Tips for Marketing Your Book: The Secret to Selling More Copies
For the self-publishing author, marketing your book is the only way to make sure your brilliant ideas get into the hands of the grateful reader.
But most self-published authors don't have budget or resources to enlist the help of a marketing professional, which means you might need to do it on your own.
The bottom line is, if you want to sell your book, you’ve got to know who’s going to buy it and how to speak to them. Here are some tips for you to get started.
Build a Community
Before you even finish your book, immerse yourself in local and global literary communities to build a network of reviewers and supporters. Stay in touch with the people you meet as you research and write your book who seem to show genuine enthusiasm for you and your project.
Send occasional friendly emails, meet up for coffee, and stay involved in each other’s progress. By the time your book is finished, you’ll already have a strong network of readers and reviewers to give your book the attention it deserves.
Create a Killer Website
Every self-published author needs an impressive and professional website. Your author website should include:
- Blog: Share updates and corrections and respond to reader comments and suggestions. This can also be a way to drive interest to your book; consider sharing excerpts or sneak peeks.
- An easy way to buy: If you want to sell books, you must make it easy for readers to buy your books. Your website must have a link to Amazon or another online market page for your book, or you can sell directly from your website.
Get more tips for selling your book on Amazon >
- Author bio: If potential readers get to know you and like you, they’ll be more interested in reading what you have to say.
- Reviews: Social proof is a great to sell more books. Highlight the positive reviews you’ve received from readers, so others know you’re legit.
- Calendar of events: Share your schedule of appearances, including bookstores, speaking engagements and conferences. This builds buzz — and helps you get more attendees.
- Contact information: Readers might have questions, so you need to give them an easy way to ask them. One-on-one interaction can go a long way in terms of closing the sale.
Post in relevant online forums about the topic or genre of your book, and contribute to these forums regularly.
Explore literary subreddits and review books regularly on Amazon and Goodreads. Give advice and updates about your writing process, and offer to help others with editing or input.
Don’t forget to put a link to your blog or website in your signature line.
Be Social Online
Social media plays a pivotal role in book promotion in today’s screen-centric world. Social media marketing will refer traffic to your blog, website and your book’s Amazon page.
Between Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr, you can find new readers for your book and also get connected with editors, designers, book reviewers, bloggers and publicists.
Part of building your brand as an author includes building an “organic” (or unpaid) social media presence that showcases your voice and lets your audience in on updates about your book. Use tools like Buffer to organize your posting calendar so you maintain a consistent posting schedule across all your platforms.
Be sure to engage with your followers by answering as many comments as possible — even 30 minutes a day can help you maintain a presence and influence with your followers. Don’t feel like you have to create all your posts from scratch — you can curate content from other respected authors and literary outlets to share to keep conversation going with your followers.
In the early years of social media marketing, impressions and influences were earned by organically posting great content. Now, the reach of your social media influence is dictated by how much you’re willing to invest.
Without paid outreach, your followers will see less than 20% of your organic content. Ad campaigns and advanced targeting will allow your posts to be seen by your ideal audience, which can mean more interested buyers for your book.
Build an Email List
One of the steps to successfully marketing your book is growing a targeted email list. As an author, you can offer free services in the form of interesting and valuable information about your book, reviews and editorial insight in exchange for list contacts.
If you establish yourself as a trusted provider of useful information, your email list contacts will actually read your emails. You can then use your email list contacts to market your current and future books, readings, and other relevant author events and updates.
Other giveaway ideas include:
- The first three chapters of your book, a short story or the first novella in a three-part series
- Tips for whatever genre writing your book fits into
- Video or soundbite of you reading your work or talking about your book’s subject
Use a reputable service that follows anti-spam laws and allows you to easily manage your list, such as MailChimp or Constant Contact.
Get all the self-publishing services you need — from layout to binding — and then get out there to start marketing your latest piece of art.