It has never been easier to publish your own book, but getting customers to buy it is another story. The success of Fifty Shades of Grey and its sequels has given new hope to aspiring authors everywhere. What started as a side project and self-published novel has become a worldwide phenomenon, with movie rights and lucrative contracts for the writer.
While opinions are mixed on the literary value of these books, many experts agree that at least part of the success is the result of savvy book publicity. Self-published authors everywhere can learn a lot from this example as they learn to promote their own books more effectively.
The existence of Amazon and other outlets had made it easier than ever to self-publish books, from full-sized novels to how-to guides. The problem is that most of those books will be lucky to sell even a few copies a month. Having a publicist, or doing your own book publicity, is crucial to making your book stand out from the competition.
One of the biggest keys to self-publishing success is preparation. Now that the book has been written and you are ready to publish, it is important to prepare and start book publicity efforts before the release. That means setting up a website where potential buyers can get more information about the book and its author. It also means setting up a social media presence, complete with Facebook page and Twitter account, before the publication date. Laying the groundwork ahead of time is one of the best book publicity moves a self-published author can make.
Making the book available in a number of different formats can be a huge help as well. There are a number of competing e-readers on the market, from the Nook and Kindle to reading applications on the Apple iPad and other tablet computers. Successful self-published authors work hard to ensure that readers can access their book no matter what kind of device they have. Smart authors also make sure readers are able to order actual physical copies of their books if they prefer.
Participating in blogs and online discussion boards is another way self-published authors can get the word out about their work and boost their sales. This strategy works particularly well for non-fiction books and how-to guides, but it can be adapted to the fiction market as well. Buyers are more likely to purchase a book from someone they see as an expert in the field, whether that field is growing the most beautiful roses or putting a deck on the back of the house.
While not every author can afford to retire on the wealth of their words, the potential for self-published works is nearly limitless. The stigma that was once associated with self-published novels is largely gone – thanks to the internet and the vast number of books now available at the click of a mouse. Authors who are able to effectively promote their books can enjoy great success, and smart PR is a big part of the process.