You wrote a book. Awesome.
You’re going to self-publish that book. Awesome.
Now get that book into the hands of your readers. *commence freaking out*
If you’re like me, when I think of sales I think of the worst possible type of human. Someone with an inflated ego, obnoxious voice, pushy personality, and probably too much cologne. Listen to me. You do not have to be that person.
You may not know this, but I have worked for the past two years at a leading online marketing company. Thinking of strategies to promote products is something that makes me tick. It’s one of my creative outlets. I heart marketing.
If marketing doesn’t come easily to you, never fear! This post is here to help. I’m by no means perfect, but I’m learning all the time. Let me briefly outline a few of the steps I took to market my upcoming book.
My Self-Publishing Marketing Strategies
- Create a home on the Web. VictoriasRamblings.com has been my home on the Web for sometime. For this book, I knew I wanted a different platform. With the help of my father-in-law I set up a separate author site and created a landing page for my book. (Note: Soon, I hope to transfer this blog to my self-named domain!) Think of setting up a website as setting up a book store. Especially for indie authors, the Internet is a really powerful way to connect with your audience – and at a cheap to free cost of entry.
- Give away your content. Obviously you don’t want to give away your entire book, but being generous with your content is one great way to spread the word. Currently, anyone who signs up for my mailing list will get access to the first chapter of my book.
- Contact reviewers. In an email message, I asked for 5 people to review my book in exchange for a Starbucks gift card. This worked reasonably well, but didn’t expand as far outside of my niche as I hoped. Since then, I found and contacted book reviewers via Twitter and Instagram. That will help me branch out of my niche and get in front of new readers. When contacting reviewers, be flexible and generous. If a fellow author, offer to promote their work. If a review site, offer to promote their services. I’m super tickled at the feedback that has been pouring in from reviewers and, as soon as I’m able to send out print copies, I’ll be contacting more. (For my pre-release reviewers, I simply sent them a pdf of the manuscript.)
- Use the 80/20 rule. Promote your content 20% of the time and other’s content 80% of the time. Be a good member of the Internet.
- Make it easy for people to talk about your work. When you do promote your work, put a handle on it somehow. For Re’and, I’ve been using the hashtag #ReandTheBook. I’m hoping that as the book launches and people talk about it, they can have better conversations because I’ve made it easy to talk about it.
- Make your book an event. I chose a launch day for my book of October 30th 2014. That’s allowed me to create an event around my work. I’m hoping to flesh out a few more ideas on and around launch day (like a Google Hangout On Air, etc.) but scheduling your launch is not only helpful in producing your book, it also gives you a deadline for your marketing goals.
- Be available. A la, this blog series. In the 21st century, being open is a great virtue. Don’t hide your secret sauce. Be open with your readers. Share your joys and your struggles. What works and what doesn’t. I’m not saying to air your dirty laundry, but I am saying don’t be a recluse. Be available.
And to help you act on these items, check out this list of resources that I’ve used to publish Re’and.
A Few Marketing Resources
- This episode of The Smart Passive Income Podcast is all about book marketing and I highly recommend it. If you’re not the podcasting type, a transcript is available here.
- Also, take note of this Kindle Publishing Checklist (and know that I am not following all these recommendations!)
- Jeff Goins’ previously mentioned resource on self-publishing was highly useful to me.
Part of 31 Days To Self Publishing A Book #write31days 2014.