Publishers spend little or no money marketing new authors these days, which is a great reason to publish your own book. On-demand printing services such as amazon’s createspace.com provide a nearly free way to get into print and sold through amazon.com. Best of all, you’ll make ten times as much on each copy as you would through conventional publishing.
But whether you use traditional publishing or self-publish, you’ll need to market your own book. Here are some of the best ways to attract readers:
1. Write a press release, and send it to your local newspapers
It’s much easier to get press releases printed in small local papers than it is in major big-city papers. Be sure to include a photograph of yourself and of the cover of the book. You can now submit most of these press releases by email, which makes it a very inexpensive way to get free advertising.
2. Do readings and signings at bookstores
Even large chains such as Barnes & Noble welcome local authors to come in and read their books or sign copies for readers. Even if that store doesn’t normally distribute your book, they’ll be happy to resell it during your special event.
3. Talk about your book
Speak at schools, clubs, and libraries. And be prepared to talk about more than your book. Tell the story of how you decided to write the book, incorporating your personal experiences. Explain the process of getting published. Talk about how you enjoy meeting people and sharing your book with them. Engage your listeners. And then, of course, have copies available for sale and offer to personalize them.
Talk radio stations are always looking for ways to fill airtime, and local authors are an interesting topic. You’ll be amazed at how many books you can sell if you do a good job of representing why your work is interesting during a radio interview.
4. Attend conferences and book fairs
Sometimes authors can get a free table for book signings. If the cost for purchasing an exhibit space is small, it may be worthwhile.
5. Set up a website
This is essential. It only costs a few dollars a month to have your own website through companies such as GoDaddy.com. Be sure to include links to Amazon so it’s easy to purchase your books. Also participate in Internet reading sites such as Goodreads.com.
Get your books listed, and make sure there are plenty of good reviews.
6. Create a blog
7. Set up an author’s page on Amazon.com
Once Amazon.com lists your book for sale, you can create a page on Amazon’s Author Central that incorporates news and promotional material about your books. It can also contain a link to your blog.
8. Donate books to charities, especially at auctions
You can get a tax write-off, and you’re exposing many potential readers to your book. Provide a supply of bookmarks on the auction table.
9. Enter contests
Most contests aren’t really an avenue to getting published or to selling books, but there are exceptions. Every year, Amazon.com holds their Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, in which they solicit manuscripts of self-published and unpublished books (see their link at www.amazon.com/abna). Best of all, they have a novel category. Out of 5,000 entries, my daughter’s first novel made it into the top 50, and an agent contacted her! That’s a sign of great visibility.
10. Always carry books with you
Keep a box of them in the trunk of your car. You never know when the subject of your writing will come up and someone will want to buy a copy. You can’t sell them if you don’t have them with you!
These ten techniques won’t turn every book into a bestseller, but they will put money in your pocket and get people reading your books, and that’s the first step to the best-seller list!
For more tips on writing and getting published, check out my classes at Writingacademy.com