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How to Promote Your Self-published Book

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Self-Publishing|How to Promote Your Self-published BookAuthors who have secured a traditional arrangement with a book publisher do not need to concern themselves with marketing or distribution, as this will be handled for them. However, self-published authors find themselves in a different position. Of course, some authors write simply for the joy of it, but for many people, one of the objectives of writing a book is for it to be bought, read, and enjoyed by as many people as possible. To achieve this, self-published authors face the challenge of marketing their work and securing multiple distribution channels. This guide does not include every marketing or distribution channel you might want to consider, but it introduces several concepts and marketing tips to get you started.

Create a website or blog for your book

Before you’ve finished writing the book, you could be securing your first readers if you build your own website or blog. Creating a website full of articles and engaging content on topics which are related to your target audience’s interests is a great way to gain visibility online. If your book is about divorce or family breakdown, you may want to create a website which focuses on professional insights and other books which are related. You can then start to add your own insights and excerpts from your book.

If you optimise your content for search engines, when internet users type related words or phrases into Google, your content could be top of the list of results. This is called Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. You could even create an email mailing list and encourage visitors to sign up to receive updates about your upcoming book or promote giveaways. The earlier you can create your website, the more buzz you can generate around your book and the more time you’ll have to improve your website’s ranking.

Maximise your online exposure

In addition to optimising your website for search engine results, you can also increase your online exposure by getting involved on other websites. This could be by contributing to forums on related topics or genres of literature, or you could write an article for someone else’s blog. Whenever you publish content, be sure to include your byline with a link to your website. Social media is also a great way to maximise your reach, as you can set up a profile on Twitter or an author’s page on Facebook. When you share updates about your book or promotions, you can include a link to your website or the platform where you are selling the book. You can also use social media to engage with your readers.

Hold a launch party

While it’s true that digital marketing is often the strongest force when it comes to promoting and selling a book, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for more traditional approaches. When your book is released, you could hold a launch party and invite influential people in your community. This could be at a bookstore or a library, but if you make enough of a splash you may be able to get it covered by the local press. In addition to selling your book, you could produce and sell promotional merchandise such as t-shirt printing or other products. If people wear or use the products which are emblazoned with the title of your novel, they will spread awareness in their social circles and the general public.

Take your lead from other authors

When it comes to designing a cover, choosing a title, the typography, etc., take a look at what successful books in your genre have done. You may not like all of what you see, but you may find some themes amongst them which could suggest they are more appealing than others. You may also come across repeated vocabulary in the books, which could be useful in your book’s metadata, i.e. the description of your book which search engines will use when trying to match an online query with a result.

Source reviews for your book

Reviews are a fantastic selling tool for many products and books are no exception. The author or publisher of a book can rhapsodise all day long about its merits, but until we know our fellow readers are in agreement, we are likely to be sceptical. If you have published books before you may be able to contact people who have reviewed a previous book with a free copy and a request for a review.

If you have never published before, you could look at the reviews on Amazon for books in the same genre, as they may be willing to give yours a try. It’s best to look for reviewers who write succinctly and seem to have real insight into the books they are reading, as this will result in higher quality reviews of your book. In addition, try to contact around 3-4 times as many reviewers as you would like reviews, as it’s not guaranteed that you will get a response.

You could also promote your book on Goodreads, which is an online community with more than 65 million members. Here you can create a profile page about your book and yourself as well as invite reviews, give books away or host forum discussions about your book.

Write an effective blurb

A blurb is a promotional description of your book which is used on the back of printed versions and online. They are generally around 100-150 words long and give the reader just enough information to grab their attention and intrigue them, so they want to read more of the story. It can include an introduction to characters, plot or the overall theme or it could be a particularly exciting excerpt from the book itself. Some blurbs will also include quotes from positive editorial reviews. Read more about how to write a blurb.

Hire a professional designer for the cover

Never judge a book by its cover is one of the truest sayings out there, but all too often that’s exactly what people will do. If your book’s cover is too plain, unprofessional, too garish or generally poorly designed, you are decreasing the likelihood that someone will give it a chance. Find a professional book cover designer who can work with you to capture the essence of the book in the most visually appealing way.

Use multiple distribution channels

You need to make your book available on as many sales platforms as possible, but it’s best to target the biggest in the early stages at least. Amazon is one of the biggest names in book sales in terms of both print and digital with two self-publishing services. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) handles eBooks and print books are by CreateSpace. Other popular eBook platforms include Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Apple’s iBooks, and Kobo. There are also eBook aggregator services like Draft2Digital, which will distribute your book to several different retailers, automatically adapting the book into the required format for each.

