Thanks to the ease of e-publishing and even self-publishing options, it isn’t that difficult for any author to publish a book in the way they want without having to bow to the demands of a distributor, an agent, and everyone else involved in the traditional publishing process. Publishing a book your way, however, doesn’t guarantee that people are going to buy your book unless you’re willing to market it. If no one knows about your book, then no one will buy it.
It all begins with your ability to get out before the public in some way. Identify the demographics that will be attracted to the book you’ve written, even if it is an ebook, and then discuss why you wrote what you wrote. This gives people more value because they get a glimpse of your insights. If they can identify with you and your perspective, then you will start to see an increase in sales.
Marketing Ideas for Books
1. Blog Away Like Crazy
Links are the life blood of modern marketing efforts for online sales. Offer to write a guest post about being a writer, your subject material, or just about anything that a blog owner wants in return for a link to your sales page. This will give you more overall exposure and if one of your posts can go viral, even on a local level, you might just find some extra cash in your pocket.
2. People Are Cheap
You can never assume that people will just purchase a book, even if it would only cost them $0.99. You might find that to be a value price for your work, but that doesn’t take into account the value that your readers have regarding their time. If they don’t like your book, they’ll feel like they wasted that money and gave it away. They want to prevent that before buying, not afterward. Therefore you need to focus on why they should invest.
3. Talk to Bookstores
Speak with your local bookstore managers about their policies about author signings. Even if you self-published, you may be able to get into franchised national chains if you’re willing to share a portion of the profits with the store. This limits their risk, gives them potentially free cash, and you get a place to engage with people.
4. Open Mics Are Gold
There are numerous businesses that offer an open mic night for you to read a portion of your book. Go there just to read. Don’t plan on selling unless someone approaches you about buying a copy from you. Then make sure you’ve got some around close by so you can sign it as they buy it.
5. Get the Press Involved
Newspapers get a lot of review requests for books, so look for alternative press in your local area that don’t always get the chance to publish a review. Provide them a free copy, offer yourself up for an interview, and hope the reviewer liked it so you get some good press. Keep in mind that not everyone will like your book, however, so don’t take a bad review personally.
6. Network With Authors
If you put more authors together for an event, you’ll create a better sense of value that can help all the writers involved. Consider planning a writer’s conference with a group of authors so you can provide a community of writers with tips and tricks that you use to get a quality set of words out on paper consistently.
7. Get Famous
You’ll make it if a celebrity will endorse your book. You’d be surprised how many are willing to give an endorsement of a job that is well done. Although it might be a bit of an investment to send books to managers, the gamble could pay off big if your book gets featured.
8. Get Quotes Before You Publish
Recommendations that you can post on your book will help convince on-the-fence buyers about the quality of it. The bigger the name and the better the quote, the more likely you’ll get a sale. An added sales point: the person giving you the quote is going to get some free press with every book as well, especially if you put the quote on the cover.
9. Get On the Phones
Always follow-up the books that you’ve sent out to anyone to see if they’ve read it, liked it, or might be willing to review it. Most authors have a manager, press agency, or publisher handle this task for them, but you’ve got to do it all on your own. Choose 5 contacts per week to follow-up upon at minimum – that’s just 1 phone call per day. You can do that, right?
10. Stand Out
Your book must stand out aesthetically to get attention and so must all of your press materials. Instead of just sending out standard PR documents, print them on high quality colored parchment. This will stand out during the opening process and might get your book a little added attention.
11. Get Reviews
Reviews on Amazon and other book websites matter. Don’t buy fake reviews, but do try to get family and friends to review the book for you so that you’ll begin to stand out. Websites are also tracking reviews from verified purchases and giving them a priority, so keep that in mind as you ask people for reviews as well.
12. Register, Register, Register
Register the fact that you’re an author on every website possible. This will help to build up links for you and this will begin to drive more traffic in your direction.
13. There’s No Bad Press
As long as your name gets spelled right and the title of your book is included, there’s no such thing as bad press. People will seek out your book to see if it is as bad as some people claim it is. If your bad press gets included with the bad press of other, more famous authors or celebrities, this will actually build your credibility even more.
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