Simple Ways to Market Your Book That Work For Successful Self-Publishers
Okay, so I read somewhere that about 500,000 books are published each year. That is a half a million books! And that are books that are published by publishing houses!! Throw in all of the of the self-published works and I certainly would be surprised if that number creeps upwards of 700,000! That’s a whole lot of competition!
So what do us little old self-publishers need to do to be heard above the noise? Oh, you already know the words to this song, so sing it with me…Market, Market, MARKET!
Before I go into some basic ways to get publicity, let me tell you what NOT to do. Forget about getting in national magazines or television shows! It’s okay to work towards that goal, but don’t expect that you will go from unknown to celebrity author in three months. If you do all of the little things right, the big things will fall right into place. Do NOT skip the little things!
Friends and Family
Okay, with that said the most obvious place to start with your publicity is with those closest to you – friends, family, and colleagues. Send them an email letting them know you’re working on a self-publishing a book. Then when you are ready to release it, give them (at least some of them) a free copy of the book. Be direct with what you want from them. Ask them to review your book on Amazon.com. Ask them to tell their network of friends, family, and colleagues. Heck, make it easy for them and give them an email that they can send to their network.
Next you want to venture outside of your backyard, but still in your neighborhood, your social network. If (and by “if” I mean “you better!”) you have Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube accounts, make sure you publicize using those avenues. The simplest method is to post on your status, tweet, and create a video, all of which will be broadcast to your friends and followers. Here’s the thing, you will have to be consistent with publicizing your new book, BUT you don’t want to turn into a spammer or a used car salesman. The basic rule is 1 of every 4-5 posts should be about your book. Go ahead and post that funny meme, the inspirational quote, and the ghetto video from World Star Hip Hop, THEN post something about your new book. And once again, direct folks to your website or wherever your book is available for sale.
There are more advanced methods to utilizing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, etc., but those are topics for other posts, just know that you should (better) be on social media publicizing.
Don’t forget to publicize at your offline social networks. Are you part of a church, mosque, or synagogue? How about an alumni association? What about a rotary club, or a chamber of commerce? Whatever social or professional organization you belong to be sure to let the other members know. You may need to create a flier to hang in and around the meeting place, or to pass out to members. Or you may even want to create business cards specifically for your book to give out.
Meanwhile, back in the cyber world, I hope (know!) you went ahead and create a website (or blog) about either your book, or yourself. This should be the primary place where you are telling people to visit for information about your book. It is okay to send folks straight to amazon.com or wherever your book is being sold, BUT you really (REALLY!) should be directing people to YOUR website where YOU can engage your audience and hopefully you will capture their email addresses, so you can stay in contact with them in case you write another book or two or three.
One final (at least for this post) source of publicity can be reporters and your local newspapers. As I stated in the beginning, don’t expect to hit the big times and have your book listed in the New York Times, but you it is very possible that your local newspaper may do an article on you. Newspapers are always looking for content, and if you can provide them with an interesting (and I stress “interesting”) story, this may be the start of something big for you. Research your local newspaper (if you live in a big city, find the smaller papers, most likely a weekly paper or a niche paper, NOT the LA Times, Miami Herald, or New York Post), find out which reporter(s) do literary articles and send her/him a copy of your book with a letter explaining who you are. You never know.
Also, in the same realm, try using sites like www.helpareporter.com and www.reporterconnection.com. These are sites where reporters frequent, and YOU may be the subject of their next article or television story.
This is really only the tip of the iceberg, but if you start with these things, you will be well on your way to making all of your hard work worth the effort.