This article gives some low or zero-cost ways self-published authors can successfully promote their books and increase sales.
If you have self-published a book, you have likely learned that getting a book published is only half of the work. There are millions of books available to readers, who have only so much time and money to spend on them. The challenge is figuring out how to promote your self-published book so readers become interested and spend their hard-earned money on it.
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges in promoting your self-published book is if you do not have thousands of dollars or more to spend on hiring a professional to promote it. Still, you can market your book successfully without spending very much money at all. Later, as your book’s sales increase, you can then use the money you earn to increase the marketing efforts for your book.
Here are six low-cost things you can start doing today to promote your self-published book:
1. Start with family and friends. Promoting your self-published book requires you to not be shy about sharing your work. This is no time for humility, but at the same time you need to not be annoying. Your friends and family have an interest in seeing you succeed, and they are a ready-made support base for promoting your book. Talk to them about your book, and even consider giving them free copies. Encourage them to post reviews of your book online, to talk to their friends about it and do anything else they can think of to spread the word.
2. Leverage social media sites. Social media allows you to connect to other people from across the globe, spreading your influence even further without spending any money. Set up a Facebook page for you as a writer, or consider setting up a page for your book, and then invite your Facebook friends to like the page. Use Twitter to connect with other writers and to reach people with interests that relate to your book. Register on Goodreads and encourage your friends on there to read and review your book. Connect with people who have interests relating to your book’s topic by joining groups on different social media sites. For example, if your book is about gardening, find out what gardening groups exist and join them. Do not just talk about your book on these groups, but actually participate in the conversations going on in the group. Mention your book occasionally, or to include a blurb about it in your signature every time you post a comment.
3. Never underestimate the power of local support to promote your book. Seek out local bookstores in your area. Avoid marching into a bookstore and just hawking your book to the owner though. Get to know the store beforehand, frequenting it on a regular basis so you get to know the culture behind the store. Many independent bookstores have their own quirks that appeal to their customers, so if you can make your book mesh with those quirks you have a better shot of getting it placed with the bookstore. Also, getting to know the workers and owner as a customer helps selling them on your book.
4. Look into non-book stores. The fact of the matter is that a good portion of book sales take place outside of bookstores. Market your self-published book by placing it with other local stores, especially ones that sell things which relate to your book. If your book is about cooking, even if it is a work of fiction, place it with some local kitchenware stores, or even independent restaurants. In general, local gift shops, grocery stores and pharmacies also might be interested in carrying your book, especially if it has good mass appeal.
5. Further market your book by convincing book clubs to choose it as their next book selection. This requires you actively seek out local book clubs, which you can find listed on the Internet or at local bookstores. Offer to go speak to the book clubs when they discuss your book, giving extra incentive for the club to choose your book. Members of the book club also inevitably will end up mentioning your book to other people, increasing your marketing efforts and your book sales.