This book would be a little trickier to market than my previous two. My first two novels were part of a Young Adult series (The Field and Midnight House), which marketing firms have no problem pitching and promoting. The Sexual Misadventures of Alicia Williams, Alpha Female’s title and content, made getting any book marketing firm to assist nearly impossible. And with a limited budget, I could only spend so much.
It was time to see what my options were doing the marketing myself.
I had seen other authors promote their upcoming books on Instagram by doing videos with them talking about the novel, so I decided this would be something I could try. I used my iPhone and bought a cheap black tablecloth as a background, a cheap tripod, and a wireless microphone, and I was ready to shoot my own promos.
I scripted out 15 to 20 ideas and, over the course of a Saturday morning, shot all of them with various shirts and my suit to give the videos some variety. I then edited them into 30- to 45-second videos and mapped out a schedule for when each would be released. I uploaded them on Tuesdays and Thursdays on Instagram, Facebook, X, and Threads with messaging that tied into each video, buying info, and plenty of hashtags.
Here’s an example of one of the videos I wrote, shot, and edited:
I ended up doing two rounds of videos. The first was all about the new book. The second mixed in my previous two novels as well to promote them for the holiday season.
I submitted the book to NetGalley, a service allowing readers to request and review your book. It’s a little pricey, but I did get over 85 requests for the book within two weeks of it being on there. I’ve received six reviews back so far, but I’m sure I’ll have more coming over the next few months.
New Author Website
With a new book in a new genre, I wanted to update my website to look more professional than a standard blog. I researched several companies and found one in South Africa called RocketExpansion that did an excellent job working with me to design and launch the site you’re currently on.
The team I worked with was amazing, professional, creative, and energetic about ensuring the site met my needs and was visually attractive to those who visited. I highly recommend considering having an online presence with an official author website to give you and your work credibility and a localized place where you can share your thoughts and novels with interested people.
What Do the Experts Say?
In my mission to market the book myself, I researched and purchased a few books and online sources that advise on how to turn your book into a best-seller. Obviously, this type of marketing is hyperbole. It’s impossible to guarantee such a claim, but I wanted to see what insights these marketing gurus had to offer, so I bit and purchased their classes.
And I didn’t learn a whole lot that I didn’t already know, or that wasn’t already free on YouTube.
However, I did strike gold with a marketing consultation through BookBaby. They connected me with a marketing consultant, and for an hour, we discussed myriad ways to market this book (insights I can use with future novels, too). They gave me dozens of articles, posts, websites, and other resources to utilize as I continue to market my work in the new year.
This consultation was definitely worth the investment, and I would recommend it to anyone self-publishing their work.
The Learning Process
I’ve learned in doing all this that being patient and consistent are traits you need when marketing a novel yourself.
It’s been a lot of work to get the word out about The Sexual Misadventures of Alicia Williams, Alpha Female, but it’s a book I’m proud of, and I know that in the long run, readers will discover it and enjoy it as well.
Do I always feel that way? Nope. Sometimes, I think all this hard work isn’t worth it and that I could have spent my time and money on other things. But then I stop and realize that all the hard work and struggle is just part of the process.
And, yes, the process can be frustrating and disappointing at times, but as I said before, you have to be patient and keep moving forward. One word, one chapter, one novel at a time.
I’ll share my final thoughts and some other things I learned as I worked on and published The Sexual Misadventures of Alicia Williams, Alpha Female. See you next time!