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How to Sell Your Self-Published Book Online in 6 Steps

In 2018, the debate is pretty much over; online sales are a key component of any self-published author’s book marketing campaign.

But for authors, who often prefer to be between the pages of a book than on the internet, it can be daunting for someone with little technical experience to break into the sphere of digital marketing. Fortunately, the internet’s ongoing shift towards user-friendliness has given authors more tools than ever to market and sell their book online.

online presence laptop and mobile Gorham Printing

Even if you have little to no technical experience, these six steps can go a long way to increasing your online book sales.

1. Have a website

Convenience is king. In the increasingly saturated online marketplace, customers need a quick way to browse and purchase your book.

A website acts as a “home” for your book. It’s the place where all of your marketing efforts eventually lead back to. Ideally you’ll want a website with a checkout cart that will allow customers to order your books online. By reducing that number of steps needed to buy your book, you significantly reduce the chance that a customer might distract him/herself from making a purchase.

sales tools sell your book online

Creating, hosting and maintaining a website can often be an expensive endeavor. However, a growing trend in online marketing is to utilize a template website service, which will create and host your website for you.

Looking to service independent authors, we at Gorham Printing recently relaunched our Sales Tools service. Sales Tools supplies authors with a one-page, customizable web store where customers can browse, share and buy their books.

2. Write some blog articles

Imagine this: your book is finally finished. You’ve spent months, maybe years, writing, editing and perfecting it. Then someone comes in and tells you that you have more writing to do.

Blogs keep the conversation about your book going long after its publication. They are a great way to promote upcoming events, such as book signings and speaking events.

Write blogs to inspire discussion among your readers. Write an article about your writing process or a character’s intentions, and let your followers carry the discussion from there.

3. Host an online launch party

Launch parties are a great way to kick off your book release with some momentum. But what if I told you that you could have hundreds of attendees without any of them having to leave their houses?

Online launch parties make it convenient for readers to participate in your release. Often times these launches are paired with giveaways that incentive users to like, comment and share your content. Many authors choose to give away signed copies of their book.

how to sell your self-published book online in 2018

4. Start a newsletter

The quickest way to a customer’s heart is email. A newsletter starts by asking your readers for their email in exchange for relevant and interesting content. Prepare a content calendar following the release of your book with interesting blog articles, event invitations and anything else your readers might find interesting.

5. Create a social media business page for your book

Social media is no place to be shy. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are finely tuned to make sharing content quick and easy.

Beyond just sharing content on your personal profiles, consider creating a business account page for your book or publishing group. This will allow you to gain followers specific to your book without diluting its content with your personal information.

6. Contact popular bloggers for reviews

You don’t have to do all that sharing on your own. There are scores of book review bloggers and websites that are hungry for new content.

Start by looking for local reviewers, who would jump at the chance to feature an up-and-coming local author. From there, expand your search to include bigger bloggers. Even a 140-character mention from a popular reviewer can skyrocket your popularity.

While these online marketing strategies can’t guarantee a successful release, by increasing your online presence you can continue to stay relevant on the minds of your readers long after your books’ release.


A newcomer in the northwest, Colin originally hails from sunny San Luis Obispo, California, where he earned his bachelors in English. In between backpacking excursions, his hobbies include competitive ballroom dancing and fiction writing.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Shaun Vain

    Hi Colin,

    I found this post helpful, as I’m in the back nine of my first novel. I feel like this has been a wonderful experience penning and typing, but most of all I enjoy the way the characters have control of the story at the right times… But alas, marketing is my friend that I see when my muse disappears. Marketing through knowledge and hope that I have studied the right books and taken enough classes in developing a product… But never confuse the two is my only piece of advice.

    I’ll risk sounding strange and whimsical because it’s nearly the end of the day for me and we’re all adult enough to relax and wonder: Would it disappoint my muse by going on any further about with my marketing friend?

    Great advice in this post. I’m going to look through your other blogs and take a peak at the tools you talk about to see if you have any further recommendations that work for this first novel…

    And I’m interested in speaking to these reviewers you discussed… If they are out there listening…

    Thanks again for the tips. It made me smile actually, to see someone involved in publishing suggesting things that I have started implementing already. I have scoured some for tips on marketing self-published works, but I haven’t found advice this compelling until tonight. It’s an affirmation for me to see; it comes as a relief to read some of this information.

    I know what steps I have to work harder on tomorrow, but having a clear calendar or what you called ‘a content plan’ of what to do surrounding the release is an important step I’m working on… the website must be simple. I have no trouble creating the blogs. But before reading this article I never considered how important and how possible it is to keep the conversation going with the eBooks I’ve been working on and articles I write to release around the actual book release. It makes everyone dizzy when I talk about it, but it makes perfect sense to me, and I love to see when storytellers explore all angles of their work. My thought is that the best parts that people love will stick around, and hey, that might even be a blog or an eBook that is released with a digital release party a month after the hard copy novel comes out.

    This is a long comment, I know. But I feel like being thoughtful on the internet for once instead of saying, “Oh I like that lol.” There’s a time for short hand, but you put together a good piece, so I feel alright bouncing thoughts back in my own way. As of today, I am self-publishing and going full speed with all I can do on my own, but that’s not entirely true when there are many wonderful resources out on the net that have impacted my process. I sometimes have to stop and say thank you! Cheers!



    S. V

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