Can authors do their own publicity – and not depend on a publisher or professional publicist?
Well, it depends on the book’s content and subject matter, the author’s credentials and personality, and the goals involved, but absolutely an author can promote his or her brand and market a book.
So what does a DIY author need in order to be successful?
“I just want to write – -and not worry about marketing my books.”
“I have no interest in being on Twitter, but my book deserves attention.”
“I don’t enjoy public speaking. My books speak for themselves.”
“I wish the media discovered my book. It’s great.”
These are things authors have said. They love to write and are good at it. But they either don’t understand book marketing, don’t feel capable even if they are, lack the time, actually fall short on the skills to promote, or have little interest in marketing. Excuses? Reasons? Doesn’t matter. Aut5hors need to make sure their books are promoted and marketed often and well. Either they do it or outsource it. There’s not room for sitting on the sidelines and being book promotional agnostic.
The best way to market something is to do it often, which means the more you think about, discuss, and take part in marketing, the better you will be at it. You cannot just turn it on and off – marketing is something you are always doing.
Writers must be tired of hearing they need a platform. Literary agents and publishers are quick to tell promising authors that it is not enough to pen a quality book, on a timely and interesting topic, that appeals to a large pool of people. Writers need to understand that they have to clearly show how they plan to sell a book, which will come mainly by relying on their brand or platform. They must exhibit a commitment to dedicate time, money, and energy into securing book sales.
Authors fully know they need to have higher visibility, a bigger network of connections, and third-party validation in the form of testimonials and a media resume. So how do they go about getting or building a platform?
To be successful at book marketing, you can take many paths. There is no one-size-fits-all approach that works for everyone. The only guarantee of a result comes from doing nothing, as nothing comes from nothing. So, what should someone do?
In a general sense, a marketing plan that leans on more than one area makes sense. Diversify. You may completely ignore some things, go big in one or two areas, and do a minimally mediocre job in a few other areas. Or your formula looks a lot different, but you take the approach that works for you.
There are at least 21 key areas to explore — but if you have other means to sell books and build a brand, go for it! Like a said, everyone should find their way and do what works. But the areas below are popular because many of them are affordable, attainable, and proven to work.
Most likely your recipe for book marketing success will come down to some ratio of the following, in no particular order:
Networking is one of the most important things authors can do to advance their career, grow their brand, and sell more books. Many stink at it — or simply don’t invest as much time as they should. Regardless of whether you like to network (you have to do it), the key ways to network are many, including:
Building connections on social media: LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc.
Having visitors to your website sign up for something: free downloads, blog, newsletter, podcast, etc.
Schmoozing at in-person events and grabbing business cards
Asking your existing connections and relationships to introduce you to other people.
Have a networking mindset. Be where others are, whether online, by phone, or in person. Think always to introduce yourself – and ask people who they know and what they know. Keep notes. Never be afraid to ask for a favor or to tell people what you do, what you know or what you need.
Most writers may seem like loners or quiet people. More than some are definitely social misfits, but even the most gregarious are lonely when it is just them sitting by their keyboard or writing pad. Every writer needs a coach to win at the game of writing, publishing, and promoting books.
Listen in as Mike Capuzzi of Bite Sized Books and the Main Street Author Podcast interviews John Kremer on how to sell more books.
Lots of great tips are shared in this half-hour interview. You’ll be glad you listened in.
Listen in as Mike Capuzzi of Bite Sized Books and the Main Street Author Podcast interviews John Kremer on how to sell more books. #BookMarketingTips #MarketingBooks #podcasting
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And here is the Foreword I wrote for his new book (coming out soon): Marketing with Free Books.
In 1986, I published the first edition of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Coming in at over 700 pages this behemoth of a book soon became the book marketing bible in the publishing industry. Since then, I have periodically updated it and today the “Real World Edition” is the most current edition and now includes strategies to market digital books and digital content.
Are authors failing to achieve their goals, realize their dreams, and become successful simply because they fail to reach beyond the realm of what most people will try to do?
According to author Grant Cardone, famous for best-selling The 10X Rule, people would be far more successful if they supersized what they did – radically increasing their number of generated emails, ideas, connections, and activities – so that they can break through whatever seems to hold others back.
He says: “There is nothing ordinary about The 10X Rule. It is simply what it says it is: 10 times the thoughts and 10 times the actions of other people. The 10X Rule is about a pure domination mentality. You never do what others do. You must be willing to do what they won’t do – and even take actions that you might deem unreasonable.”
That is it. There is his formula for victory. Simple, yes, but can it be done?
There’s been a lot to distract us this year but hopefully, you’re still tracking ideas for how to market a self-published book for holiday sales!
If you haven’t started planning your holiday sales, it’s crunch time.
And while there will still be a holiday buying season this year, the 2020 version will look a bit different than those of years past.
We know retailers still plan to do Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but these sale days are being extended; physical stores are trying to limit how many people they let into their brick and mortar spaces, and at the same time Covid has impacted overall retail sales.
Plus “Christmas creep” means you’ll see sales starting even earlier this year!
All of which is to say that you’ll want to gear up for holiday sales ASAP, if you haven’t already.
Today’s guest post is by author Barbara Linn Probst.
I hate social media. It’s an addictive rabbit-hole.
I just don’t have time. Social media takes away from my precious writing time.
I’m no good at creating those visuals and posts.
I hate all that self-promotion.
I’ve heard many authors—myself included—express frustration and dismay at the expectation that we will not only produce wonderful books, but also carry out what amounts to a second full-time job as our own marketing team. Most of us don’t mind holding events, whether live or virtual, where we get to engage with readers. Nor do we mind interviews, written or recorded, where we can talk about our books and our writing process. But what so many of us do hate is the seemingly bottomless pit of social media engagement.
Facebook, with all those reader and writer groups. Instagram. Twitter. Pinterest.
“Likes” and “follows.” Comments and messages and shares.
Wouldn’t it be great if someone else could do all this for us?
Someone else can—for a price, and with a few caveats.