No nonsense book marketing tips
Here are some no-nonsense book marketing tips for your self-published book(s):
1. Write a great book. Word of mouth has always been an important part of selling books. And people aren’t going to tell others to read your book if it’s poorly written. So the very first step in book marketing is making sure you have the best product you possibly can. We have other resources here on The Writing Piazza to help you with this, such as this article on Critique Partners and Beta Readers. We also have a couple interviews with Editors that will help illuminate ways you can polish your manuscript once it is written. The more eyes you have looking over your MS, the more errors they will catch and the less mistakes will end up in your finished product that you sell to consumers. So make this your first step of marketing and be sure your book is as well written as possible. No one is going to recommend a poorly written book.
2. Along the lines of tip number one, is tip number two: be professional. We’ve already discussed writing a good book and getting out all the misspelled words and plot holes (all this is discussed in the links provided above) but also included in being professional is your design, layout and book cover. Nothing makes a book stand out (in a bad way) more than poor design and cheesy book covers. Make sure you take your time, do some research and get these aspects correct. They will go a long way in helping you sell books.
3. Write another book. This helps build recognition for you as an author. It helps build your author platform. We also have an article on building your Author Platform if you would like more info on what it is and why it’s so important to writers to have one. Also, if someone reads a book you’ve written, they will usually want to purchase other books you’ve written. No one wants to spend their hard earned money on a book they hate. If someone has read something of yours and loved it, they are generally eager to buy more of your work because they have seen what you can do and trust your talent to pull off another amazing book.
4. Price your book appropriately. This tip will take some research on your part. Find other books similar to the one you wish to sell and price your MS accordingly. And note that unless you have a huge fan base already (in which case please email me your tips for marketing because I’d love to hear them!) then you shouldn’t be pricing your books the same as the other blockbuster authors out there. Also be careful that you aren’t pricing your book too low. If your book is always listed at .99 cents then people might not buy it thinking it’s just some book written by a nobody newb (newbie). This isn’t to say your books should never be .99 cents or free. It’s often a great promotional idea to put it on sale at such prices but don’t let it languish there. People are more likely to buy a book “on sale” at .99 cents then they are if the book is priced at .99 cents. It’s a psychological thing, we just can’t seem to help ourselves when we see that “sale” sign. 🙂
5. Make your book easy to find by your ideal audience. Most self-published authors sell their books on Amazon so I will focus on Amazon for purposes of this tip. There are so many categories on Amazon and so many authors selling on Amazon that it’s easy to get lost in the vast sea of stories. The key is to know who your ideal audience is and where they would go to look for books like yours. Don’t just plop your book down in the broadest category like “Young Adult” or “Mystery.” Narrow it down further to the subcategories where there are less titles listed. This will make your book easier to find. Again the key is to know who your ideal reader is in order to know which subcategory to choose. Amazon will let you choose two different categories/subcategories so choose, but as the knight said in Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark, “you must choose, but choose wisely.” If you’re having trouble figuring out the whole “categories” thing, you can always email Amazon and their staff can assist you.
This sums up the first 5 tips for marketing your self-published book. Tune in next week to hear the conclusion of our list. And if you are a self-published author and have any useful tips to add, please do so in the comments section below. This is your time to shine and help out your fellow authors in the process!
Until we meet again.