Learning the different ways of promoting self-published books is key for self-published authors to earn and make money from their masterpieces. No need to go elsewhere, though, because we are going to give you just that.
In a data published online by Statista, in 2018, there was a total of more than 1.68 million print and eBooks that were self-published in the United States. Out of the total number, 1.55 million of which were pint books while 130 thousand were eBooks.
While the number seems huge for some, we do not find it surprising at all, because of the fact that today, with the emergence of technology and the internet, people especially aspiring authors can easily self-publish their work.
In a separate report by Statista, it says that “20 percent of book readers in the U.S. stated they read more e-books than hard copy books“. Additionally, the report further states that “between January and September of 2018, revenue from e-book sales in the U.S. amounted to just under 771 million U.S.“
Although the revenue on eBooks fluctuates, experts believe that it won’t go down. There is no way it’s going to get down especially these days when people are so into their gadgets. Needless to say, people today especially the young generation always choose something that’s out of convenience – and when it comes to reading books, eBooks will surely win as compared to printed copies.
You see, there’s just a lot of innovation going around – and with such innovations come competition.
If you are a self-published author or an aspiring one, perhaps by now you already know how tough the competition is out there – and we assume, knowing that is the very reason why you are here and reading this, right?
Anyway, especially if you are just new in the game, competing with those who are ahead of you and the popular authors would really be very challenging – and we won’t be surprised if you worry about not making money from your books at all.
But before you even succumbed to failure or to that feeling of not making it in the publishing industry, allow us to assure you that there are a lot of ways in promoting self-published books out there that could help you turn your creation into something profitable.
With that said, if you are ready, then, let’s get started –
SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK
Before we even talk about the different ways to promote a self-published book, we thought it’s best to share with you first a few tips on how to self-publish a book.
With that said, here’s sharing with you a very informative video about self-publishing your first book by Gillian Perkins. We hope this helps you in your self-publishing journey, or if you have already started, hope this reminds you of the thing you need to keep in mind when self-publishing a book.
WAYS IN PROMOTING SELF-PUBLISHED BOOKS
One of the most challenging steps for every self-published author is promoting their work, which apparently is one of the most important aspects if you want your book to sell.
Promotion is one of the most important steps in the whole book publishing process. It is the key to earning money from and through your work. By not promoting or by skipping this process, people will not know or learn about what you have to offer.
So, to help you with it, we are going to share with you some of the most effective ways of promoting self-published books that you should try doing so your book sells. Our list includes the following:
- Set Your Goals
- Know Your Audience
- Connect With Other Authors
- Offer Freebies, Promos, and Discounts
- Spend on Paid Advertising
- Join Writing Trends
- Promote On Social Media Platforms
- Get Your Book Reviewed
- Be Consistent and Steady
- Email Marketing
- Write a Blog
1. Set Your Goals
Before we even get into a more technical and in-depth method of promoting your book, it is important that you set your goals for your book first.
By doing so, all the other processes will follow. Meaning, it would be a lot easier to promote your book.
To help you set your goals, try asking yourself the following questions:
- What defines the success of your book for you?
- How many copies are you looking at to sell and make a profit from?
- What are your goals for your book? Do you want it to be an avenue for more doors of opportunities?
By answering these questions, it will give you a more concrete idea as to how many copies of your book are you selling, and it will also help you determine the approach that will work for you.
Take time to really think about it first.
2. Know Your Audience
If we are going to ask you who do you want to read your book, what would be your answer?
If your answer is “everyone,” we tell you, there is something wrong.
You cannot target all people to buy and read your book. You have to be very specific. For example, if your book talks about motherhood, then your target audience would be moms or moms-to-be; if it’s about parenting or babies/toddlers/teens, then your target audience will be parents as well as aspiring parents or soon-to-be parents, and the list goes on.
Knowing your audience is knowing who you are going to promote or market your book to.
By knowing your audience you can easily think of promotional ideas that best fit them or something that will capture their attention – because they can relate.
Again, there’s no such book as one for all. There always has to be a specific audience that you are targeting.
3. Connect With Other Authors
Connecting with fellow authors (self-published or not) is just as important as connecting with your audience.
Do you know the saying “no man is an island”? The same goes for authors. No self-published author can stand on his/her own. Sometimes building relationships with your fellow creators is key to becoming successful in your field.
No matter how beautiful your book is if you do not make friends with people like you, no one will ever hear about your work.
Established authors and even newbies are so willing to help each other out. So, if you make friends with them, most likely, they’re going to be more than willing to help in promoting your book. But of course, you have to keep their kindness in mind so when it’s your turn, you can return the favor.
Apart from that, connecting with fellow authors also means building a bigger network, as well as a chance to collaborate with like-minded people.
But how do you connect with them?
Well, there are a few ways but one of the easiest and most convenient ways, needless to say, free is via social media platforms. On Facebook, for instance, there are writing communities that you can join and meet fellow authors and readers alike.
Apart from social media, there are also groups and organizations that you can be part of. We recommend checking one in your community.
4. Offer Freebies, Promos, and Discounts
Freebies, promos and discounts are some old marketing tricks that work up to this day.
Let’s face it, people like you and we love receiving discounts, and most especially freebies.
So, from time to time, offer your potential and current readers and followers promos and discounts, as well as freebies.
How do you do it?
Well, one example is offering a few sections of your book for free. It’s actually one of the most effective promotional materials you can offer your readers and followers. That way, they get a glimpse of your book, and see for themselves if it’s worth purchasing or not based on the first few parts of the book.
Believe us, once your readers are hooked, the next thing they’ll do is hit the “buy” button.
