Marketing Tips for Selling Self-Published Books

When you’re trying to sell a self-published book, it’s important to learn about basic marketing. Like any marketing situation, it helps to create a marketing strategy, so you have a plan and a goal to work toward. There are also book-specific marketing strategies that you should try.

Selling and marketing is a complicated and valuable skill that not everyone has time to learn. If you’re stuck and frustrated at the marketing level, consider hiring a professional. Even if you don’t hire out the whole job, you can delegate portions of the task. Hire someone just to create your social media strategy, a video editor to help produce videos, or a content writer to handle your blog posts.

Tell Friends and Family

When you are first getting started selling a self-published book, you might feel uncomfortable promoting yourself to your family and friends. But getting the word out to people who already know you is a great way to start getting attention. Make sure to invite them to the social media pages you will be creating for your book. Don’t nag your friends, but in general people you know will be excited to hear about your project and support you.

Set Up a Blog, Social Media, and a Website

You want to make sure you have somewhere to send people who are interested in your work. Set up a blog or website where you can create content for your followers. Just remember, one of the rules of successful content marketing is to keep your content balanced. Too many ads make people feel like they’re not getting any value from following you.

Along with a blog and a website, you also need to set up a few relevant social media accounts or pages. Interested customers want ways to research your business and keep up with you. You can use these platforms to share your blog posts, give promotions, or just keep your fans updated.

Find Relevant Social Media Groups

You’re probably already a member of several social media groups that are related to your book topic. You may be able to promote your business in these groups. Make sure to read the group rules. Some don’t allow any promotion at all, others allow it in comments only when it’s directly related to a question. Some have specific days or threads for advertising. No one like spamming, so don’t do it!

Consider Paid Ads

Once you have your social media and website set up, consider using paid ads. Most social media platforms have ad services. You can also promote a product directly on Amazon. Learn about marketing before spending money on ads. You want to know who you’re directing your ads to and how best to serve them, otherwise, you might waste a lot of money.

Plan Readings and Book Signings

Everyone loves local authors. Consider having a book signing at your local bookstores and libraries. Most encourage this and you can generate a lot of sales. If you have a children’s book, library book reading is a great way to get the word out. Adults also enjoy author readings, which are usually a part of book signings in local stores.

Create a Book Trailer

A book trailer is a great way to tell people what your book is about and inspire interest. It also gives your followers something to share with their friends who might be interested in your book. A short, entertaining, informational book trailer can be the first step to getting new customers and generating interest. If you don’t have the skills or time to create your own trailer, find a freelancer who can handle it for you.

Media Pitches

Local news organizations are interested in community events, so be sure to send media pitches for your book signings and new book releases. Anytime something new or interesting happens in your business is a good time to send a media pitch to local newspapers and magazines. Learn a bit about how to do media pitches more effectively before sending off any emails, and you’ll be more successful.

Employ Influencer Marketing

Influencers are here to stay. Consider asking influencers with your target audience to review your book. Some influencers have huge audiences and may charge for this service. Others will do it for free. Consider just sending them a copy of your book with a short letter- this saves you both time. If they like the book, they’re likely to feature it.

Sponsor Giveaways and Sales

Once you have a following on your social media accounts, consider offering giveaways. By giving away products, you encourage people to invite their friends and give them a reason to continue following you. You’re also marketing directly to an interested audience. (They wouldn’t be signing up for the giveaway if they weren’t interested in the book.)

Use Professional Book Covers and Blurbs

This seems obvious, but make sure your book cover and blurbs look and sound professional. If you’re uncertain about your skill in this area, it may be worth hiring a service. People are much less likely to buy an unprofessional-looking product. 

Whatever methods of marketing you choose to use for your book sales, be sure you’re professional and organized. Learn how to use each method most effectively. Don’t try to do everything at once- it’s better to use a few methods well than many methods poorly. After you have mastered a couple of methods, add in a few more. Most of all, have fun!