Marketing For Dummies (And Indies!) by Amy Metz

When you’re an Indie author, book marketing and promoting is largely or solely up to you. That can be a daunting task. The byword is “author branding,” and the way to do that is to be as visible as possible. The more websites you’re on, the more chances there are for readers to find you. Everyone knows about Twitter and Facebook, but there are a lot of other free online marketing tools to help you promote your work. And did I mention the F word? Yes, they are FREE.

I. Blogs

Blog interviews are free and are great exposure for you and your book. Book Blogs, Book Blogger Directory, Blogaholic Social Network, Blogcatalog, and Bookblogger List are just a few sites where you can search for book blogs. Google “book blogs” for more. The catch? Some sites have a form to fill out, and you’re good to go. But most of the time the interviewer has to accept your request to be interviewed. And a lot of the time their schedule is packed; in fact in some instances it may be months before your interview goes live, assuming they even accept your request. I’m not saying interviews are bad, because they’re not. They’re great. But there are more tools out there just waiting for you.

II. Indie Sites

There are a lot of websites devoted to Indie books and authors where authors can post their book information, bio, and links. Some offer additional paid services as well. Some sites I’ve found that offer great promotional opportunities:

  1. Coalition of Independent Authors
  7. Fresh Fiction 
  8. Wonderbookland 
  9. AuthorsDen
13. Bookperk  

III. Amazon Tools
Amazon has several free marketing tools to help authors better market their books--some are well known and some are Amazon’s best-kept secrets. Here’s the low down:

1. Amazon Author Central Page
3. Amazon Listmania!
4. Amazon keyword tags (Amazon may be doing away with these)

IV. Virtual Bookshelves

There are several virtual bookshelf sites where you can spotlight your book. Belonging to all of them can get to be tedious and repetitive, but my philosophy is the more places you are, the more opportunities there are for people to find you.

1. Goodreads 
2. LibraryThing   

V. Social Networking

Online social sites are popping up everywhere. They’re there. Why not have a page?

3. Tumblr

VI. Book Trailer Sites

If you have a book trailer there are a lot of sites that will post it for free:

1.    Dailymotion 
2.    sevenload  
3.    YouTube  
4.    Chick Lit Trailer Park 
5.    Kendincos  
6.    Book Trailer Central Community 
7.    Frequency 
8.    A Blue Million Books Trailer Park

VII. Helpful sites

Indie authors need tools and resources to help in promoting their work. Luckily, there are a lot of websites that do just that. Below are a few I’ve found to be helpful:

 1.    Google analytics Website tracking
 2.    StatCounter Website tracking
 3.    Tweetreach  How far did your tweet travel?
 4.    2EPUB  Free online ePub
        converter allows you to convert pdf, doc and other types of documents & ebooks
        to ePub format, mobi, and more
 5.    Hootsuite  Enhanced social media management
 6.    Social Mention  Real time social media search and analysis
 7.    Row Feeder Social media monitoring and analysis
 8. Shorten urls, share files and track visits.
 9.    TweetChat TweetChat helps put your blinders on to the Twitter-sphere while
        you monitor and chat about one topic. Choosing a hashtag directs you to a
        TweetChat room.
10.  Klout Discover and be recognized for how you influence the world.
11.  Writing a Synopsis For a Novel: Excellent How to article.
12.  StoryToolz "Resources for authors." Word count meters, story idea generator,
        readability, cliche buster.
13.  Bestseller Labs, by Jonathan Gunson. Practical advice on how to get published
        and grow your readership.

VIII. Book Review sites and lists

Reviews help sell books. Below are some sites to look at to find possible reviewers:

1. Ottinger’s Book review Blog list 
2. Step-By-Step Self-Publishing reviewer list
3. Book Review Blogs
4. Readers Favorite Book Reviews and Award Contests
5. Book Blogger Directory

Tip: When asking for a review or interview, unless it’s stated differently on the blog, include the following in your request:

•    Book Title
•    Author’s name
•    Your website
•    Length of book
•    Release date
•    Book Format
•    Genre
•    Publisher
•    Book trailer link
•    A short description of the book
•    A short author’s bio

A Blue Million Books has more details on these marketing opportunities. This is by no means a comprehensive list, it merely contains the sites I have found to be of value. If you know of websites I should add to this list, please contact me at:

About the author:

Amy Metz is the mother of two sons, is a former first grade teacher, and is the author of Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction, the first in a humorous southern mystery series. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or spoiling her dog and granddogs, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in her hands. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky and can be reached at her website ( or her blog, A Blue Million Books (


  1. Thanks for being my guest today, Amy! Wonderful article!

  2. Thanks for having me, Dorothy!

  3. We're a little biased, but we'd add Bublish to your list of free author resources. Hope you'll check us out:
    Kathy and the Bublish Team


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