How to Start Making Sales From your Self-Published Book

how to market a self published book - Evie Sparkes

So you’re an author, amazing, well done. Completing a whole book is quite an accomplishment and I should know. Over the next few weeks I am going to teach you exactly how you can make money from your book and content writing. 

What Can You Tell Me Today?

It’s one thing to have a completed novel. It’s quite another thing to get it out there and encourage real people to read it. Actually, if you aren’t already pretty savvy when it comes to digital marketing then you might be freaking out right now. I was lucky, am lucky. I’ve worked in digital marketing for twenty years, ever since dial up actually! I know what it takes to market your product online. And that’s exactly how you should look at your completed manuscript. It’s a product, it just happens to be a book that you have poured your love, sweat and tears into.

Traditionally Published or Self-Published?

This is a very important question and one you should consider carefully. Finding an agent and a publisher (although this will be your agent’s job not yours) is a bit of a task. No scrap that, it’s a monumental task. You may have all of the confidence in the world when it comes to your writing talent, but believe me you will suddenly be plagued with doubt. Realistically you may have to query agents for months, probably years before you find the right one that’s happy to take a chance on a new writer.

Don’t let this put you off though. If you really do feel that you want a traditional publisher then there is no reason that you won’t eventually get one.

Marketing a Traditionally Published Book

You might be forgiven for thinking that this will be out of your hands, why would you have a publisher and have to do your own marketing? Unfortunately these days, new writers really do have to put in the hard work that once would have been done by agents and publishers.

I was having a conversation with a published author just the other day and she was stressing about how on earth she was going to market her book. She’d need a website, social media accounts, SEO….all of things you have to do if you are self-published, only with more to pay out in commission.

Self-Publishing Your Novel

All of the above applies, but without the sitting around waiting for agents to tell you you’re good but not right for their list at this time. Unless you have a ground-breaking novel, or you’re able to believe it’s yours before you even have it (LOA) then it’ll be a process.

Self-publishing is becoming the favoured way forward for new authors. You are in complete control. You only have the deadlines that you set for yourself, you are your own boss. The down-side is, it really is all on you.

Self Editing or Editor

Well I am rather biased here. I have an editor and she is amazing. She picks up on things I didn’t even notice, even after reading my words over and over. An editor will find plot holes, inconsistencies as well as spelling mistakes, typos and punctuation issues. Ask yourself if you would want to ready a book with any of the above issues.

I was always adamant I would be traditionally published. Probably because a published author told me I was too good to self-publish. The thing is, I took that on board and didn’t even open my mind to doing it myself. Now I can see the craziness of that decision. I am a marketing director! I have successfully marketed books for other people. Why would I not want to do it for myself?

I have been a content writer for a while. I regularly write articles for businesses, blogs, ezine and magazine articles. I am in the industry I suppose you’d say. It’s a thing…when someone plants something in your head, it tends to stay there until you dislodge it.

How do You Market a Book Online?

  • Get a website for yourself as an author
  • Get some SEO
  • Open an Author Instagram account, Pinterest account and Facebook account
  • Optimise your book via your Amazon KDP account if you have one
  • Write a press release and use an online PR company to get it out there
  • Submit your perfectly edited book to BookBub
  • Write a blog and submit the feed to somewhere like Blogarama

Amazon Exclusively?

Personally I think YES. Your commission will be greater and you get to offer free Ebooks for a few days every 90 days. Why would you want to offer free books?? Because each free book adds to your sale graph and jumps your book up the search results. After speaking to several writers, I have learnt that they struggle to make sales anywhere other than Amazon anyway.

I’ll be back to break down each of these marketing channels over the next few weeks. Mainly because I don’t have to free time to write it all in one go!

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