In our most recent blogs we’ve talked a lot about how successful self-publishing is becoming, and how the industry has grown rapidly over the last few years. While this is fantastic news for our industry, you might be left worrying that the expansion of the industry will leave you fighting for space on the shelves and in the eBook bestseller lists.
Luckily, however, the fight for the top spots has ensured that self-published authors are becoming more and more accepted amongst readers, and marketing opportunities are vaster than they might have been a few years ago. Nevertheless, it is important that you ensure your book is marketed as effectively as possible, to give you the best possible chance at a stab at the top spot.
First of all, you should plan ahead. Start your marketing before your even finish your book. Gaining a customer response to your idea before you start to write it will give you an idea of how your book will address its audience and how well it will be received. One way to do this is to look at crowdfunding as a source of financial help to get your book off the ground, or getting in touch with a group of readers willing to be surveyed. These customers will happily give you their opinions, and once you’ve adhered to them, they’ll already be looking forward to buying your book before it’s even come out.
When your book comes out, one of the best sources of marketing is book reviews, but how do you get book reviews before you’ve sold your book? The answer is that you offer your book for free in the hope that it will get you some reviews to back up the quality of your book. Of course, this is a risk, you might end up with a small percentage of reviews based on free eBook downloads, and you have no way of knowing whether the reviews will be good or bad, but if it’s a risk you’re willing to take it could well be a worthwhile one. At the launch of your book, offer a five day eBook freebie, you’ll be surprised how many people will download an eBook just because it’s free.
At the top of this (inconclusive) list is social media. The free marketing tool that, if used correctly, could see you book’s popularity soar. Try to make use of at least three of the major social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
Make a fan page on Facebook and keep it updated with updates about your writing process, things related to your book’s topic and other offers and suggestions for your readership. Use Twitter to converse with like-minded people and potential readers, so tweet things that are interesting, uplifting and not entirely all about yourself. Tumblr is your opportunity to interact but on a larger level than Twitter, and you can post photos, links, audio and video in an easy format, as well as sharing blog posts about yourself, your life and your writing which may be of interest to readers and authors alike.
There are many more ways to market your self-published book before, during and after it’s written, but most important remember that books can’t market themselves, only you can do that!