Contrary to what traditional publishers want you to believe, self-published books can sell just as well as their traditionally published counterparts. Publishers spend a lot of money to try and convince everyone that they can’t sell their own books because their livelihood depends on it. The truth is that marketing is the key to success in the publishing world. Even traditionally published authors have to devote a substantial amount of time to market their book. This blog post is going to walk you through an abridged step-by-step process of book marketing for beginners.
Step 1: Get Book Reviews
Yes, this is the first step and you will start asking for reviews before you publish your book. If you are already blogging on a regular basis, then ask your readers if they would mind reviewing your book. Since they are already supporting you, they will probably jump at the chance for a free copy of your book.
Step 2: Plan Promotions Accordingly
The best days to hold your free Kindle book promotions are Tuesday through Thursday. There are also several websites that you can use to list your free book for free. Research this and plan ahead of time. Free Kindle promotions are one of the most powerful tools for boosting the ranking of your book. While “sales” don’t count towards your overall ranking when giving away your book, you will pick up reviews and those do contribute.
Step 3: Join GoodReads
GoodReads is a must if you want your book to reach its fullest potential. Visit their website and sign up as an author. Then you can simply link your books using the easy-to-follow interface. Once you are on GoodReads, you can host giveaways. Most successful authors will give away 5 copies of their book as a promotion. Since people love free books, you will get a lot of people to sign up over this period. When they add your book to their “reading list,” it generates a ton of exposure. This is just one of the reasons why your book should be on GoodReads.
Step 4: Author Review Swaps
You absolutely must get book reviews if you want to be successful. The key here is to collaborate with other authors. You can actually sign up to do book review swaps with other authors. You’ll not only review their books on Amazon, but you will also review them on GoodReads. That means you will get reviews in both places.
Step 5: Get Active on Social Media
Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools on the planet. The problem is that most people don’t use it correctly so they end up wasting countless hours. We all fall prey to the “oh it’s free marketing” buzz that surrounds social media. While that is true for the most part, you will need to use social media paid advertising in order to get the most from it. For example, if you are promoting a Facebook page, then Facebook ads are a great way to boost your exposure almost immediately.
Step 6: Budget Paid Marketing
You should be willing to pay for exposure, but always make sure you stick within your budget. There are a lot of options available here so you can use them to boost your marketing. Some are high profile (Facebook ads) while others are not as mainstream (high traffic blogs). I’ve personally used a number of different sources. You can try anything. Just be sure to start with a small investment, track your results, and then adjust your campaigns accordingly.
Final Tip of Book Marketing for Beginners: Always Remain Calm
As a writer, you are going to meet criticism both good and bad. Dealing with bad reviews and negative feedback is a very difficult step for many new authors. Never get into a conflict with people who are providing feedback.
With that said, you should never completely ignore it either. When someone offers you constructive criticism, thank them, review their feedback and make improvements if necessary. Learn from it rather than letting it bother you.
On the other hand, non-constructive criticism should always be ignored completely. For instance, if someone simply says “that sucks” without offering a valid reason for that statement, then simply dismiss it. These are mostly trolls looking for attention. Trust me when I say that most readers will not pay attention to a review that does not offer a valid reason.