8 Ways to Use Your Superpower to Market Your Self-Published Book

Today’s post is by Chandra Clarke.

You did it! Your masterpiece is done! You stuck to your guns and finished writing your book. You even took things one step further: you self-published. Congratulations! You’re a published author. That is a HUGE accomplishment. You deserve a glass of champagne (or a bar of chocolate!).

As great an accomplishment as this is, publication is not the end of your book’s journey. Marketing your book is the next key to its success.

But there’s one problem: you don’t know how to market a self-published book. Heck, you don’t know anything about marketing your book at all. But you do know how to do something: write.

In fact, this is basically a superpower when it comes to marketing—if you can write well, you can accomplish pretty much anything. And that’s exactly what you’re going to do to sell as many copies of your book as possible. You’re going to write your darn face off. Here’s how.

1. Write copy for the same people you wrote your book for.

The first thing to know about marketing your book, and about marketing in general, is that you cannot market to everyone. Don’t even try. You will fail. You didn’t write your book thinking that everyone and their grandmothers would want to read it, so don’t approach your marketing that way.

Who is your target audience for your book? Young adults, twenty-somethings, Generation Xers, or retirees? Are you trying to reach a specific group of professionals or a broader audience? Think of this group when you’re writing press releases, social media posts, blog entries, and guest blog posts to promote your book. Marketing your book is a heck of a lot easier when you know who your audience is.

2. Make your marketing material as error-free as your book.

Remember the effort you put into ensuring your book didn’t have any grammatical errors? Surely you recall the long, tedious—though ultimately, you admit begrudgingly, necessary—process you went through to have your book edited and proofread (unless you’ve shoved that traumatic experience deep into your subconscious).

Either way, I’m obligated to inform you that the grammar rules haven’t changed. An important part of marketing a self-published book is presenting a clean and polished brand. You want your marketing materials to reflect the quality of your book. If this means having your social media posts and other copy professionally proofread, do it. It’s worth the investment to build a reputable brand around your book.

3. Alert the media! (Especially the local media.)

It’s time to get that keyboard clacking again. It’s time to brag about yourself and your book. Write to local journalists, newspapers, community bulletins, and anyone else who can bring some attention to your book. Be sure to give a compelling description of your book’s content or story line. You should also include sufficient information about yourself.

Most people are happy to promote and support a local author, particularly if that author is bringing positive attention to the community. People particularly love when stories are set in familiar locations. Play up this angle to increase awareness and word-of-mouth recommendations for your book.

4. Create a consistent social media presence across multiple platforms.

You may not know how to market a self-published book, but you probably know how to use social media. The key is to learn the most effective way to use these social media sites for marketing your book.

The voice you create for yourself and your book’s brand needs to be consistent. Whether you are reaching out on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Goodreads, you need to make it clear who you are and what your brand is all about. Though different platforms require different approaches, the most important thing to keep in mind is consistency of tone and content.

5. Keep your website or blog looking tidy and professional.

I don’t know about you, but if I find myself on a website that looks like it was designed by a high school kid in 2002, I’m out of there faster than you can say “Add me on MySpace.” It doesn’t matter if you wrote the best book ever, and it doesn’t matter if your site is full of awesome and informative promotional material. If it doesn’t look good, I’m not reading it, and neither will many others. Put in the time to create a site or blog you can be proud of.

6. Write an author biography consistent with the tone of your book.

Your author biography will be used for several different purposes. It may be paired with articles or blog posts written about you or your book, it may be used when you write a guest blog post, or it may appear on your website.

Your biography shouldn’t sound as if a machine wrote it. Yes, get the important facts in there, but write your biography in the same voice and style that make your book uniquely yours. Don’t approach your biography the same way you would approach an obituary. It should be about more than just detailing the facts of your life—focus instead on letting your personality shine through.

You didn’t write your book by blandly, relaying a series of events in the narrative, and you shouldn’t write your author bio that way either. Think of your author bio not as a stand-alone piece of work but as a companion to your book.

7. Take advantage of simplified networking.

Networking used to mean making a point of going out and meeting people. While this is still important, now you can network from the comfort of your own home. Thanks to the Internet, you no longer have to rely on your social skills (or lack thereof) to establish a network for marketing your book. Instead, you can connect with important people online using the awesome skills you already have: your writing skills.

8. Write blog posts, guest blog posts, and book reviews related to your book’s topic.

You are an expert in your field. Whether you’ve written a work of fiction or nonfiction, you’ve dedicated a good chunk of time writing on one topic or exploring various themes. You will have more success marketing your book if you talk on those topics or themes that tie into your book.

Write about your topic for your own blog and for others and get familiar with other books related to yours. Write reviews of these books using your hard-earned knowledge of the topic. If possible, start this process before your book is published in order to build anticipation.

While smart marketing takes time and effort, with a bit of practice and hard work—utilizing your superpower—you’ll be successfully marketing your self-published book in no time!

Chandra ClarkeChandra Clarke is the founder and president of Scribendi.com, an award-winning online editing and proofreading company that provides document revision services to clients around the world. She is also a Webby Honoree-winning blogger, an enthusiastic supporter of space exploration and scientific research, and the author of Be the Change: Saving the World with Citizen Science.

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