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How to Promote a Self Published Book: 8 Pro Tips

So you finally finished your masterpiece!

Writing a book is a big deal. You poured a lot of hours, hard work, and maybe even some tears into writing your book.

Now, you want to share your masterpiece with the world. You learned all about self-publishing and have put your book out there.

…Only to find out that not everyone is as excited about your book as you are.

But maybe it’s not that they’re not excited, but that they don’t know about your book. Check out these tips on how to promote a self-published book. Do your marketing right and you’ll start to see those sales soar.

1. Identify Your Audience

The first thing you need to have clear in your mind is who your audience is. All your marketing needs to be geared toward the right people, or else it will be in vain.

Do a lot of people look at your book, but few people buy it? Perhaps you are appealing to the wrong audience.

If your book is about fishing techniques, you don’t want to be marketing to soccer moms. Maybe some of those moms would be interested in your book, but likely not very many. But if you market to outdoor enthusiasts, you’ll probably have a lot more success.

2. Carefully Design Your Cover

The old saying goes “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. But that’s exactly what everyone does.

As potential buyers are scrolling through lists of books, chances are the cover is what will catch their eye…or not. If they like what they see, they may stop to look closer and read the description.

Carefully plan your cover. Every element, down to the colors you choose, will have an effect on whether the cover catches eyes or not.

Keep your audience in mind here as well. For that fishing book, you may want to use outdoorsy colors like blue, green, and brown. And make sure to keep your fonts no-nonsense and clean.

On the other hand, loud colors and fun, cutesy fonts would work for a children’s book. It’s all about context and the audience you’re trying to appeal to.

3. Write a Good Description

After the image, the next most important element of your marketing is the description. The image will work to catch the reader’s attention. The description will hold it and possibly lead to a sale.

The description should be short, concise and clearly explain what your book is about. People have short 5-second attention spans these days and won’t make the effort to read your description if it takes them much longer than that to read it. Unless, of course, the description is riveting and captures their attention well.

4. Learn to Use Amazon

Once you get your materials looking the way you want them to, it’s time to start some serious marketing tactics. The biggest thing to remember when marketing your self-published book is that Amazon is your friend. There are a ton of tactics and resources that Amazon alone provides to help you successfully market your book.

You want your book to show up in search listings when people search for keywords related to your book. Publish in both the paperback and Kindle E-book sections and take full advantage of the categories and keywords you can select for each.

If you don’t mind staying exclusive with Amazon you can take it one step further with the KDP Select program. Be sure to take advantage of the free promotion days, countdown deals, and pay for a few Amazon Ads if you can.

5. Hand Out Freebies

Handing out your book for free may seem counterintuitive at first. But it’s actually a really great marketing tactic.

On Amazon, whether someone pays anything for your book is irrelevant. All that matters is that they downloaded your book. So, offer it up for free and scream it from the rooftops. You’ll likely get lots of downloads. You can also offer free first chapters or the first book in a series for free to spark interest.

Once you get enough, your book will start appearing in the “also bought” suggestion boxes on Amazon. Now when people are looking at a book similar to yours, your book will show up in front of someone who will probably be interested in it.

6. Get Reviews

The other benefit of getting lots of downloads is getting reviews, which are super important. Be sure that when you’re promoting your free download you suggest that readers leave a review. Of course, you have to ask for honest opinions, but if your book is awesome that shouldn’t be a problem.

Having lots of good reviews helps other readers to see that people have read and enjoyed your book. This encourages new buyers to take the plunge because they see that other people have enjoyed it.

It also helps to get your book higher in the search rankings. This is ideal because more people will find it.

7. Write a Blog

Don’t stop at just writing your book! Be sure to set up an author’s website and write a blog.

Outside of Amazon, this is one of the most effective marketing tools you have at your disposal. Getting on the first page of Google in your niche will bring you a lot of organic traffic.

But you need to know how to write engaging content that people actually want to read. Don’t just write promotional blog posts about your book. Look for something valuable to your audience and write about that instead.

Don’t know how to get your blog going? Check out the resources from Marketing by Kevin to get started.

8. Get on Social Media

Of course, social media is a good way to spread the news far and wide. Most authors use at least Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads to promote their books.

People have a very short attention span on social media. Thus, it is harder to engage people with social media than a blog. Use it to create interest and send people to your blog where you can hook them with your amazing content.

Now You Know How to Promote a Self-Published Book

There you have it. These are the basics of learning how to promote a self-published book. It isn’t hard, but it does take a little bit of work. You put a lot of work into writing your masterpiece, it just takes a bit more to get it in front of the right people.

Looking for more great tips about the writing process? Check out our blog!

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