Book marketing 101 for self-publishers.
First, before you begin your book marketing, write a book with great content!
Book marketing 101 … #1. Write a great book.
Get a quote for book printing.
… as well as any other costs associated with book production. Get your own ISBN and barcode. You will need to know the retail price before getting the barcode.
Art, illustration, photography.
If it is part of the book, make sure it is professional quality.
Have your book proofread and edited.
Set the retail price.
This falls under book marketing and planning. Know the approximate page count, dimensions, binding style, and cover materials. You should already know that from the printing quote.
Go to a bookstore and Amazon. Select books to evaluate that will be similar to yours. Check the original retail cost located in the upper right corner of the barcode. Check the copyright page to see when the book was last printed. You want to compare books recently printed.
When you sell on Amazon, your book will be deeply discounted, so don’t set your retail price too low. Amazon will charge about 15 percent to list your book. You do the fulfillment, so add mailing materials and postage to costs. Amazon can fulfill books. If you are printing a minimum run, it is better to do the fulfillment for the first printing.
People always want to see something before they buy. Although the Amazon “see inside” feature is extra, it will drive sales. We advise using it.
Blog or website for book marketing.
Start a blog before you print books. You need to build traffic for book marketing to be effective. Write 1 or 2 new posts a week. Write a minimum of 300 words, but 900 words is preferable, especially for cornerstone content. Add a photo.
While authors have websites to sell books, many more books are sold on Amazon. They drive more traffic. Your site is an invitation to buy your book, offer more information, and showcase your work. Build an email list to build a following. Think of this as book marketing, not book selling.
Work with a good book designer.
We guide you though through the steps and keep you informed. If you have any questions, please call toll-free (844) 603-1777 or contact us.
Create an ebook version.
The cost to create an ebook is minimal if your book is mostly text. Standard formats can scroll from page to page. If it is full of illustrations or photography, you need a fixed-layout ebook, made from a PDF. We create ebooks too.
Sell books on Amazon.
Get an author page, but print with Star Print Brokers for the best quality and custom options. Ask for reviews on your blog. Send a request to your email list. The reviews can be posted on Amazon to promote book sales.
Write a book description.
Write a blurb that will compel the reader to buy. The description for the back cover, and for Amazon, will help to drive sales.
Readers won’t necessarily be searching for your book on the Amazon search engine. You are allowed to choose up to 7 keywords or keyword phrases. A keyword might be “cookbooks”. A keyword phrase might be “italian pizza cookbooks”. The keyword and keyword phrase are the same thing.
It is helpful to find keywords for which people are looking. Choose a dozen keywords. Check the traffic for each. Google AdWords is helpful, but there are other sources too. If the keyword is too broad, like “cookbook”, your book will be one of thousands. You are not likely to get to page 1. You want keywords people search for, but that are not too narrow or too broad. Test keywords by searching on Amazon. The books results may be your competitors. How do they rank? Narrow the keywords down to 7.
Choose 2 categories for your book to be listed in. Choose the 2 categories that you book best fits into. “Cookbooks” in general is a broad category. It is difficult to get to number 1. Drill down to 2 categories that best describe your book.
If you have a children’s book, make sure you are found in the right age group.
Here is a book marketing tip. Set the target age ranges and grade levels for your books on Amazon:
Age, Grade Level, Description
0 – 2, N/A, Board books
3 – 5, Pre-school, Picture books
6 – 8, Kindergarten – 2nd grade, Early-level readers, first chapter books
9 – 12, 3rd grade – 6th grade, Middle-grade chapter books
13 – 18, 7th grade – 12th grade, Teen and young adult chapter books
Get social with book marketing
- Goodreads. Sign up as an author. Do a book giveaway. Ask for reviews. Add the title, author, and links to where they can post or send reviews.
- Facebook. Create a Facebook page to help with book marketing.
- Twitter. Tweet about your book. The key here is to build quality followers who would potentially buy your book.
- LinkedIn offers quite a few groups for authors to join. Find useful information and compare notes with other authors.
- Pinterest is fun for many. Pin and share photos. Social accounts help your website ranking.
- Book Signing. Hold a book signing at a bookstore, library, or any good venue for your book. A book on cooking may do well in an upscale food market, where cookbooks are also sold.
- Fairs. An art, photography, or travel book does well at local or regional fairs.
- Schools. Children’s books do very well if you get the right book with the a positive message, in front of the right age group.
If you use an on-demand service, do you actually get your book into brick-and-mortar bookstores, or just have access to those bookstores? We have a secret for you. If you have your own ISBN and barcode, you already have access to brick-and-mortar bookstores. You are in the database already.
In conclusion, spend time on the most productive aspects of book marketing. That will likely be direct sales, and sales through Amazon. Your website will be a resource and validation of who you are and what your book is about. Nurture website email subscribers as they might be buying your next title!
What is vital to book marketing and sales? Ask for the business. Like this: