Most new authors face challenges to promote and sell their books. Self-publishing and a good marketing plan can help new authors achieve success.
Many people love to write and many writers dream of publishing a book. The path to publication is challenging; stories abound of new authors who encountered hundreds of rejections before achieving success.
Self-publishing has long been an option for new authors. Until recently, it was considered to be an inferior means to achieve published author status. Some famous authors, such as fiction writer Vince Flynn began their careers through self-publication, and others, including Stephen King have recently turned to self-publishing.
The explosion of self-publishing options affords new authors expanded opportunities to achieve the goal of becoming a published author of either a print book, an ebook, or both.
- Self-publishing a book in print: Companies such as Lulu and Amazon-owned CreateSpace leverage technology to make the print self-publishing process easy and inexpensive for anyone with basic computer knowledge.
- Publishing an e-book: Kindle Direct Publishing, Barnes and Noble’s Pub-It and multiple format publisher Smashwords offer systematic guidance for the new author who wishes to create books for the digital world.
Although self-publishing has made it easier for writers to become published authors, selling self-published books requires a sound marketing plan. A small financial investment can significantly boost sales. The story of my self-published aviation-oriented book called The Flight Level Chronicles serves as an example.
Social Media and Online Promotion for Self-Published Authors
Social media is a powerful means for self-published authors to reach a wide audience. The self-published author can set up a Facebook page for the book and promote it through a Facebook ad. Different ads can be created and deployed to users who have listed a specific interest in reading books or in the subject of the book’s main topic.
By leveraging Facebook ads, The Flight Level Chronicles sold more than 100 copies of its Kindle version in less than three weeks. In addition, a Twitter user saw the ad and promoted the book as a Kindle frugal pick, providing expanded publicity without cost.
Establishing a website for a book requires a bit of computer savvy and a small financial investment. Nonetheless, it is a very important tool to provide an online identity for a self-published book. The website also provides a place to direct people who are interested in buying or learning about the book.
Traditional Promotion for Self-Published Books
A new author who has self-published can mail or email press releases to media outlets. For example, The Flight Level Chronicles is aviation-oriented, and publications that serve pilots accept press releases. One press release resulted in a podcast, providing further exposure for the book.
The new author can easily create flyers and business cards to spread word of the self-published book. Business cards should be freely handed out to all contacts. Flyers can be posted on community bulletin boards and in other places that welcome public notices. These may include grocery stores, gyms and certain restaurants. In the case of The Flight Level Chronicles, public locations in airports were identified as appropriate places to reach the target audience.
A Sound Marketing Plan Creates Self-Publishing Success
A new author can achieve success with a self-published book by taking time to develop a comprehensive marketing plan. The plan should include many different avenues to promote the book. The new author should not be embarrassed or shy about promotion, since marketing the book is the only way to effectively reach potential readers. Above all, the new author needs patience. Nearly all new products, including self-published books require time to become noticed.