Even before you publish your book, you need to think about how you will sell it. Here are a few of the best ways to promote and sell your self-published book.
Send books to thought leaders and influencers. Pre-publication copies (manuscripts or galleys) may be sent to famous or influential people, along with a request for a blurb. Send review copies to bloggers, industry leaders and others who may recommend the book to their audiences. Giving away copies of your book is one of the most inexpensive things you can do to promote, and it is often the most effective.
List your book on Amazon.com. Sign up for the Amazon.com Advantage program to get your book listed, then follow the marketing information on the Advantage page to improve your book’s detail page, etc.
Do you have a web site for the book? Get one! You can set up a web site inexpensively. You can take orders on the site, or send buyers to Amazon. Set up a PayPal account to take credit card payments when you sell books at your web site, and set up an Amazon Associates account so you get a commission on orders you refer to them.
Write articles, or use excerpts from your book, and post them online. There are article directory sites that will accept your articles and make them available to web site owners and others to publish, or you can directly approach sites that appeal to the same people as your book. Of course, every article should include a brief paragraph about you and your book, with a link to your book’s web site.
Create a signature file to include on all of your outgoing emails with a line or two about your book and a link to your web site or the book’s detail page on Amazon.com. Here is an example of a signature file I use:
Author of “The Mystery Shopper’s Manual”
Become a successful professional shopper
Figure out where the people who should buy your book hang out online, and get in front of them. Post to the forums they read and participate in email discussion groups. Do not post an ad for your book (that is usually not allowed) but post something useful and interesting, with your signature file at the end.
Comment on blogs related to your book’s subject matter. In general, you should not promote yourself or your blog, or link to your book page, in a blog comment. However, most blogs will link your name to a web site. People who are interested in what you have to say in your comment may click on the link and read more about you and your book.
Contact local book stores and ask about doing an event. Book stores are not interested in “signings” by unknown authors, but often a talk, demonstration or other event (that also includes selling and signing books) is of interest.
Look for other stores that might be interested in hosting an event with you. For example, if your book is about dog training (or there is a dog featured in the book) talk to local pet shops or animal rescue organizations about doing a talk and book signing. When you work with a charity, offer them a percentage of the proceeds from book sales at the event.
Send press releases to your local media. Although most of the time the fact that you have written and published a book is not newsworthy, your hometown newspaper might be interested in the fact that a local author has published a book. Stop by the offices of the weekly community paper (most places have at least one) and talk to them.
Always be on the lookout for new ways to promote and sell more books.
Cathy Stucker is a speaker, author and consultant. She can show you how to create multiple streams of passive income from your book and other content. Download a free audio program at http://www.CashContentFormula.com/