PR For Self Published Authors: How To Market A Book For Sales
Self Published Authors Want To Be In The Spotlight. Annie Jennings PR Tells You How!
Self published authors and print on demand book authors have lots of questions about how to publicize a self-published book or indie book. There are plenty to PR strategies for self-published authors to use for their promotional campaign. Your first marketing tip is to create a comprehensive strategy using many “spokes of the book marketing wheel”. A book optimization wheel is where each spoke represents a method of outreach to your potential reader.
This visual approach as well as the entire strategy of the book marketing wheel was created by Annie Jennings PR. The “optimization wheel” is designed of offer book authors a book promotion and marketing framework and foundation, and to keep them organized.
Annie says, “promoting a book should be lots of fun and create lots of energy. After all, a published book is a dream come true. The optimization wheel is designed to unfold over time. It is a plan for promotional success based on our PR firm’s numerous years of experience in how to promote a book. The spokes of the optimization wheel are intended to unfold over time.”
Think of it this way, time is going to pass anyway, so why not work on a “spoke” a day? Before long you will have made amazing progress. A little bit done on the wheel every day ends up to be a lot of progress over time.
Some promotional book market wheel “spokes” include traditional media such as getting booked on radio talk shows, TV shows, in online media and also include an author website, a good book cover design and cover art, social media optimization, book reviews, virtual book clubs, online media, creating a podcast, being a guest on a podcast and lots more.
On a side note, Annie Jennings PR offers the popular AuthorExpertWire podcast series designed specifically for authors of published book, self-published authors and those who offer business or consutling services to create a short commercial for their business in the form of an interview. Would you like to be a guest? Here is your sign up link to be a podcast guest for Annie’s AuthorExpertWire series.
Questions for book PR for self-published authors:
- How does a self-published book author develop an impactful book marketing campaign?
- What is a top strategy for creating a promotional campaign for the self-published author?
- Can self-published authors promote a book just like a big publishing house can?
- What are the key secrets to promoting a self-published book?
- Can self-published authors get publicity in the major media?
- Why is getting ‘up close and personal’ with your readers effective for selling books?
- Does getting radio publicity as a talk show guest help with your book sales?
- What are the most effective book promotion and PR for self published authors?
Listen Here: PR For Self Published Authors – Strategies For Book Covers By Annie Jennings PR
Just recently, Bowker.com, reported that is 2018, there were 1.6 million self-published books hitting the market.
Now, that’s a lot of books with authors all wanting you want and that is more book sales. From fiction books to self-published books to traditional publishing millions of authors have questions about the best way to market and promote a book for sales. There are many ways to reach your potential readership from social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc) to book reviews to optimized Amazon Kindle to even a compelling book cover.
Below is a summary of how real authors sold books. Keep in mind, there are numerous factors in selling books and there is one very important one that can make an immediate difference to you and it is this: Get Up Close & Personal With Your Readers!
If you have a newsletter or e-zine, let your community and subscribers know of your book before it is published. Offer them the opportunity to purchase your book, perhaps at a pre-publication price. You may want to offer a sample chapter in advance of the publication date with a call to purchase at the end of the chapter, again, perhaps at a special price. The nice advantage of offering a free chapter is that anyone new coming to your website will give you their email address to get their free chapter. This adds to your community, giving you more advantage. Alway be growing your list in responsible ways.
2. Social Media
Create an online and digital presence on all the social media sites to create your self-publishing marketing strategy. Authors report excellent results in sharing about their books on social media. Be sure to use a variety of posting styles to avoid the ‘always be selling’ approach some authors use and provide meaning and valuable content. Include a high-resolution book cover along with each book post to build up familiarity with the title and the look and feel of your new book. Consider each post a touch point with your audience. Create posts that speak to your readers needs and provide a link to your website to get more information on your book such as a book summary. Link to your online book seller, such as Amazon, to purchase the book.
