Small Business Brief


10 Tips for Marketing Your First Self-Published Book

Book Marketing 101: 10 Tips for Marketing Your Self-Published Book

Writing an entire book is incredibly hard, but that’s only the first step. Next, you have to get people to read it. Check out these 10 book marketing tips to get eyes on your pages.

Have you recently written a book?

If so, then you know what a labor of love it is. You’ve spent countless hours committed to this creation, eager to write that last sentence and have a finished product.

But for all the work you’ve put into writing the book, the real work comes in trying to sell it.

Book marketing can be a daunting task. And contrary to what you might think, marketing your book is not about finding readers for your book. In actuality, it’s the opposite.

Read on to learn more!

Book Marketing Is about Getting Readers to Find You

Sure, you’ll have to play some of the “read my book” game. But you’re looking to be more than a book pusher. You need recognition as an author.

Let’s take a look at ten ways to increase the likelihood that your book will be seen once you self-publish it.

1. Plan Your Launch Around Your Goals

Before you even publish your book, know what your goals are. That way you’ll have a feel for how aggressive you want to market it.

If you’ve written a sweet tome that you hope to share with friends and family, your strategy is going to much different than if you’re aiming to become a New York Times bestseller.

Obviously, the latter example is far more involved. You’d have to sell tens of thousands of copies of your book from vendors who report their sales to the New York Times. And this all has to be done within a short amount of time.

So be sure you know your goal–and whether it’s realistic.

2. Build Relationships Before You Publish

As eager as you might be to get your book up on Amazon, plan to hold off for about six months. Then use this time to build relationships.

Find influencers in your genre or industry and get on their radar by supporting them. If you have a podcast or blog, interview them to give them some exposure.

Sign up for their programs and get them interested in you. If they like you and your book, they may promote it to their audiences.

Learn more about what a hugely beneficial step it is to build these relationships.

3. Give Your Book Cover Some Serious Thought

If you made your own book cover, it probably shows. Unless you or your talented nephew is an art school graduate, your homemade book cover likely looks flat and unprofessional.

Your book cover design is the absolute first impression of your book. It’s your primary promotional tool, so take it seriously.

This is where you don’t want to cut corners. Even if you don’t spend a cent on anything else, dish out the funds to get a professional cover designed for your book.

4. Write a Great Book Description

In terms of importance, your book description follows right on the tail of your book cover. A weak, poorly written afterthought of a book description will do nothing to boost sales.

Your book description is critical in attracting readers. It needs to capture the essence of your story in a few hundred words.

This is no easy task! So take the necessary time to write an amazing book description.

Do your research on what makes for a solid book description. Then create two or three versions for your book and get feedback from friends who have read it.

5. Embrace the Power of Amazon

With Amazon, you can opt to be in KDP select and then utilize their promotional tools. One of them is the ability to offer your book as a freebie for a limited amount of time.

Why would you want to do this? Because with enough downloads of your freebie, you could end up with 14 pages of “also bought” listed right underneath your book on Amazon.

That means your book may appear on those others’ pages. With a good thumbnail pic of your dazzling cover and a tempting title, yours may be the next book they click on.

And you didn’t have to do a thing.

6. Use Your Blog

A website is great. But a regularly updated blog is gold.

Plus, well-written blogs get indexed by Google. Hopefully, many of your blog visitors will come to you organically. And organic traffic tends to stick around much longer.

There are also ways to use Pinterest to grow your blog.

Your blog is excellent when it comes to promoting your book. It’s how people discover your books, as well as you as an author.

7. Learn How to Effectively Link

While you’re writing all of that informative and interesting content for your blog, be sure you’re taking advantage of links.

This is another great way to make connections. By linking to relevant posts from other bloggers or writers, you increase the chance they’ll return the favor and link back to you.

Growing your network through linking is essential in getting your promotional word out effectively.

8. Get Reviews

Seems easy enough. But you might be surprised by how much effort you need to put into getting those reviews.

Start with your email list. Ask readers to post an honest review.

For those who haven’t yet read it, offer a free copy in exchange for a review. People love freebies and are likely to pay you back by taking the time to provide a review.

9. Use Social Media Wisely

As far as promoting your book, it’s essential to have a Goodreads page, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account. You might also toss in Instagram and Google+.

But the key to using social media isn’t blasting your viewers with blatant “buy my book” links. Once again, its greatest value is making connections. So use it to communicate and inform rather than going for the hard sell.

It takes time to get known on social media. But it’s well worth the effort.

10. Go Beyond Your Book

Getting someone to purchase your book is a big win. But it doesn’t have to end there. When marketing your self-published book, consider some added benefits you can offer.

Give your readers the opportunity to keep getting communication from you. This will strengthen your relationship with them while establishing you as an authority.

Make an offer inside the book for free updates or additional content if they provide their contact information.

Final Thoughts on Marketing Your Book

We hope that this article helps you on your publishing journey and that your book marketing efforts are fruitful.

Keep checking back with our marketing blog for more ideas on how to promote yourself as your writing career advances.