A Lesson in Self-Publishing, Part 2

Once your book is complete and you’re ready to sell it to the public, what’s the next step? The next step depends on what you want your book to accomplish or whether you want it to be a source of income.

Sure, you can self-publish your book and make a few sales and do nothing more. There is nothing wrong with this option, as long as you’re not hoping to earn a living from your royalties alone. You may have a best seller, but it may take time for the word to get out if you don’t market your book or promote it in any way.

Terms like marketing, launching, advertising, promoting can be intimidating for most of us. While I don’t know a lot about marketing, I’m confident that it requires me to spend money and trust that who I hire is really looking out for my best interest. I have done a bit more research and most people share the same advice if you are a new author.

  • You need to build a customer list, generate “buzz/”hype” around your new book.
  • You should use social media to help get the word out.
  • If your budget allows, you could hire a marketing team to do all this for you. You can expect that they will want money up front and a percentage from each sale. Read the fine print.
  • If you are the average person, like me you learn to do it yourself and create a separate Author page on Facebook and utilize the Ads/Promotions that help to target new readers.
  • You should have a Book Launch Party, whether you have a few hundred people or just a dozen people in a coffee shop with a celebration cake. It’s quite an accomplishment and it should be celebrated. If you can stream your event live and share it, even better to help build the buzz.
  • Put together a Press Package for newspapers, radio shows, podcasts and TV shows in the event that you are asked to come in for an interview.
  • Talk to your local library and bookstores to see if they are able to work with you as a local author. Maybe they can set up a Meet/Greet or a book signing after your launch or at the very least, maybe they can offer a small space to showcase a new author to help promote you and your book.
  • Interact with your new readers through social media or offer freebies and contests to keep their interest. Keep them updated if you are running a promotion or if you have a new book coming out.

The point being, if you treat your book like a business and put in the extra effort to promote it, you better your chance at gaining repeat readers who look forward to your next written work.

I’m still very new to all of this and learning as I go. I prefer to do as much as I can because I have a sense of pride in learning all of the aspects of a project. Allow me to be a resource for you if you are in the same boat. I’m happy to share my experiences and I’m also open to suggestion if any of you have anything to share that might help.

Good Luck ~ Hannah

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