It's a simple fact that without some marketing, your book won't sell well beyond your immediate friends and family. While self-publishing allows you to publish your work exactly how you want it, giving you freedom and control, it has also resulted in a very crowded book market. Hundreds of new books are published every day and, without marketing, your book stands very little chance of making decent sales.
Here, Sarah Taylor, Marketing Manager at Matador, looks at how you can market your book – be it physical or ebook – to the trade, to the media and to your readers. Sarah discusses 3 essential book marketing avenues for your Self-Published books with some good tips on marketing your book to these audience groups.
Marketing To The Book Trade
The book trade will hear about new books via bibliographic data feeds, wholesaler catalogues, publishers themselves and a publisher's sales team. Buy an ISBN and submit all of the information – price, title, synopsis, category, supplier – to Nielsen Book Data, who will then disseminate information about your book to retailers, so that they can look your book up on their system and order it if they wish.
Submit information about your book to local and national retailers relevant to you and your book with an A4 information sheet with everything a buyer needs to know to make a decision on a title: synopsis, author information, price and supplier.
Marketing To The Media
Once you've ensured that your book will be available to buy, you can look at contacting the media. Write different press releases as required: a general press release, a press release about you as the author for media in your local area, another if your book has a specific local relevance to a different area, and more as required. Send your press release(s) to a targeted list of publications – newspapers, magazines, radio stations – relevant to you and to your book. Find out more about getting free publicity for your self-published book with our Book Publicity section.
Marketing To Your Readers
It’s really key to directly market your books to your readers and, in today’s increasingly online world, it’s getting more and more easy to directly connect with your audience and promote your book or ebook. There are a number of ways you can do this:
Set up your own website with information about yourself and your book, as well as links to buy it. You can also integrate a blog within your site – a blog is a really great, informal method of creating a fan base, allowing your readers to get to know you.
The two main sites are definitely Twitter and Facebook. Authors also use Tumblr, Pinterest and LinkedIn, but bear in mind that you'll have to keep them all regularly updated – do a few sites well rather than all sporadically! Twitter is great for sharing instant updates about your book, promoting any special offers and connecting to readers. Facebook is best for sharing media – videos, pictures and links.
Signings And Events
If you’re publishing a physical book, lining up book signings at your local independent or chain bookshop is a great way of making sales and connecting with readers and retailers in your local area. Bookshops are generally supportive of local authors who have a quality book to sell, so once your book is published, take a copy along and see if you can get an event lined up.
There are other great ways of promoting your book – including book trailers. Author videos are also increasingly being used, and are easy to make – providing you have the tools and skills to create and edit them. These can be in the form of author interviews (persuade a friend to ask a few questions), book readings and much more. You may also want to include Amazon book marketing ...
Last but not least, printed marketing materials are really useful – posters, leaflets, bookmarks, business cards – both for signings and events, and to hand out to friends, family and potential buyers. Make sure you include a link to buy!
An increasingly popular form of online book promotion is to do a book blog tour – arranging 'stops' with a handful of blogs (make sure to use sites that feature books like yours) for the bloggers to post content about your book on a specific date. Usually this is an author interview, but can also take the form of a review or an extract or piece by you. By arranging consecutive posts over a specific number of days, you can get your book seen by a lot of people.
The most popular blogs and sites are obviously the best to go for, as they generally see the most traffic, but bear in mind that they all have their own time and space constraints. By using a slightly less popular blog you may be able to get more prominent or regular coverage. Blog tours can be organised with the blog owners, but there are companies that exist to do this for you for a charge.
The ebook market is heavily saturated, and while trade marketing isn’t relevant for ebooks (as online retailers will display them for sale automatically, and there’s no need to try and get bookshops to stock them), it’s crucial that you're actively promoting your ebook – it may be on sale but that won't automatically get you sales or media coverage. You should maintain an active author presence online and it's important to market your book to the media as well.
Firstly, make your ebook available for review using a site like NetGalley, which gives your ebook its own entry with information, cover and author biography and makes it available for journalists, booksellers, librarians and bloggers to download a DRM-protected free copy for potential review.
Secondly, create up a targeted media list of people that you can contact with a press release and a link where they can download your ebook. Include your local media outlets and publications relevant to your ebook and you, the author. You should start your ebook marketing both before and immediately after your ebook goes on sale. Hop over to our eBook advice gallery to help you learn more about creating your own eBooks.
Good luck, and most importantly – have fun! Self-publishing can be hard work, but also a very rewarding process. The more work you do, the better results you’ll see.
Matador has been offering authors a high quality self-publishing service since 1999. Part of Troubador Publishing Ltd, Matador offers a wide range of services aimed at publishing, marketing and distributing books and ebooks to a high standard – be that via Print On Demand (POD) or through traditional bookshop distribution. Publishing around 400 books a year, Matador is a full service provider that undertakes as much or as little of the publishing process as required.
For more information visit: http://www.troubador.co.uk/matador.asp