
Social media is a necessary tool for branding yourself as an author and marketing your books. I use various social media outlets to promote my books (fun tidbits, new releases, book trailers, and cover releases) usually every day. If I post a link to Amazon or Barnes and Noble for The Secret of Kolney Hatch, I will do so on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as they are my main outlets. I occasionally use Pinterest. The key to social media use is finding the right times to post. To me, it’s a trial and error process. My particular group of followers are on Facebook at nighttime when work is over and they’re relaxing. So just be mindful of time when posting.
How do you recommend using book reviews to market your titles?
I wrote my children’s book, I Liked You Much Better When You Were Outside, as a way to help homeless cats. When it was reviewed by Reader’s Favorite, the reviewer pointed out themes I didn’t even realize I had included. She said my book was about sharing, acceptance, and love. I used this review to help market my book, and I encourage others to use their reviews also because sometimes people pull important lessons and messages from your books that you didn’t even see. So absolutely, use your good reviews. You could post reviews inside your book, pull a line from a credible review and include it on the back cover of your book, promote via social media, or include one in a book trailer.
Why is it beneficial to have a professionally designed cover and/or author logo?
A friend said this about the cover of my newest novel, Kolney Hatch: Buried Secrets…“They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but looking at your cover, I think it’s going to be a really awesome book.” A professional cover may gain you readers. I’m not saying it guarantees sales, but a professional eye-catching cover is probably your book’s most important selling point. It’s similar to the saying “looks get you through the door, but personality keeps you there,” only it’s “your cover attracts the people and your content keeps them there.” Don’t fret if your cover isn’t perfect right now. You can always find someone willing to do a professional cover for free or an affordable price.
Stefani Milan is the author of New Adult Mystery Thrillers and Children’s Fiction. She is, first and foremost, a light worker. She believes in bringing light and love to everyone she meets and hopes to entertain people through her writing. She is an old soul with a love of the arts. Singing and writing music, playing the piano, film and theater acting, painting, drawing, and photography are just a few of the other arts she enjoys. She resides in southern New Jersey.
How do you use social media in your books marketing efforts?