sell more books

Sell More Books: Great Tips to Sell Books

Salmaan Ahmad

Salmaan Ahmad

June 26, 2024

Looking to sell more books? When you’re a self-published writer, you’re responsible for everything related to your book: writing, editing, printing, design, and marketing. If you want to sell more books, you must have a solid marketing plan. Here are some tips and tactics any writer should know if they want to sell more books.

To Sell More Books, Make Sure Your Book Looks Professional

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to have a book that looks amateurish. Skimping on production costs may be a temping move. It saves money, and it means you can get your book published faster and cheaper. This approach is fine if your book is only meant for you, your family members, and your immediate social circle.

Who are you selling to?

Maybe you have a built-in audience of readers, and you don’t care about reaching beyond that. If you don’t want to sell commercially, it makes sense to save money on design and production.

If you want to sell your book to the public, however, a cut-rate approach won’t work. An amateurish-looking book won’t attract buyers outside your built-in audience. You’re competing with a shelf—or an Amazon page—full of slick, professionally designed books. How does yours compare?

Cover matters to sell more books

People can—and do—judge books by their cover. There’s a reason the book’s cover design is a major undertaking that commercial publishers spend thousands of dollars perfecting. You don’t have the same design budget, but you can still get a great-looking cover by hiring a professional graphic artist to design it.

A good-looking cover is worth the investment. Professional design is a sign to readers that a book is high quality and worth reading. You should expect to spend anywhere from $300 to $2,000 for a professionally designed cover, depending on the artist’s experience and the complexity of the design.

Make the Design Stand Out to Sell More Books

If you have ever compared a self-published book with a commercially published one, you probably noticed a difference in the way the two books look and feel. Typically, the self-published one has a cheaper look created by an interior layout and cover designs that look homemade. The professionally printed book looks sleek, elegant, and easy to read.

What a book designer can do

You can’t achieve that exact look–because it would cost an exorbitant amount of money–but you can produce a self-published book that looks better than the average. One way to do that is to ensure that is to hire a professional book designer. A book designer can do many things for you:

  • Make your book readable.
  • Ensure your text is aligned properly.
  • Eliminate “widows and orphans,” or hanging words.
  • Create copyright and ISBN pages.
  • Produce a professional-looking layout.
  • Format your book for printing.

Find the Right Editor to Sell More Books

Most successful authors, including those who write your favorite bestsellers, rely on editors to create page-turning books that readers can’t put down. A professional editor can help you sell more books by polishing and organizing your first draft.

There are many types of editors, and the cost for hiring one depends on the level of work you need. If you have a great idea for a how-to book, but you’re not sure of your writing ability, you probably need a line editor. As the name implies, this is an editor who goes through every line in your book to remove jargon, avoid repetitions, and improve the flow.

If you’re confident in your writing ability, you should hire a copy editor, who will check for proper word usage, story consistency, and factual accuracy.

Make an Investment to Sell More Books

An editor can help improve your book, but it’s optional to work with one. What isn’t optional is hiring a professional proofreader. No matter how tight your production budget is, make room for a proofreader to go through the draft before you send it to the printer.

Are you starting to add up all these costs in your head? Producing a book that’s high enough quality to compare to commercial books is an expensive undertaking. However, the payoff is that you have full control over the production, and you will sell more books.

Sell More Books with a Marketing Plan

There are millions of books available to the average book buyer. You may feel like you’ve drafted a fantastic book whose characters, story, and setting are certain to compel readers. You may be right; it could be the best book written all year—but that doesn’t matter if nobody knows it exists.

To get noticed, you need a solid marketing plan. If you’re really stumped, you can hire someone to do your book marketing for you, but marketing isn’t rocket science. If you can author a book, you can do this and sell more books.

Social Media Can Help You Sell More Books

Millions of people use social media, so it’s a natural place to start a marketing campaign to sell more books. Here are some ideas to promote your book.

Content marketing:  Content marketing isn’t a single, static action. It’s a process of proving yourself as an expert in a topic by writing a blog, guest blog posts, bylined articles, and articles on your website. Over time, people rely on you to get information about a particular topic.

Once you’ve proven that you’re a trustworthy source, they are more likely to buy a product you promote, and that includes a book you’re writing. If you don’t have a content marketing strategy in place yet, it is never too late to start.

Facebook business page:  Maximize your social media marketing presence by setting up a business page on Facebook. It takes just minutes to post your picture and your “about” page. The key to using this site is to consistently update it with added content. A simple, one-sentence post every other day will keep your site refreshed and active. When you post, invite people to like your page or join your network.

Instagram business account:  With an Instagram advertising account, you can choose a marketing plan that fits your budget. You’ll get ad tracking performance, and the account comes with the ability to turn any post or photo into an instant Instagram ad. An all-in-one ad manager lets you post ads on various social media accounts.

Know the 4 P’s of Marketing

In marketing, experts often talk about the “four Ps.” This refers to four elements of any marketing plan that you must nail down to create ads, content, and a marketing plan that moves people to buy your book.

Product: What is special about your product? You must know what is special about your book, whether it’s the first to address a serious problem many people have, or it’s a unique twist on an old-fashioned story. Come up with a brief statement that explains what is different and special about your book. This will drive your marketing and help you define your target audience.

Price: Pricing for books can be tricky. Go too high, and you’ll turn people off. Go too low, and you may sell yourself short. In general, it’s a smart to price your book at the same rate as those in a similar topic or genre as yours. One successful pricing strategy that experienced self-published authors use is to price your book for “Free” when you first release it to an electronic publishing site. This will lead to some early interest from readers, who will then post those all-important first book reviews.

Place: Where’s the best place to sell your book? If you’re marketing to book buyers, you already know that online platforms and bookstores are key places, but don’t be afraid to think creatively. A book on health and wellness might sell well at a spa or wellness clinic. A gym might be willing to host your book signing for a new book on fitness. Your local VFW hall might welcome a biography related to Vietnam or another war. Be creative when you think about “place,” and you just may sell more books.

Promotion: What is the best way to target buyers? For most authors, a multi-pronged approach will work better than relying on one marketing method. Once you discover which tactic gives you the best results, go all in on it. You may find that your promotional efforts change over time, so remain flexible.

Get Ready to Market Your Book

Writing a book is step one, printing it is step two, and marketing it to sell is part three. If you can take these three steps successfully, you are on your way to a solid career as a self-published author. Make the investment today for a great payoff tomorrow. If you need help with any part of the printing process, talk to Publishing Xpress.

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