Whenever you self-publish a book, and you do not have the benefit of a traditional publisher’s marketing, you need to find other ways to help you spread the word. Word-of-mouth is the most powerful and successful way to sell books.
Here are some affordable but highly effective ways to market self-published books.
1. You must make sure the book is available through all major channels. For print books, this includes online shopping websites.
2. Establish a presence on sites where readers congregate, like social cataloging websites for books. Set up an author page, do promotions, engage with your readers, and do not argue with people who post negative reviews. Bite your tongue and move on.
3. Create a website with information about you (people are curious about authors) and your books. Include book signing schedules, links to articles and blog posts about you, pictures, excerpts from the book, and other goodies that may get people engaged and interested so that they’ll buy the book.
4. Anchor a strong presence on social media, and check it regularly. When people ask questions, answer them promptly.
5. Market to the bookstores if you think your book has potential. The bookseller associations have many ways to market for their members. If there is a bookstore in your town, introduce yourself to the owner, give them a review copy of the book, and ask if they would be willing to have you do a book signing in their store. Contact any bookstore in an area you are willing to visit and ask them, too.
6. Give away some free copies. Get your book into the hands of bloggers, book reviewers, magazines, and anyone that will agree to review it. Prepare yourself for the fact that some of those reviews won’t be good.
7. Contact any appropriate regional booksellers association and try to get yourself on their signer list. This often requires paying a fee or giving them a stack of free books, but it gets you in front of many people that spend their whole day selling books to others.
8. Talk to magazines and newspapers to see if they’d be interested in running an excerpt from the book as an article, or perhaps doing a story about you, the book, or something in the book.
9. Send out press releases to radio, TV, blogs, newspapers, magazines, trade journals, and businesses that may have an interest in the book.
10. Once stores are carrying your books, stop by every so often and offer to sign their stock. Buy a roll of “Autographed Copy” stickers to put on the books after you sign them. It helps in selling more books, hence lucrative for both the bookstore and yourself.
11. Look for other places to talk about your book. For example, if it is a children’s book, offer to talk about it in schools. If it is nonfiction, offer to speak at conferences, museums, and colleges.