It’s just about that time of the year for us to reassess our goals so that we can meet 2018 with a bang! If you are planning to self-publish and you’re not sure where to start, then you have come to the right place. Even if you have already published your book and experience lackluster sales, these book publishing tips will make 2018 your bestselling year.
As part of the entrepreneurial generation, we want to challenge ourselves to improve by finding success. There is no such thing as luck. Influence will only get you so far. Sure, some beneficial things might turn in your favor but at the end of the day, you create your own success.
Here are five book publishing tips that will help you meet 2018 with a bang!
Write the Best Book Possible
This might seem cliché but the market is littered with poorly edited, badly written books. Self-publishing has become so easy that it has removed many of the obstacles that would previously filter out so many poorly written books. I’m not saying that removing those obstacles is a bad thing, but it can spell doom to those who might not be willing to invest the time and money into publishing the best book possible.
My first piece of advice is to hire or collaborate with an editor. You cannot edit your own book. Those who try to edit their own book get met with a string of reviews, ripping even the tiniest of editing mistakes. All of the marketing in the world will not help a product that is not ready for the market.
Build a Platform
Your platform is the method you use to connect readers with your book. Some authors will use book tours while others use an online only approach. Both are perfectly acceptable options. With that said, make sure that you build on the platform you choose. I recommend an online approach for those new to self-publishing. Let’s look at an example.
Website: If you’re going to publish a book, then you absolutely must have a website. Without a website, you will not be taken seriously. Your website is a platform for fans to sign up for your mailing list and for them to learn more about you. You will have to start from the ground up. At first, you’ll have no traffic but if you create good content and use the right keywords, then you’ll start to see traffic come in.
Social Media: First of all, you won’t sell anything on social media. You will use it to engage with your target readers. Most of you will want to start on Twitter because it’s simple and engaging. Readers in general love Twitter. Then slowly add Facebook to the mix. I personally consider Twitter essential for writers while I find Facebook as optional, although highly recommended.
Amazon Author Page: You must have an Amazon Author Page if you plan on self-publishing your book. Most book sales go through Amazon. Fill out all of the details it asks and make sure you link your book(s) with your Author Central account.
Book Description: Use buyer keywords for your book description. You should always update your book description from your Author Central page because it allows formatting to be used.
Email List: Getting people to sign up to an email list is tough, but it’s well worth the effort. As long as you have a website and use social media, then all you need to do is offer an incentive for readers to sign up. Then your list will slowly grow.
Actively Search for Book Reviews
This is the one thing that most authors get wrong. They wait for readers to buy and leave reviews when it should be the other way around – search for reviewers before you start trying to get buyers. Here’s a quick look at how you can best accomplish this:
- Before launch, contact 50 people and ask them if they would be willing to leave a book review if you send them a free copy of the book. You will find that roughly 33% of these people will leave a review. You can find reviewers on Amazon and Goodreads.
- Place a call-to-action that asks for a book review at the end of your book.
- Continuously network through social media. Who knows? You might meet someone who is willing to read your book.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Never purchase book reviews. This is the quickest way to end up on Amazon’s blacklist and lose credibility with readers.
Promotion Done the Right Way
At this point, you will need to invest some money into the success of your book. There are a lot of paid venues that you can use to spread the word about your book. In fact, you should get readers before you even start writing your book.
Here are some of the best promotional methods for those just starting out.
Enroll in KDP Select: Enrolling your book in KDP Select does come at the cost of limiting the digital version of your book to Amazon, but new authors are going to find that 90% of their sales come from Amazon anyway. The reason you want to enroll here is for KDP Select’s Free Book Promotion feature. I know that giving your book away might not make sense in the short-term but it’s the best way for new authors to expose their book to readers. If you have enough money, then you might consider using the Countdown Deal instead.
Paid Amazon Ads: Find buyer keywords and set up an ad through directly through Amazon. This is the absolute best place for new writers to promote their book. Furthermore, people searching through Amazon are looking to make a purchase.
Special Promotions: Once per month, lower the price of your book and run a paid email promotion along-side of it. BookGorilla, BargainBooksy, and Ereader are all great places to find affordable book promotional services. For example, if you discount your $4.99 book to $0.99 for a five day period, then set up your email promotion to run during that time. This will expose you to new readers and boost your Amazon Book Seller Rank.
Social Media: Paid Facebook ads are one way to get readers to flock to your book. The only problem is that people on social media are not looking to make a purchase so I recommend you use paid Facebook ads to get readers to sign up to an email list.
Record an Audiobook
This one is going to take quite a bit of work but at the end of the day, it’s probably the best way to boost your sales in 2018. Audiobooks are trending and I expect that to continue through 2018.
ACX offers a lot of options for authors to record their audiobook without having to spend thousands. You can also record it yourself with very little investment (under $100). It does require a bit of a learning curve but it’s not as difficult as many people believe.
As with all ventures in life and business, you need to be patient. Very few authors are going to find huge amounts of success with just one book. Most have written several books before they start to see any significant results. Follow these five book publishing tips and you will be able to start 2018 with a bang!