3. Amazon Reviews
Ask those who read your book to post an honest Amazon review. Never manipulate the reviews of your book. It is better to earn your good reviews by writing a great book. At the end of the day, a good book lives on but a book that can’t live up to “planted” reviews will lose it sizzle and hurt the author’s brand. Plus, when you think about it, sometimes reviews can reveal valuable feedback that can help the author become a better writer. This feedback, although you might feel it as negative, is actually helping you, especially if you want a long and flourishing career as an author. A good idea before you publish is to get feedback on a pre-sale copy of your book. Ask people around you for honest assessments about what they liked and where they feel you can improve. I know it’s hard to ask friends and family to be honest, but perhaps a writer’s group would be a good choice for this strategy. If you are not a member of one, start one. This way, writers can help each other by offering truthful feedback. The goal is to publish a great book and the path to writing one is to find out what readers like about your book as well as whether or not you can improve on areas where it falls short. This is important for sales because many readers use the reviews to decide whether or not to buy a book.
4. Book Sales
Pitch outlets that might be a good fit for your book. One of the authors we queried sold her book to area schools, got their books placed in school book fairs and libraries and conducted book readings at the school. Also, for self-published authors, do some research to find organizations that might be a good fit for your book. Be sure to understand the profile of them members so you are ready to demonstrate why your book is a good fit for the members.
5. Local Community Exposure
Communities are a great resource for pr for self published authors. Your local newspapers love local stories and might publish a feature article about you and your book. You can get your book displayed by the register (independent stores can do this) or in the local author area of bigger chain stores. Area gift shops can carry your book as can local bookstores. An example of this idea is this, what if you wrote a cookbook? Wouldn’t the local “all things cooking store” love to carry your book on consignment? Why not, right? And you can offer to perform a cooking demonstration for the store too.
6. Optimize Amazon
Create an author page, provide compelling promotional copy for the book, look into buying the up-sells and various bells and whistles offered by Amazon such as sponsored advertisement. Learn all you can about Amazon book selling opportunities and ways to favorably position your book. Amazon has the traffic and your goal is to stand out among the millions of books available in today’s self-publishing world. Let Amazon help you sell your books. Create a compelling summary of your book, an authentic bio that showcases your many accomplishments and most of all, price. Keep your price point extremely reasonable. I have a found offering books a couple of dollar cheaper to create more sales. This is as long as your book reviews are good and readers are intriguing by your book after learning about it via your marketing strategy.
7. Book launch book party
Who doesn’t love a party? You can hold the event at your home, serve some fun desserts and coffee and have signed copies available for your guests. You can create a short presentation about your book writing journey and share some meaningful and valuable info from your book. You can even sign books during the event so you can personalize the message. If you have written a book that lends itself to a hands-on experience, you can also do a “hands on’ party where guests can sample the experience!
Audible publishing is an important addition to your book promotion strategy. It’s great for non-fiction or “how to” books. If you have a good voice, record the audio yourself as it makes a difference. Avoid hiring a “reader” who makes your book inaccessible to the listener in that the reader is boring or monotone or just sounds like everyone else. Read the book yourself. Inject your own life, energy and experience into your book. You will naturally sound like a million bucks and your audience will love it! Some authors, who may not be ready to record their entire book can just read an intro or the first chapter in their own voice. The professional book reader can take it from there. Audible book published & books on tape.
9. Get Booked In The Media
Contact your local talk radio shows and asked to be interviewed as a guest. Send the producer and host a copy of your book along with your press materials. Also, send a list of ten questions that you would like to be asked that allow you to showcase the value of your book. Radio talk shows work very well for non-fiction books. Radio shows are conducted via telephone interviews known as “phoners”. Radio shows are guest friendly, allowing you to responsibly promote your book and website during the show. And they are lots of fun to do as well! Be sure to get media training in advance so you area a prepared, media savvy and confident guest. All of our radio talk show campaigns include unlimited media training from an award-winning former new producer and booker with a major network. You will learn how to be a great guest and promote your book on the show in a way that gets the audience’s attention and is respectful to the shows. Here are several resources to learn more about radio in general. The resource is Radio.com and Neilsen.com.
10. Go Live With Facebook Live & Instagram live
Enjoy the interactive benefits of going Live on Facebook Live and Instagram Live. You can video a short presentation and if you have viewers watching, you can answer their questions LIVE. Also, lots of fun. Be sure to have your book on hand to show, of course. You can post advance notice that you are going LIVE at a certain time. Ask your friends and family to plan to attend the event and share the invite with others.
So many ways to reach so many people. The important thing is realize that all of your hard work over the past year or so or even over much of life is now coming to a pivotal point. YOU out in the worlds, sharing your message and making a difference. Plus reaping all the business and book marketing rewards of being a big brand.