If you have an e-commerce website which can accept payments and process online orders, you can generate traffic to the website by linking from social media posts. The more people you can get to click through to your website, the higher the likelihood of sales. However, remember that you will need to convert website visitors into customers when they are there or they may quickly leave the website. This not only means fewer sales but also a higher bounce rate, which Google will penalise your website for, i.e. it can damage your ranking score.

The Great Marketing Circus – PR’s magic, revealed!

The marketing arena can easily be compared to a three-ring circus. A few clowns, a few death-defying leaps and the ring leader is expected to single-handedly bring it all together. Of course, we can’t forget the one person everyone expects to see – the great magician: shrouded in mystery, quite dramatic and never without ability to manifest greatness from thin air at the drop of a hat.

So, in a recent RFP, when the company asked what PR ‘tricks’ our agency had up our sleeves, I came to the stunning realization that there really are people out there who believe that the practice of public relations is truly magical.

Believe me, if this were possible, all PR practitioners would operate from the beach. You know – a check in at the smoothie stand every so often and a wave of their wands a couple times a day for good measure.


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About the Author

Allison Brinkman
PR Manager, Eisen Marketing Group
[email protected]
 
 
Alli found herself saying the same thing Greeks have been saying for centuries when she provided an opportunity to work with EMG clientele: Opa! (Hooray!) An adventurer at heart, she constantly seeks new challenges and celebrates unconventional solutions. No need to cross the Mediterannean and absolutely no Trojan Horse – she is what she is, and that fresh, candid honesty makes for one serious professional.

A diehard Ohio State Buckeye football fan, she knows the value of a little friendly competition – and even has a trivia-loving alter ego ‘BMoney’ to honor that streak. When it comes to clients, however, she isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves, put her game face on and ensure nothing less than the best. Scarlet. Grey. All colors. All colours – she integrates impossible to absolutely.

Having lived abroad twice in both France and Luxembourg, Allison takes advantage of her global perspective in everyday life, and applies that knowledge when discussing global and cultural differences. Her ‘let’s go!’ attitude will gladly take her to the ends of the earth in search of answers, inspiration or just out of curiosity. Give her a minute (or 10), and she’ll gladly tell you all about winter in Stockholm or the music scene in Prague. Go Ask Alli…

Is it the or is it THEE.

Allison is a graduate from The Ohio State University, and has worked in marketing, public relations and event planning for Paramount’s Kings Island, The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and UWeekly Newspaper.

To PR or not to PR: PR is not a verb!

This is not an article debating the changing landscape of the public relations or advertising industry, or preaching best practice advice, but rather an examination of the two simple letters that encompass all that we (as communications professionals) do: PR.

As a public relations professional, I respect that there are some commonplace misconceptions about what “we” do here at our agency, and likely every other PR agency on the planet for that matter. The perception of what we do is made worse by certain reality television shows that not only make me want to claw my eyes out but insult my intelligence and profession as well. There is a significant difference between a PR firm and a publicist – which allows me illustrate my point: all publicity is PR, but not all PR is publicity.


Hi there! This article is available for free. Login or register as a StrategyDriven Personal Business Advisor Self-Guided Client by:

Subscribing to the Self Guided Program - It's Free!


 


About the Author

Allison Brinkman
PR Manager, Eisen Marketing Group
[email protected]
 
 
Alli found herself saying the same thing Greeks have been saying for centuries when she provided an opportunity to work with EMG clientele: Opa! (Hooray!) An adventurer at heart, she constantly seeks new challenges and celebrates unconventional solutions. No need to cross the Mediterannean and absolutely no Trojan Horse – she is what she is, and that fresh, candid honesty makes for one serious professional.

A diehard Ohio State Buckeye football fan, she knows the value of a little friendly competition – and even has a trivia-loving alter ego ‘BMoney’ to honor that streak. When it comes to clients, however, she isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves, put her game face on and ensure nothing less than the best. Scarlet. Grey. All colors. All colours – she integrates impossible to absolutely.

Having lived abroad twice in both France and Luxembourg, Allison takes advantage of her global perspective in everyday life, and applies that knowledge when discussing global and cultural differences. Her ‘let’s go!’ attitude will gladly take her to the ends of the earth in search of answers, inspiration or just out of curiosity. Give her a minute (or 10), and she’ll gladly tell you all about winter in Stockholm or the music scene in Prague. Go Ask Alli…

Is it the or is it THEE.

Allison is a graduate from The Ohio State University, and has worked in marketing, public relations and event planning for Paramount’s Kings Island, The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and UWeekly Newspaper.