It doesn’t take an expert to realize that publishing a book is a brutal process. Even after you’re finished writing the book, you still have to figure out how to promote your book to your audience. Marketing your self-published book is a time-consuming and difficult job.
Marketing and bookselling is a challenge. Just creating an awesome book will never be enough. You also have to develop book marketing ideas to grab the attention of your audience. Let’s go through a quick list of some tips and tricks you can employ to help make marketing your book more successful.
Book Marketing For Self-Published Books
Whether you’re a seasoned author or a first-time novelist, you’re going to need to tap into your entrepreneurial (authorpreneurial?) spirit to convince people to read your book. Step by step, you build your author brand over time, leading to more and more sales as both your network and your target audience grow. Learning how to market a self-published book is no simple task, but the payoff can be well worth it!
These book promotion ideas will help you focus on book sales and develop your brand to create a consistent revenue stream.
1. Build Your Network
Before you can start selling books online, you need people to market to. Do not overlook your book launch!
Start with your existing followers on social media and any email addresses you’ve already collected from friends and fans. Get any contacts you might have, like fellow writers locally and bookstore owners on your social and email lists. Before you can sell your book, you need to identify and target your potential readers.
2. Write A Killer Description
Even if your book is amazing, no one will pick it up and read it without knowing what it’s about. You need to write a concise and compelling description that sells your book to your readers.
Start by writing a few versions of your description. After you’re done writing those versions, get feedback on which is the most effective. Use that feedback to revise and refine your book description.
3. Email Marketing
Building an email list for your book is one of the most effective ways to market. The marketing channel with the highest return on investment in the game? That’s email.
4. Own Your Ecommerce Site
Why? Two big reasons:
- You control and keep all the revenue from a sale on your own site
- You keep the contact data from your readers
The cost of running an ecommerce site has come down significantly. And if you opt to use Shopify or WooCommerce, you can take advantage of Lulu Direct to connect our print-on-demand to your store for free. Sales directly from your site mean readers are finding you and your platform–which means you have additional opportunities to market to them!
And most important for your long-term success, you can ask everyone who buys directly from you to add their email address to your marketing list. Now you can build a relationship with this reader, encouraging them to buy your next book.
5. Find Your Social Media Space
Social media can be a powerful tool for marketing your book.
Like all things, building a following on social media takes time. The easiest way to build your platforms from the ground up is to find other people in the same space as you. When you interact with them, you can follow each other and support each other.
Remember, you need to be in the social media space your contemporaries and your readers occupy.
6. Create A Blog
Your blog is likely to be the cornerstone of your author platform. This is where people will get to know you. And this is where you’ll point new readers to from your social media and email campaigns.
Your priority should be to create high-quality and relevant content with an eye toward Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Your blog will help you rank in Google searches, leading to more readers finding you.
7. Get Book Reviews
Reviews are great social proof. You can use a lot of strategies to ask for reviews. For a new author, the most important review opportunity is your email list.
Email people who buy your book asking for testimonials. Share them on your social media platforms and your website.
8. Offer Something For Free
Yeah, that’s counter-intuitive. But it’s easy to create an ebook. Make the first chapter of your book available for free (in exchange for their email address!). Bookselling is about more than just selling books; you’re establishing an audience who wants to read all your books.
Making some of your content available for free is a great way to draw in new readers.
Self-Published Book Marketing
You’ve got a lot of avenues to market your book. From social media to blog posts to your author website, there are a ton of ways you can connect with your audience. It’s that connection that matters the most. In the increasingly competitive market, you have to build an audience that craves the content you offer.
Paul is the Content Marketing Manager at Lulu. When he's not entrenched in the publishing and print-on-demand world, he likes to hike the scenic North Carolina landscape, read, sample the fanciest micro-brewed beer, and collect fountain pens. Paul is a dog person but considers himself cat tolerant.