It doesn’t take an expert to realize that publishing a book is a brutal process. Even after you’re finished writing the book, you still have to figure out how to get it out there on the market.
Literary agents reject the vast majority of submissions for an array of reasons, from market presence to content quality. Of those that an agent does pick up, only a portion will then be selected by a traditional publisher. While quality matters, the demands of the market dictate the choices agents and publishers make. That’s why so many people are turning to self-publishing.
Self-publishing isn’t without its challenges though. Namely marketing, the one aspect authors, again and again, lament gives them the biggest headaches. Let’s go through a quick list of some tips and tricks you can employ to help make marketing your book more successful.
Sell Your Self-Published Book
Whether you’re a seasoned author or a first-time novelist, you’re going to need to tap into your entrepreneurial (Authorpreneurial?) spirit to convince people to read your book.
1. Blockchain for Books
Blockchain just might be the next phenomenon in self-publishing that will help you get your book spread wider than it could have been before.
Blockchain is the technology used by cryptocurrencies to help protect transactions. It helps share digital currencies by stamping them with a unique identifier. Each time a transaction is made, a block is added to a digital ledger, with total transparency so that people can see which transactions have taken place.
This technology will help authors sell their books on their own websites because the digital currency is so secure. When the encrypted technology of blockchain is applied to books, it makes sense to use it when it comes to securing the information that you’re selling.
When paying with blockchain and cryptocurrency, micropayments can be made directly to an author, acknowledging the work is their own and allowing them to get paid in full for it.
Blockchain also makes copyright violations much more difficult.
2. Write a Killer Description
Even if the contents of your book are amazing, no one’s going to pick it up and read it without knowing what it’s about. That’s when the book description comes in, so it needs to be the most workshopped piece of writing you put out in the world.
What you write in your description is what you’re using to sell your book. You should absolutely write a few versions of your description. After you’re done writing those versions, get feedback on which is the most effective.
You’re the one marketing your own book here so you can make it exactly what you want – just make sure it’s cutting edge and brings a fresh perspective to the enormous book landscape.
3. Spread the Word Using E-Mail
Building an email list for your book is one of the most effective ways to market because you’re getting word directly into people’s inboxes. The marketing channel with the highest return on investment in the game? That’s email.
So there’s no doubt you should be using it. But if you need a little help before you start, it’s important to do your research and get some tips on how to use email to your advantage.
If you’re an established author, you may already have an email list. If not, start grabbing addresses from your blog when people visit. And definitely, if you don’t have a blog, create one ASAP (see below) before thinking about self-publishing your book, so people will have a place to go when they’re looking for information about you.
4. Get on the Global Market
When you bought a digital book in the past, you can’t do anything else with the digital book but keep it for yourself. Now, with blockchain, the property transferred on the blockchain is your own. You can then sell the book to someone else.
This opens the door for a whole number of new opportunities that weren’t available with ebooks before. For example, now a college or university can create their own ebook, the student can buy it for a term, then sell the book to another student in the next term.
It also opens up the opportunity to buy books more globally than before. The person interested in buying the book doesn’t actually need to have a credit card to purchase the book. All that they need is a smartphone and cryptocurrency.
5. Make Social Media Your Ally
Social media can be a powerful tool when it comes to marketing efforts for your book if done well.
Like all things, building a following on social media takes time. The easiest way to build your platforms from the ground up is to find other people in the same space as you, writing and publishing their books. When you interact with them, you can follow each other and support each other.
A Goodreads page is a great place to start because you can interact with other like-minded authors and begin to spread the word about your own book. Other people also use Facebook or Twitter to let the world know what their book is about.
You can also consider using Instagram, especially if you have a niche book about cooking or something else that can produce beautiful pictures for people to get invested in while browsing your account. Medium is another place where you can go to interact with other book lovers for free and start to mention your book to them.
6. Make a Blog
Your blog is likely to be the cornerstone of your book marketing. This is where people can get to know you. And this is where you’ll point new readers too from your social media and email campaigns.
Again, it’s important not to be too blatant with the idea of selling your book. If you’re always urging your readers to buy, it will make it look like you’re begging for a money grab instead of actually passionate about the material you’ve written about.
Instead, create high-quality and relevant content with an eye toward SEO. Your blog will help you rank in Google searches, which leads to more new readers discovering you!
7. Get a Review
When people are browsing through products, 97% of them say that reviews were an essential part of the process that got them to buy a product or not to buy a product.
That information alone should make you rush to get reviews for your book. It’s much less likely that people will buy a book that doesn’t have any reviews on it as opposed to one that has a least a few or many reviews.
Ask your readers to review the book on your website once they’ve read it. If you’re just getting started and don’t have any readers yet, you can call in a favor with friends or family. These people still have relevant opinions and can start to build up your review base while your book is still gaining popularity.
8. Offer Something for Free
The idea of giving something up for free may be a painful one, but it’s often the hook that can lead people into buying your product in the end. So think of it not as you’re giving something away, but that you’re putting in work for a long-term investment.
If you have an ebook, split it up into a series. The first book of the series can be free. Once your reader is hooked after reading that first part of the book, they’ll invest in the next installment of your work.
Whenever you write something on your blog, you’re hoping to get people interested in what you have to say. Tailor your blog posts to hook people in. All of this blog content is free for anyone who comes across it!
Once people are drawn in by what you’re doing with your blog, you can gently lead them toward buying your book. When you have an engaged audience because you’re putting out useful, relevant information, converting into sales is simple (well, simpler).
About Lulu Self-Publishing
Lulu is dedicated to making the world a better place, one book at a time, through sustainable practices, innovative print-on-demand products and a commitment to excellent service.