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How to Market a Self Published Book

Congratulations! You’ve successfully written and now published a book on your own.

Now you’re ready for the next step in the process: how to market your self-published book. You must promote yourself and your book when you self-publish. Otherwise no one is going to even know that your book exists.

Here are some easy ways that you can begin to build a readership so that you can actually have the potential to earn some cash from this venture.

#1. Offer free copies to build up the potential for positive reviews.

About 3 out of every 4 readers will make decisions about first-time authors based on the reviews that are left for a book. Without a review, there is a good chance a reader will skip over your new book. So give away some copies of your book or offer it for free on a website like Amazon in order to build up the potential of reviews being left.

#2. Use paid advertising on social networks to target niche audiences.

Social sites like Facebook and Twitter offer you a very affordable way to promote your new book to a specific audience. You’ll need to identify who your key target audience happens to be before you initiate this advertising and word your advertising correctly so it is error-free, but this is an easy way to reach tens of thousands of potential readers for a very reasonable cost.

#3. Create local events with your bookstores.

Bookstores love local authors – to an extent. They are in the business of making money, just like you are. Holding a book signing at a local store can generate a lot of awareness for you as an author, but the bookstore will want a cut of the sales. If there is hesitation to let you host an event there, consider offering them all of the profits from the books sold and you keep enough to cover your costs.

#4. Offer reduced pricing if you control the price structure.

If you have published somewhere like Kindle Direct Publishing, then you can change the pricing of your book to suit your needs. You can also offer Countdown pricing and other deals for limited sales promotion to books awareness of your book. If you have a publishing house controlling your pricing, then consider purchasing about 100 books and then selling them directly at a lower cost since you can buy the books cheaper as the author.

#5. Give out the first chapter of the book for free.

You’ll often see this on websites that sell books. Potential readers can download the first chapter of the book to see if it something that they’d like to read. If they get hooked, they’re very likely to purchase the book. This mimics the process of picking up a book at a bookstore to briefly read it before making a purchase.

Of course you’ll lose the sale if the first chapter doesn’t hook the reader, but that can be said of any book – even by well-established superstar authors.

#6. Know about niche categories and keywords.

The term “long-tail keywords” is going to change your life. When you can target search phrases that are 4+ words in length on blogs or sites that promote your book, then you have a better chance to reach niche demographics that might be interested in your book.

The same is true for the niche categories that are offered by online bookstores and shops like Amazon. Targeting subcategories wisely to reach demographics that are very likely to purchase your book will help you create sales from low audience numbers. Get 10 sales from 100 people is just as good as getting 10 sales from 10,000 people.

#7. Keep things personal and up-to-date.

Make sure your networks know that you are grateful for the reviews that you’ve received. Let people know about sales that are going on. Structure posts and tweets in such a way that they are more likely to get noticed, including using links and images with your comments. Then comment on other posts, tweets, and updates. It’s an unreasonable expectation to have people comment on your items if you’re unwilling to do the same thing in return.

Marketing your self-published book depends on the amount of work you’re willing to put into this process. There is never a guarantee for success, but you will see better results when you contact more people, reach out to more networks, and contact more media outlets. Encourage purchases through sales and free promotions will help as well.

This will help you to get noticed. Getting noticed is what will eventually lead to better sales.

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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