Self Publishing is taking the world of books by storm. It’s true that self publishing has made it quicker for authors to move from writing a book to making the book available to readers. However, marketing your book makes all the difference between whether readers will find and read your work, or whether if will languish on a virtual shelf.
Here are some ideas for marketing your self-published stories:
Platform, Platform, Platform!
Go to any writer’s conference, and you’ll quickly tire of the term “platform.” It’s what agents and publishers look for in a prospective author, and it’s basically your presence. It’s the way you get noticed, both in person but now largely online. Platform can include a blog, a Facebook fan page, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus … you get the idea. The more presence and credibility you have online, the more likely readers are to know about you, and therefore the more likely they are to buy your books.
Begin by starting a blog. If you write about one particular genre or niche, focus your blog around that theme.
Building a platform takes hours, over months and even years. Not every marketing idea is so vast, though. Start easily by adding links to your books in a signature line that will go out every time you send an email. Sure, your mom already knows you wrote a book. But perhaps the mom who serves with you in the PTO doesn’t. You never know where information in a signature line may lead.
Brainstorm your Market
Think about who might read your book. For instance, if you wrote a young adult historical book about a German king, you might target high school German teachers. Compose a marketing email detailing (briefly) what your book is about and how it could benefit the teacher and his students.
Or say you’ve written a cookbook for busy moms. Call local MOPS groups and offer to speak at a meeting. Research local specialty foods stores and see if they would be open to letting you speak and do a book signing.
Join online groups or Facebook pages related to your book’s theme. For instance, if you’ve written a romance novel set in World War II, search for WWII message boards, and then within those search out topic threads that could apply to your book. Become active in the group, contributing well-written, insightful comments, and other participants will be more likely to search out you and your books.
Despite so many things being online today, don’t forget about the local newspaper. Contact them with a press release about your book. They may even be interested in writing a feature story about you, the local author. Does your book tie in to any local festival, place, or event? Mention this when you contact the newspaper.
Goodreads is a growing site popular with readers. It offers many resources for authors. Sign up (it’s free), and you can list your books there. You can offer a giveaway of your book, which often results in many readers adding it to their “to read” list. You can also post excerpts from your book, make up a quiz about your book – you name it.