28/11/2014 06:58 GMT | Updated 27/01/2015 05:59 GMT

Cunning Ways to Get Your Book Noticed

What to do if you are not Stephen King, you don't have a big publishing house to promote your dark and scary new novel, but you're still determined to make your book a success.

Marketing your self-published book is a long game and there are all sorts of ways to keep up the interest, including blogging, podcast interviews, videos, signings and entering it into competitions. Giveaways are another great route to get your book out there and top of the giveaway options is Goodreads.

Goodreads is a social network for discovering authors and their books as well as reviews. It's been part of Amazon since 2013 and now has over 30 million readers. If you aren't already registered as a reader on the site, you might want to do that first. From there, it's just a skip away to sign up to their Author Program.

Note that you can only give away print copies (no ebooks) on Goodreads, and you have to stump up for post and packaging. So first decide how many copies you want to part with. Also think about whether to run the giveaway just in the UK, or in other English-speaking countries (see above - you don't want to be spending your hard-earned lolly on pricey postage to Australia).

When choosing the date for the giveaway, try to tie it in to an anniversary, which is also relevant to your book. World Mental Health Day, The International Day of Peace, Random Acts of Kindness Day... there's usually something that you can cunningly hitch your wagon to. Also consider how long you want to run the giveaway for - some people do it for a month, some for three and others just for a week.

To be certain that your book is listed in the right category, chose your description carefully and make sure it contains the relevant key words. Signed copies are always more popular and to get your giveaway to stand out, you can customise the artwork. Check out this link to see how best to grab people's attention.

For those who enter the giveaway competition but don't win, you can include a link to your website so you can gather email addresses - if they are genuinely interested in your book. Then, when you run another competition, or your ebook is on discount, you can let them know. Make it clear that you won't spam them though.

You can boost the Goodreads giveaway by paid advertising. Having said that, networking can be equally effective, so join any relevant groups that catch your eye and start to engage with likeminded readers who might enjoy your book.

And finally, don't forget to promote the giveaway on your blog/guest blogs, Facebook, and Twitter.

NB BookBub is another way to help spread the word. It's an ebook price promotion service, used by publishers and authors to feature limited-time ebook deals. Joanna Penn has some great tips for a successful Bookbub ebook marketing campaign.

If you fancy winning a free signed copy of Cinema Lumière, click here.

Catch up on the previous self-publishing blogs in Huffington Post.

For more advice on Getting Published, go to

Hattie's debut novel Cinema Lumière is out now and available on Amazon and at all good bookshops.


Scarlett Rugers.