Consider giving discounts as well. For example, you can give discounts to the first 100 purchasers or if it’s a holiday or your birthday, you may consider giving away discounts as well.
If you can, give away a few pieces of your book for free as well. Run a promo and give away a few copies to your readers and followers. You’ll be surprised how these tactics can make a difference in terms of sales.
5. Spend on Paid Advertising
These days, most social media platforms offer users the option to promote their posts. More so, they also offer paid advertisements wherein an ad will run for an x number of days in exchange for a few bucks.
Compared to traditional advertising, what social media offers can be really cheap (there’s a wide variety of options). So, if you can, if you have extra money to spend on paid advertisements, do so.
Promoting your book through these channels will surely help in increasing your sales.
It’s important to take note though that the shorter the ad runs, the lower the cost, but it also means a lesser audience reach. Meanwhile, if you run a longer ad (we’re talking about days or weeks, by the way), it means spending more, but a higher number of audience reached.
Before you even get too excited, keep in mind this very important advice — while online paid advertising can be addictive, do not overdo it.
It still is more important to keep your social media profiles active by consistently posting content than always relying on paid ads.
Also, there is a tendency that you will go over budget since these platforms offer cheap paid advertising. Sometimes, you keep redoing it thinking it won’t cost you much but eventually realizing you’ve spent a lot already. So, make sure you keep track and you do not go overly excited.
6. Join Writing Trends
Joining writing trends is another way to promote your self-published book. Participating in trends is a great opportunity for you not only to market your book and make a sale but also a chance for people to get to know you and your work.
There are different writing trends that you can participate in but one of the most popular writing trends in the National Novel Writing Month or also known as NaNoWriMo, which according to its website is “501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides tools, structure, community, and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds — on and off the page.”
Events such as the above-mentioned usually set social media sites abuzz with different activities, which makes it capable to reach a larger audience — and for you, it’s great exposure.
7. Promote On Social Media Platforms
As we have mentioned earlier, promoting self-published books can get really challenging, but when you know exactly where and how to market your product, which is your book, it should be a lot easier.
Now, while there are a lot of different ways to promote a self-published book, one of the most popular ways, needless to say, the cheapest way is by promoting your work via social media platforms.
Earlier we mentioned paid advertising through social media platforms. This time, we are going to talk about promoting your self-published book using social media itself.
You can promote your book through your own personal account, or you can create a Facebook group for instance where your followers and potential readers can join. Make sure to always post an update on your social media platforms about your book, and give them hints on why they should get a copy of your work.
What’s nice about promoting through social media is that you can use it for free. You do not have to spend anything to connect and build an online community where you can talk about your book and encourage people to buy a copy for themselves.
By the way, the thing about social media is you can get personal with your readers. You can reply to their messages, you can interact with them – which by the way is another very effective way to promote your book.
8. Get Your Book Reviewed
Another effective way to promote a self-published book is by getting book reviews.
Earlier, we mentioned connecting with fellow authors, right? One way that they can help you apart from promoting your book in their personal spaces is by providing you a book review.
It would be nice if a fellow author could read and give a review of your work. It makes your book even more credible, and worth it.
Apart from fellow authors, you can also ask for reviews from your readers. Here’s the thing, you do not necessarily need someone popular to give a book review. Even ordinary readers would be great. Any good word about your book will surely help increase sales.
Of course, ideally, people buy your book and give a review, but in some cases, you have to give away a copy of your book for free in exchange for a book review. You can choose one or do both – whatever works for you.
9. Be Consistent and Steady
Self-publishing a book and making it successful is not something that happens overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication.
Unlike in other industries, there is no particular trick that will help make your book go viral. You have to work things out in your favor.
Remember, success comes from making small steps or efforts especially for a self-published author like you.
Now, in order to attain success, and get high sales, make sure to be consistent and steady.
Once you have already figured the most ideal way of promoting your work, create a schedule, and commit to it.
What do we mean by that?
For example, you opt to promote your work using social media platforms, make sure you allot a specific number of hours in a day or in a week to update your social media channels. Commit to that schedule. Sustain it for six to a year, and see the results.
Please bear in mind that there is no specific formula when it comes to generating book sales. So you really have to be patient, diligent, and you got to work really hard for it.
10. Email Marketing
Another way to promote your self-published book is through email marketing.
To do so, you have to start with building an email list first. This could be the email addresses of your family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, community members, book lovers clubs, etc.
Once you have it, you basically send them an email (make it personal as much as possible instead of just email blasting everyone), a sneak peek of your book to start off to build excitement.
You can also invite them to your book lunch if you have any (you can do an online launch if resources are lacking), and then eventually, offer them your book.
Ideally, you should have someone who’s dedicated to doing the job. But if you have limited resources, you can definitely do it on your own. A little tutorial (there are many online) will surely help you do a great job.
11. Write A Blog
If you do have your own website or blog, writing a blog about your book would be another effective way to promote your self-published book.
You can start with writing about what inspired you to write the book, and then slowly build up the excitement by sharing a few important pieces of information about the book. For instance, if you are writing a novel, you can write an introduction to each character, and so on and forth.
If you have or know a network of bloggers, you can also ask them a favor if they can write a blog about your work – which could also mean providing a book review.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON PROMOTING SELF-PUBLISHED BOOKS
So, there you have it! As you can see, there are a lot of different ways that you can promote self-published books. It’s just about being resourceful, at the same time, finding the best method or process that will work for you.
So, how do you find our list? Do you have additional inputs? If so, do not hesitate to add them up in the comment section!