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Productivity & Motivation Self-Publishing Writing

10 Strategies for Indie Book Promotion

You’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into your book. You may have even submitted it to hundreds of publishers and received all of those rejections that are so common to authors. Even J.K Rowling received over 200 rejections before a publisher took a chance. You have finally come to realize that you need to self-publish and face that one really fearful task – marketing your book. After all, you are a writer, not a marketer. You’re going to have to learn how to do this,

So, How to Promote Your Book

Your book is a product, just like furniture, clothing, cookware, and toys. It makes sense, then, that the principles used to promote and market those products might be relevant for you to promote your book too. And some of them certainly are. There may also be some unique promotional tactics for your book, just as there are for other products, as well. Here are 10 tactics/strategies that you should consider if you want to get that book “out there” and generating purchases.

  1. Get a Website and a Blog

If you do not yet have a website dedicated to you as an author, get one now. You may not have a lot of content to put there, but get it started. There are plenty of tools to create a website quickly and simply – you do not need to be a design or development expert. Have a home page that features you as an author, your background and your genre of writing. Make yourself fascinating, personable, and totally reachable.

Start a blog on that site and make it about all things related to the genre of literature you write; to writing in general. Write about the difficulties everyone who writes has, from college students begging, “someone write my essays,” to actors and politicians who need ghost writers for their memoirs.

On your blog, promote your book only periodically. But have a page of your website dedicated to it. Provide “teaser” excerpts that will engage and intrigue a reader.

Will people flock to your website? No, of course not. But you can promote your website elsewhere and, in so doing, indirectly promote your book.

  1. Identify Your Target Audience

When you wrote your book, you had a pretty good idea of who it would be popular with. To refine that audience further, here is a good place to begin. What authors write similar material? Get on their social media sites and research. Who are their followers? On what social media sites do they have the largest following? Join in conversations on those sites. Do the same thing on those authors’ blogs.

Once you have identified the audience and where they hang out online, set up accounts on those social media sites too. Pick only one or two at first – they will keep you plenty busy, just maintaining them, for you will need to post daily. Make your posts humorous and entertaining, or educational if your book is of a serious nature.

  1. Check Out Book Promotion Services

There are loads of these online. Probably the most popular is Kindle Book Promotion. Most operate in much the same way. You will submit your book and it will be reviewed by the site administrators. If it is selected for their program, you will then be asked to choose a promotion program, based upon your goals. These are fee-based programs, but the goal is to get your book in the hands or readers who typically read the genre you write and who will then write reviews.

  1. Consider a Press Release

There are also a lot of agencies that craft creative and unique press releases for all sorts of businesses and entrepreneurs, particularly when something bit happens in their company or when they launch a new product. Your book is like a launch. Choose a company that will craft the release, let you approve it, and then send it out to appropriate newswire services.

  1. Craft an Audio Excerpt

Take a particularly intriguing or exciting part of your book and record it. These are great things to post on your social media account(s), to engage potential customers.

  1. Be Working on Your Next Book

It’s all well and good to spend a lot of time on promotion, but you cannot let that interfere with continued writing on the next book. The concept here is that you are an author, and one book does not get you a lot of “play.” The more books you can produce, the bigger that website gets, the more readers you get, and the more books you sell. Always be working on that next one, and tell your current followers about it as it begins to take shape.

  1. Consider a Short-Term Free Book Promotion

You can do this through Amazon, and it’s a great way to promote your book. Offer the book free to a specified number of readers in exchange for reviews that will also be published on Amazon. There are other promotional programs on Amazon, but they are usually by invitation only. Begin with the free book promotion and see where it leads.

  1. Watch Your Pricing

Do your research and see what is the middle-range for a book in your genre and of your length. Pricing it too low will turn off readers just as pricing it too high will be. There will be plenty of time to raise your prices once you establish a following.

  1. Get a Marketing Assistant

If you can afford one, there are marketing pros who will work on a contract basis, depending on what a client has to promote. These marketers will develop a custom plan just for your promotion.

  • Develop Patience

It is extremely rare for a book to “take off,” such as Harry Potter did. Indie publishing doesn’t work that way. It takes steadfastness, continual work, and patience without getting discouraged. One way to keep your motivation up is to keep working on that next book.

A Final thought

Here are only 10 things you can do in the way of book promotion. You can experiment to see which of them will bring success. And that’s the lovely thing about publishing an ebook. It is there – always. You have time to try different ways of promoting it without any deadline. But make no mistake about it – the smartest thing you can do is set aside time for marketing, while the bulk of your time is spent writing that next book.

Categories
Self-Publishing

Top 10 Mistakes Writers Make When Self-Publishing a Book

After working on your content for a considerable amount of time, the moment has finally come. You are now a daring author on the verge of self-publishing your first book. Good job! Now be aware: there are certain tricks you must remember in order to get the best outcomes.

Here are top 10 mistakes writers usually make when self-publishing their first book. Avoid them, and you’ll succeed.

