What do you mean I have to market my own book? Kind of shocking but yes, you do! When you first decided to write your book, you probably had no idea that along with creating your precious gem, you would then have to make a huge effort to sell it too!
That’s right, times have changed and we can no longer rely on our publisher to do our marketing. In fact, if you self-publish your book and hope to get picked up by a larger publishing house later, they will want to see how many books you have already sold on your own. They will want to know what efforts you have made to create a name for yourself alongside your book and what kind of followers you have; only then will they consider picking your book up for re-publication under their name.
Chris O’Bryne of Jet Launch, a self-publishing book company, says that we cannot rely on anyone but ourselves to sell our books; we need to create our own distribution network. Some self-publishers like Amazon’s Create Space say they will advertise your book but you can’t rely solely on their efforts.
You need to find and connect with those people who will be interested in your book topic and build up your email list to create your tribe, your followers. There are several ways to do this and it will take some time. One of the best ways is to start finding your followers is with social media, especially Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and then direct them to your website to collect their email address. You always want to give them some kind of a freebie in exchange for letting you add them to your email list as a potential customer. (I will explain more about those freebies in another Blog).
But where do you start? Maybe you are already proficient with these three social media giants, but there is always more to learn. Selfgrowth.com, founded by David Riklan, offers video courses on how to utilize social media for book sales. He explains that there are power techniques you can use within each the three social media power houses. For example, you can leverage other people’s Twitter account followers to add more followers to your own account, and you can run advertising campaigns on Facebook. Certain types of topics or businesses are a better suited for LinkedIn; once you’ve identified if your topic is a fit, then you join those like-minded “groups” and start conversations with the people in those groups.
I’m just skimming the surface with explaining how to use these three social media outlets of course; there is a lot of time and strategy involved with setting up your accounts, running them properly and maintaining them daily. They all require YOUR special touch in the beginning when responding to potential followers. Using social media is definitely a big piece of the puzzle to successfully marketing and selling your book online.