Thanks to ever-evolving technology and a number of services on the web, publishing a book no longer requires a contract with a major publisher. By using resources like CreateSpace or Lulu, you can self-publish in a relatively quick and affordable way, which is a nice option for those who haven’t had much success shopping around their creative works.
However, big publishing companies do provide valuable resources in the form of marketing once a book has been released — something self-publishers can find extremely challenging. The good news is that in addition to making the book publishing process itself more accessible, the digital world has also made it easier to promote books.
The following are some tips for marketing your self-published book:
Find your target reader: You likely did not write your book with the entire world as your audience — so why would you promote it that way? Your first step should be to identify your target audience members in terms of their age, gender, country of origin or any other characteristics. This will help you narrow down your marketing efforts to a specific group of people.
Make your pricing competitive: There is an important middle ground to reach when pricing your book. You don’t want to give it away for practically nothing, as readers may infer that it has little value and probably isn’t worth their time. On the other hand, pricing it too high may keep it out of the reach of your target audience. Do your research and adjust your pricing accordingly.
Leverage a website and blog content: This is especially helpful for nonfiction books, but it can have a broad application. Consider starting a blog where you regularly write on topics related to your book. You may also choose to invite readers to sign up for an e-newsletter, which will allow you to provide even more content they’ll find interesting. This is a great way to build a reader base, particularly if you’d like to release more books in the future.
Develop and distribute press releases: A great way to get your book noticed is to write and send out at least one press release announcing that it’s now available. This will help you gain traction online, as well as increase your chances of receiving publicity from a newspaper or magazine article about your book. For distribution, you can use a service like SBWire or PRWeb, which will send your press release to journalists and bloggers nationwide.
Ask for reviews: If you’re selling your book on Amazon or another ecommerce site, reviews are incredibly important. Ask your friends and family members to take some time to leave a positive review of your book on one or more of these sites. Showing potential readers that others have enjoyed your work will encourage them to give your book a try.
Writing a book takes a great deal of time and effort, and you can find success even if you decide to self-publish. Keep these tips in mind as you develop your book marketing strategy.
Steve Bailey is the president of ProPRcopy.