Self-Publishers Start Here: Marketing Your Book

POSTED ON Sep 6, 2010

Joel Friedlander

Written by Joel Friedlander

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In my recent blog redesign I added the “Start Here” categories on the left sidebar to make it easier to find articles with basic information about self-publishing. Each introduces a stage on the journey to publication with links from the archives of TheBookDesigner. This is the seventh in the series, and I hope you find something in these articles to enjoy and profit from.

Marketing Your Book

Everyone who helps people publish their own books can tell you the same story. An author calls up, says he’s printed and bound 1,000 copies of his book which are sitting in his garage, and can you tell him how he’s supposed to sell them? Or can he hire me to sell them for him?

Lots of authors have no interest in marketing and sales, and they don’t make good candidates for self-publishing. There’s nowhere else in self-publishing where you can see the distance between writing books and publishing them so clearly.

Writing is a creative, often solitary work. Marketing means connecting with a larger network of people, bringing the work you’ve created to a larger public.

Start Your Marketing Before You Write the Book

Self-publishers—especially nonfiction authors—give themselves the best chance of success by focusing on how they will market the book before they write it. Why? How your book addresses the basic question of the readers you hope to sell it to will be crucial in how well it’s received in the market.

How To Market Your Self-Published Book
Why Self-Publishing is a Long-Tail Business

Book Reviews for Book Marketing

The first form of marketing most self-publishers explore is book reviews. Since a review is editorial content, it’s much more persuasive for most readers than advertising or promotional copy.

Self-Publishing Basics: Book Review Sources
Self-Publishing Basics: How to Create Your ARC Cover

Online Marketing for Self-Publishers

The biggest challenge for new self-publishers is understanding the kind of marketing effort it’s going to take to get the word out about their book. But the internet has created an environment in which we can compete on a much more level playing field.

Being savvy about how to create interest, traffic and sales online takes skills and work to find out how the pieces fit together. Building an author platform, using social media, and the distribution options you’ve made for your book will all come into play.

How Nonfiction Self-Publishers Can Become Keyword Naturals
Author Platform: What Are You Waiting For?
10 Ways Authors Can Find More Blog Readers

How to Get to the Top With Your Book

Luckily, we have lots of people to learn from and give us tips on how to succeed in this new environment. This is incredibly helpful.

The New Marketing: Carol White at BAIPA
Getting to the Top of the Charts on Amazon Kindle: Zoe Winters
Self-Publisher With Drive: The Amazing Tania McCartney
How I Sold 10,000 Copies of My Self-Published Book

The Bigger World of Book Marketing

There is so much more to explore about marketing our books, because it strikes to the heart of why we published the books in the first place. Certainly anyone who hopes to profit from their publishing needs to treat it as a business.

Your marketing ideas for your book contain both the reason you wrote it and the people who stand to benefit from it. Understanding these two poles, it’s a lot easier to figure out how to start the communication that will become your marketing effort.

Because marketing information is essentially a form of communication in which both parties stand to gain from the process.

As with everything else in this field, each successful self-publisher solves the marketing of their book differently, and often with surprising ingenuity.

Some people drive online traffic with keyword strategies. Others sell books in the back of the room during presentations and workshops. Some authors become social media “celebrities” amassing huge followings, others become experts and spokespeople for their cause.

So don’t be the publisher who ends up with a garage full of books and suddenly realizes she has no idea what to do with them. Think through your plan as early in the process as you can. Identify your ideal readers and how you can reach them. That is the beginning of marketing your self-published book.

You’re now a self-published author with a book out in the world. Next and last is exploring the Indie Publishing Life.

Image licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, original work copyright by pjem,

Joel Friedlander

Written by
Joel Friedlander

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