We get asked often: “What’s the difference between book printers and book publishers?” Many people like to use these terms interchangeably. However, the printing of a book is merely one part of the complete process that is publishing.
One of the key differences is marketing. Book printers are responsible for the production of your physical book. However, in most cases the self-published author will be responsible for marketing his/her book once it has been printed.
With the amount of effort required to write a book, marketing is often an overlooked component of the self publishing process.
By 2019, several marketing strategies have emerged as clear winners for self-published authors. We’ve compiled some of the most successful strategies for indie authors and publishers.
1. Social Media Marketing (Paid & Unpaid)
The value of social media marketing cannot be understated. Your book should have its own page on all of the major social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Use your channels to keep followers updated with upcoming events and releases.
If you’re looking to expand your audience, consider running paid advertising campaigns. Set your ads to target readers with your local area using targeted interests.
Contests and giveaways are a great way to drum up excitement for your book release. Many authors choose to give away signed copies of their latest release. Host the giveaway on your social media pages or personal website.
3. Speaking Engagements
Create a list of all the local libraries and bookstores in your area. More than likely, these venues will be actively seeking speakers for weekly/monthly events. The stores benefit by showing that they support local writers, and you benefit by gaining a platform to promote and discuss your book.
4. Print & Flyer Advertising
While online marketing has become more crucial in recent years, print and flyer advertisements cannot be overlooked. Create posters for your upcoming book and hang them up at local coffee shops. Create postcards with your book’s artwork and send them to potential customers and local bookstores.
5. Writing Competitions
As a self-published author, you retain 100% of the rights to your book, meaning your free to submit your transcript to writing competitions. Winning an award is a great way to help your book to stand out from the crowd.
6. Newspapers & Press Releases
Your local newspaper likely has section promoting local art and culture. Learn to write press releases and send them to newspapers around your area. You may score an interview or a promotion for your upcoming book release.
7. Blogger & Influencer Endorsements
Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing strategies in 2019. Find bloggers and book reviewers with large online followings. Snagging a positive review from a widely known influencer can help you reach audiences beyond your local area.
8. Personal Website
Resume websites are a popular trend in 2019. Create a resume website for your book! There are several free hosting services that can help you make this happen. You only need 1-3 webpages to describe your book, promote upcoming speaking engagements, and provide a link to where to purchase a copy.
9. Newsletter Email List
You should be collecting names and emails at all your promotional events. Use this list to create a newsletter. That way you can send email blasts, alerting your list to your upcoming events, giveaways and future releases.
10. Guest Blogging
Larger blogs and review sites will sometimes invite guests to write one-off blogs for them. Contact blogs related to your book to see if they’d be open to you writing a guest blog for them. Be sure to include a short mention of the book towards the end of your article. It can’t hurt to ask!
11. Attend Conferences
As book sales continue to increase in 2019, so do book related events and conferences. Consider buying a booth at a local conference. Bring plenty copies of your book and sell signed editions from your booth.
12. Contact Bookstores & Libraries
Most of your local stores will have a section for local and independent authors. Contact your nearest bookstores and libraries to see if they’d be open to selling your book. Be prepared to provide a short summary, price and ISBN number.
13. Contact Publishers
Just because you’ve self-published your book doesn’t your manuscript can’t be picked up by a larger publisher. Submit your work for consideration. Self-publishing a book is also a great way to accrue reputation in the eyes of publishers for future releases.
14. Create a Business Card
Business cards are a tried and true method of promoting yourself. Design a business card that includes a description of your book, your contact information, and directions for where to purchase your book.
15. Get Your Books on Review Sites (Like Goodreads)
It’s not a mystery why so many books include reviews on their cover art. Reviews provide a backbone for your marketing campaign, especially if you can get a review from an established author. Sites like Goodreads make it easy to create a profile for your book for your to start soliciting reviews.
16. Make Connections!
Above all else, as a self-published author, you need to be comfortable with talking about and promoting yourself. The more people that you are able to connect with, the more likely one of those people will open a door for your book. Whether it be with bookstore owners, publishers or simply your readers, building lasting and personal connections may surprise you in ways you never thought possible.