Now that you’ve gotten over the hurdle of publishing your book, you’re left wondering how to go about marketing a self-published book. Any product, new or old, requires relentless publicizing. Good marketing can make or break sales. The same is true for a self-published book. Creating a quality product, developing an online presence, contacting media and relevant advertising forums, establishing connections with retailers, and performing readings are all ways to bring your book to the forefront.
Despite any marketing you may do, if you do not have a good product on your hands, you can forget achieving any real success. It is not enough to advertise well. You as an author must be confident that there will be a demographic for your book before you embark upon custom book printing. Test the waters. Have family, friends, and colleagues review your book. Naturally, the guts, the actual content of the book are most important, but does your design really resonate too? Are you asking a fair price? Conduct research, expect brutal honesty from people, and tweak accordingly. This all should have been done prior to publishing, but going through the motions for a second time doesn’t hurt and is important to do before marketing a self-published book.
Next, establish on online presence. Having a website is useful for marketing a self-published book. Social media presence in this day and age is a must. Engage people through relevant forums, tweet at readers, book reviewers, fellow authors, local bookstores, and publishers on Twitter, and create organic online conversation. This does not mean regurgitating the same blurb repeatedly about your book. Find a way to make the conversation unique and intriguing in relation to your work.
Contacting book reviewers is another way to attract positive attention. You may not make it into NY Times Books section (yet) or as a feature story through NPR, but there are plenty of blogs on both a local and national level that want to work with self-published authors and whose passions lie in promoting “the little guy.” GoodReads is a fantastic public forum with over 30 million book-loving members. This is an often overlooked strategy for marketing a self-published book.
You will find that most bookstore owners really love books. And as much as they love books, they love the people who write them and who take the initiative to make something of their writing. Amazon and Barnes and Noble may be next to impossible, but you should speak with a local bookstore owner about their process for acquiring new material, what they look for, and if they have in interest in picking up your self-published book. Plenty of cafes, universities, and independent bookstores have open mic nights. Signing up to read an excerpt from your published piece is yet another way to share your writing with the public and is an excellent strategy for marketing a self-published book.
Custom book printing is not always easy. It comes with hard work and does not always ensure prosperity. But if you have confidence and are willing to put in the time, there’s a much greater chance that you will find the success you are looking for.