3 Marketing Musts to Sell Your Book

It’s actually not so lonely at the top. Not if you’re a rock star author who has published through Lulu. At the recent Self-Publishing Book Expo, author, activist and cultural icon Daniel and Kelli Segars, the power couple behind the Fitness Blender craze joined Kevin Powell, on a panel featuring rock star authors. They shared copious insights and advice about how to reach as large an audience as possible and how to market a self-published book. Here are the three must-do pieces of advice they shared:

1. Content is king

Your first marketing must is a no-brainer. If you don’t have content to sell, what are you marketing? But more than just your product, you’ve got to become a constant and active content marketer. Despite myriad changes in the marketing world, content is still king.

It’s easy to market a great product. It’s not so easy to market a bad one. The quality of your book—from the story to the format to the cover—is critical to its reception in the market. Make sure your book is ready for the audience you’re aiming to win over. If you’ve done all the work that you can to make your book as remarkable as it might be, your readers will market it for you. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising, and you can’t buy it with money. You earn it with an awesome book.

Lulu Marketing Team
From L to R: Glenn Hunt, Lulu’s community manager; Kelli and Daniel Segars, the powerhouse couple behind FitnessBlender.com; and Dan Dillon, Lulu’s director of product marketing at the 2013 Self-Publishing Book Expo

2. Whet people’s appetites

Marketing must number two involves giving away tidbits for free. Previews work!

There’s a trend in the book market where authors are releasing small pieces of a larger story to build an audience. Think of this as the contemporary version of serialization. The best ways to make sure your readers are satisfying their appetite for your work is by creating blog posts or podcasts to issue a chapter at a time, or do a reading of your book and provide commentary about how an aspect of the book was conceived — a key character, a plot device, the setting or some other interesting dimension of your work.

3. Dedicate time

And finally, your third marketing must: time.

Just as you set aside time to write your book, you need to set aside time to market your book. It’s a discipline, one that requires focus and resolve. In the free guide to marketing your book to maximize holiday sales, more than 60% of Lulu’s most successful authors spent fewer than 5 hours per week marketing their book. But the key here is that they did it. Set aside one hour each day to market your work and you’ll gain traction.

Follow this advice from our rock star authors, and perhaps you’ll be on Lulu’s successful author panel at next year’s Self-Publishing Book Expo.

10 thoughts on “3 Marketing Musts to Sell Your Book”

  1. I am almost done writing my autobiography and want to publish it but don’t know the best way to publish. I have a fascinating life story that I believe without any doubt will sell but this is my first book. I am an African American. I need some help.
    Paul Wesay.

  2. I have written a series of childrens books.and wanted venture book I’m trying to get it out there to market I’ve already have it in print does a total of six books and I just trying to find the best way to market I need help if anybody could reach me or call me I would like all the help I can get thanks so much Dallasalso there should be a website up February 4th

  3. Am going to start writing a book on my Father who was the 1st African American to design fashions on 7th ave, Would like to do a tabletop book as I have hundreds of designs

  4. I’ve written six bigfoot fiction books. I’ve published them through Lulu. I’m now ready to
    promote them. I will be brushing up on my illustrating skills so that the books will be more enjoyable for the children. So, I’ll be revising most of the books. Best regards, Linda Newton-Perry (a bigfoot believe)

  5. I have written my memoir which was a very difficult subject to write and I’m on my way to writing my next “not so dark” side of my life. Learning as I go is quite possibly the best experience in my life. Thanks again LULU!!

  6. I’ve been writing my book for a while. I actually have several full length novels that aren’t published. My favorite railroad engineer in the world is spurring me toward publishing my first one. So, I signed up here. I’ve known people who have published using Lulu. Funny thing, Lulu is the name of one of my friend’s dogs. It’s a great name, a remarkable idea or person, says your profile. I said perfect! So, I’m starting to read and am now getting my manuscript ready. the book is written I just need to finish editing and get some technical things done. It will be a refreshing story. can’t wait to publish it. and, I’m setting aside time to work on it: my friend’s rest time. This is his sleeping time between trains. What fun! See you soon and reading often. Queen of Bells out!

  7. Wow… Heard about this site via my author friend. I am two years into my own project… a book on Mystic Spirituality.. Struggling with reference format though… I’m being told that the publisher is the one that dictates the format (chicago, MLA, Turabian, etc..). Pretty certain now that I am going to self-publish and dodge the publisher chasing game. My question then is for a book like mine… Can I now choose my own format even if it isn’t a popular one? The reason that I ask is because I already have it formatted in Haverford… Am I better to change to MLA or Chicago in case a publisher wants to “buy in” to marketing my work at a later date?

  8. Hello,
    I am currently the publisher of my own company called “A Step Beyond Publishing Company”. It is a brand new publishing company. I am in the process of publishing my first book for a family member that was written by their deceased mother. The manuscript is in the editing phase as of now. After that phase should I contact an illustrator and what steps need to happen next?

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