The rise of self-publishing has drastically changed the book industry and has eliminated barriers to entry that have previously kept many authors out of the game. This is a good thing, but it also puts authors in charge of their own publishing and marketing plans and many are unprepared for this new role. But just because something is hard doesn’t mean it can’t be done, and many self-published authors have not only mastered the art of self-promotion but have achieved incredible successes. Of course, every author is different, but the following tips will help you learn how to do it correctly.
Treat your book like a business. There is a new term for authors who write, market, and sell their own books – authorpreneurs. It is an appropriate term because today’s author is, in many ways, a small business owner. Understanding this is vital, because as every business owner will tell you, personal behavior and actions have professional consequences. Therefore, authors should identify what image they want to present to the world and be consistent in projecting it.
Know your options. There are a lot of ways to promote a book, but some work better than others. For example, if you are writing a non-fiction book, it is not beneficial to promote it in a community for fiction readers. Instead, strategically identify your target audience and create a plan to reach them. Options can include reaching out to bloggers and book clubs, using specific hashtags, joining community boards, attending conferences, or joining a writing group in person. This is where the logic quality over quantity comes in handy – it is more beneficial to promote in places where readers not only see what you’re selling, but respond to it.
Understand how social media works. It is not enough to share a few links on Facebook or to tweet out a link to your book once a week; social media takes time and care to be effective. Every social media channel is different, with different users and a different strategy for success. For example, the use of hashtags is extremely helpful on Twitter, but is not as useful on Facebook or Google+. Understanding this difference and learning how to utilize each account in the way it is intended to be used will make your self-promotion both easier and more successful.
Be respectful. This should go without saying, but it can be very difficult to remain polite and positive when your book receives a negative review. How you react to the negativity not only says a lot about you as a person, but it can impact your sales. Although there are some internationally famous authors who use their disgruntlement to their advantage, the average author does not have the same notoriety. Instead, an author who is known for being difficult is less likely to be reviewed, interviewed, or highlighted consistently and in a positive light. Being respectful even when it’s difficult will not only reflect positively on you and your book, but it will demonstrate to potential readers and reviewers that there’s no reason for them to fear or distance themselves from your book.
Now that you are equipped with the tools you need to get started, you are ready to head out into the world and promote your book. As you do, remember that no matter where you are in the process, it is important to remain consistent and strategic. Success is right around the corner, you just need to drive yourself there.
Did we miss something? Please share your personal tips and strategies for success in the comments section!