  1. Waiting, and Waiting….and Waiting

There is no “perfect” moment to publish your book. “But I still need to work on X, Y, or Z,” you might think. Fine. If your book is not finished yet, or your content not polished, set up deadlines, stick to them, and finish your work in due time.

Dana Humphrey, Sales Manager at essaygeeks.co.uk, shares her opinion. “Procrastinating is never productive. Depending on how much work you have left to accomplish, design an effective schedule that will help you keep track of your progress.”

Some good tips:

  • Begin your day by motivating yourself. Do what you love for one hour before starting to work. Relax, unwind, meditate, read, dance, sing, whatever. Take time for yourself.
  • Set daily word count goals – if today you plan on writing 700 words, stick to that target, and don’t stop until you’ve reached your number.
  • Change work environments for better focus, and personalize your office if working from home
  • Set weekly and monthly deadlines, and reward yourself if you respect them

Side note: don’t forget to ask for advice and feedback constantly. Tracking your progress is essential.

  1. Not Planning Your Budget

While traditional companies might do the math for you, self-publishing means taking care of everything by yourself. It’s important to plan a budget and see where you stand. It’s crucial to write your plans down, and respect them thoroughly.

  • If you need help with different tasks, plan on hiring a freelancer
  • Think about your marketing costs, and what self-publishing means cost-wise
  • Consider the taxes that you’ll have to pay
  • Keep track of your income and expenses; find a balance

It’s important to prepare beforehand than leave everything for the last minute. Stay organized!

  1. Thinking Negatively

Worrying about the number of readers that you’ll have, or your inability to sell a high number of copies will only decrease outcomes and motivation. It’s good to prepare for the worst, but that does not mean you should think negatively all of the time.

  • Think what the worst that could happen is if you don’t sell any books
  • Think about ways to improve your content instead of worrying about the future
  • Practice writing every day, even after you’ve finished working on your book – if you won’t succeed the first time, there’s always “a second time,” so you must be prepared and trained.

Focus more on treating the cause, not the symptoms, and make the best out of your present situation.

  1. Making Your Story Perfect Before Publishing It

Your story must not be perfect before you publish it. If you wait too long, you’ll end up not publishing anything at all. With each new book that you launch, you are gaining experience. There’s no “failure,” there are only better outcomes. You will earn something new every time you publish a volume.

  1. Finding No Good Websites to Publish It On

You should start thinking about marketing. Publishing a book without creating a plan to promote it is inefficient.

  • Use Amazon as your first tool – even if this website takes 65% of your profits, it’s still the best method to promote your book; everybody uses Amazon
  • Promote the book on your personal blog and link it to Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Join Google Books
  • Check out Lulu or Createspace

Start preparing yourself for your marketing campaign by following the latest self-publishing trends!

  1. Continuously Comparing Your Work to Others’

Don’t compare yourself to others. There might be better writers than you on the market – so what? There are less talented writers too. If you keep thinking that “you could have done better” after publishing, you won’t be able to sell too many copies. In order to promote your product, you must believe in it with all your heart. You are unique, remember that.

  1. Not Creating Your Website Immediately

If you don’t have a website or a blog yet, it’s time to work on it. You’ll need a personal platform to promote your book on.

  • Choose your platform (we highly recommend WordPress)
  • Pick a domain and a host
  • Choose a name (make it stand out!)
  • Set up your website by choosing a simple theme and customizing it

Don’t struggle too much on the design. First, make sure your book sells, and then start worrying about the details.

  1. Not Building Up an E-mail List

You’ll need to reach out to your customers in one way or another. The best strategy is creating an e-mail list.

  • Start by choosing your favorite email service (for example, MailChimp)
  • Send out trial e-mails to your groups (family, friends, neighbors, etc.)
  • Enlarge your list by creating eye-catching titles and linking to social media

Have super interesting headlines. Avoid making them look like spam, and format your content in an intelligible way. Be consistent, and send out e-mails regularly!

  1. Being Unwilling to Understand SEO

As a promoter and beginner, make sure you get accustomed to what SEO means. According to MOZ, SEO is a marketing discipline that grows your online visibility exponentially. It focuses on improving your rankings on search engines, and bringing more traffic to your page. Focusing on understanding how SEO works is therefore crucial for your marketing campaign.

  1. Asking for a Price That’s Too High

Don’t be greedy! If you are publishing a book for the first time, it’s not smart to set high prices. Tips on how to price your book:

  • Take in consideration the production costs
  • Think about your experience and expertise on the market – if you don’t have an already established reputation, go for the minimum price
  • Consider offering discounts
  • Search for eBook market prices
  • Ask your customers how much they’d pay by creating surveys

Conclusion

Don’t wait too much to publish your book, act on it now. Also, plan your budget accordingly, stop thinking negatively, set deadline to accomplish goals, find great websites to publish your book on, and start building up your e-mail list today. For better outcomes, learn SEO, and ask for decent prices. Good luck!

Chris Richardson has been working as an editor at a publishing agency in London, UK for 5 years. He is also a professional content writing expert in such topics as career growth, self-improvement, blogging, and technology innovations.