Indie self-promotion (Part One): Social Media

January 01, 2013

Hello fellow Junkies,

I decided to take some time out from writing to do a post about self-promotion. I know you all just shudder at the mere mention of it, and I didn’t particularly enjoy it until just recently. It turns out it can be quite fun!

 Some of you may have heard about an event run by Young Adult and Teen Readers via their Facebook page called ‘Adopt an Author.’ The name is self-explanatory, but in case you haven’t heard of it before this is how it works: Indie authors put their names down to be adopted by someone else whether they be fellow indie, a blogger, whoever. Once all the indies are together in one spot, their names are posted and people can volunteer for the author they want to take under their wing and pimp out for a three month period. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t get picked up straight away, but a wonderful indie named Michelle Turner took pity on my puppy-dog-eyes routine and adopted me! (I feel so loved!)

Michelle got to work right away. She messaged me to find out what my goals were. Now this was very important. I didn’t want to give her a broad answer like “I want people to like my books.” I told her very specifically that I wanted to boost my paperback sales and get more reviews on Amazon. Her next question was, “What are we going to give away as prizes?”

I had a few promotional things made up and ready to go including bookmarks and silicone bracelets with ‘Team Rhett’ on them, e-book copies and a set of the Half Blood Trilogy on paperback that I could sign. Michelle added some of her own bookmarks and copies of Reviving Bloom and we had our swag ready! (P.S. SWAG stands for Stuff We All Get)


She got to work straight away setting up an event on Facebook called ‘Lauren Dawes – Adopt an Author Event’ and invited some friends, indies and bloggers along. We set a limit of 50 people to join the event before starting in on the giveaways.
The next question was, how do we decide what to giveaway and to whom? So we came up with some games Michelle already knew, and I sat down and put my thinking cap on. The aim of games and giveaways is to boost the author’s numbers: Amazon likes, Goodreads fans, Facebook likes, Twitter and blog followers. We also wanted to get people involved, to engage and identify with the book and the characters within it. We needed some games that would have the ability to cover both of these things and this is what we came up with…



1.      Trivia with quotes from the book(s). These can be as simple or as difficult as you want them to be. For example you could ask “Who said this?” or you could make it a “Who said this to whom?” meaning contestants would have to give two names. Of course this can be changed to “Where was this said?” also if you really want to make it hard.
2.      Trivia questions about the book(s). For example, “Which character is known for their quick temper?” or “Where does (character X) work?”
3.      Post a picture of what you think a character looks like. The winner would be the person with the most ‘likes’.
4.      Ask a character a question. The winner would be the person with the most ‘likes’.
5.      Describe your favourite character in your own words. The winner would be the person with the most ‘likes’.
6.      What would the personal theme song be for a particular character? The winner would be the person with the most ‘likes’.

If you want to boost your numbers, here’s what you could also do:
1.      ‘Like’ the Amazon page for either the book(s) and/or the Amazon Author Page. The contestants participating then write the ‘like’ number into the comments section of the post. The winner is picked using
2.      Add the book(s) to your TBR list on Goodreads. Participants can post into the comments box that they have added it.
3.      ‘Like’ the Facebook page. Participants can comment that they’ve ‘liked’ the page.
4.      ‘Follow’ on Twitter. Participants can comment that they’ve ‘followed’ you on Twitter.
5.      ‘Follow’ the blog. Blogger has a widget that can be added for people to follow you. Alternatively, they can follow by email. Participants can tell you the name they follow up for confirmation.

Because my ultimate goal was to get more reviews on, Michelle suggested I
give away free copies of my book in exchange for an honest review. The first post on the
event was exactly this. We had a great response to the post, doubling our initial offer of 5
copies to 10 for Half Blood. The bonus for the readers? There are two:

a)      They get a free book, and who doesn’t like a free book?

b)      Once they’ve written their review (good, bad or ugly) they can then enter the draw to win one of the grand prizes.

Our grand prize was a copy of either Half Blood, Half Truths or Half Life. To keep things fair, will be used to draw the three lucky winners in the same order as they will get the

This is part one of indie self-promotion. I'll post again soon with different resources to use to
get promotional items made. 

If you like the post, please feel free to leave a comment. Also, if you know of any other ways you
can use social medial to promote yourself, also leave a comment. Thanks!

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