1. Use a cover that looks like it was designed by your color blind 6-year-old niece, avoid proper book formatting & cover design.

Your book cover design should have completely jarring colors and illegible font. Your name needs to be way too small. When in thumbnail size, no one should be able to tell what it is. Oh and genre? That should definitely remain a mystery.

2. Spam. Spam everywhere.

You know what readers like more than reading? When authors come into their group and forums and try to convince them their book is the best. Especially if you’re derailing a thread about a completely different topic. Or you’re breaking the “No Promo” rules! Readers love that.

3. Write a blurb that answers none of the readers questions about the book.

You know those questions every reader has when approaching a book: What is this book about? Why should I read it? What kind of read can I expect when I open this book? THESE ARE STUPID QUESTIONS! Your blurb should be something abstract, something that doesn’t make any sense. Or better yet, something completely different than what’s actually in your book.

4. Make sure your first page is littered with typos.

Don’t proofread. Who cares about the difference between their vs. there vs. they’re or paragraph breaks? You can butcher that first page, and no one will care. You’ll be proving yourself, proving you care more about the story and the character than the silly little details.

5. Make it a secret.

Sure, I know you’re spamming everywhere, but when someone organically shows up on your website or blog, make it so they have to WORK to find your book. They can read all about it, sure, and see that stellar cover, but they have to go to Amazon themselves and search your name and title to actually find the book. Don’t link your website or book to your Facebook or Twitter, either. Better yet, don’t have a Facebook or a Twitter! Don’t do any marketing at all. You’ll be an edgy underground author. (Wait, this doesn’t match with spamming everywhere, does it? You’ll be able to find a balance, I believe in you.)

* * *

Honestly, though. . . There is no foolproof way to convince a reader to read your book. You can do all the right things, but still, not everyone will read it, and of those who read it, not everyone will like it. As an author and artist, you have to let go of it eventually and trust the right audience will find it. It’s nerve-wracking, but it’s part of the job description.

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