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How To Market Your Self-Published Book

Your profits are in your hands

Selling copies of your book is, of course, the goal of most self-publishing ventures. You want to make some money, maybe even some significant money. It won't happen unless you market your book yourself. There is simply no way around it, successful self-publishing requires successful marketing.

According to John Kremer, there are at least " 1001 Ways to Market Your Book." He's right, and you could probably find a thousand more than that. There's no way, of course, you can do them all. The trick is to pick and choose those that fit your budget, time, and inclination.

Market Your Self-Published Book Yourself

This is the least expensive, but make no mistake - to do it well requires at least some money. It helps if you think synergistically.

Some examples:

  • Arrange a book signing and make sure you issue press releases
  • Build a web site for your book and post your book signings and press releases there
  • Add a sig to your email that promotes your book, and your book's web site.
  • Develop a newsletter about you and your book; offer it free on your website.
  • Sell an ebook version - probably for about half the cost of the paperback version. Promote the ebook edition on all of the above, etc. etc. etc.

Whatever you do, see if there isn't at least one additional, but related thing you can do at the same time or in the same way.

Almost any marketing idea works, although you may not see results right away. Think a year or two at least.

Hire Someone Else To Market Your Self-Published Book

If your budget allows, work with a book publicist or other book marketing service. There are plenty. Just beware of scams, for there are plenty of those out there too. To protect yourself make sure you:

  • Be sure they've worked with titles like yours
  • Get several references and check them all.
  • Ask about the publicist or service on our forum and in others.
  • Talk with local authors about what services they've used.

Be particularly careful about spending money on advertising; it can be satisfying to see an ad for your book, but you're interested in results. Instead find a magazine or newsletter that addresses your audience and offer them an excerpt or column. You might even get paid for it, but even if it's for free, if your book's website and ISBN appear your marketing.

Create a Marketing Plan

You really must have a marketing plan. It doesn't have to be fancy. In fact, your marketing plan can be simply a list of what you intend to do, when you intend to do it, and if it costs you, how much. I find that this list needs to be updated often, because one thing leads to another opportunity you hadn't thought of. Or you discover something isn't working and needs to be dropped.

I actually make two lists - one of everything I think should be done and another of just those things I know I will do in the next 90 days or so.

Keep track of the results you're getting. Some of this is obvious - if your book sales are increasing, you're on the right track. Up to a point, the more detail you can track, the more effective you'll become. Some of it, however, simply can't be tracked so don't drive yourself crazy.

Marketing your book can become a fulltime job and more, which is fine if you have the time and you're getting results. On the other hand, it doesn't have to happen all at once. Give yourself time to breathe and to play and to create more. A sort of 'easy does it, but do it' approach is probably the best of all.





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