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Selling Self-Published Books

Daisy's Chain book cover - self-published book
Selling self-published books

You’ve written a great book. Now what? How do you market it so people buy it? In this article, we’ll show you how to go about selling self-published books. Book promotion is harder than writing for most indie authors.

Assuming that the book has been edited, the first step in selling self-published books is to check, improve, and rewrite the metadata. This means that the title, the subtitle and the book description must be the very best that you can imagine. It is possible to redo these details later, but it is far better to get them right the first time around.

After all, people do judge a book by its cover and the first words that a potential reader will see of yours are those on the book cover. When you are happy with the metadata, get a cover made up and publish your book, let’s say on Amazon KDP, and you are ready to go.

Now, you need to figure out how to promote it. This includes getting reviews on the Amazon bookstore, writing press releases, and, possibly, finding an agent, but that’s optional.

Create an Author Website.

If you’re self-publishing, you should consider creating an author website as part of your author platform. An author website will help you build credibility as an expert in your field. It’s also a place where you can share your work with others. If you create a blog, you can keep in touch with your readership by writing regular articles on aspects of your books and life. Blogger is free.

Build an Email List.

Once you’ve published your book, you need to start building an email list. This is one of the easiest ways to promote your book because you can send out emails to your subscribers at any time. There are free options available like Mailchimp.

Promote Your Book.

There are several different ways to promote your book. One of the simplest is to use social media. If you’re not using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, etc., then you should be. These sites allow you to easily share links to your book and blog with your followers.

Sell Books Directly.

Another option is to sell your book directly through Amazon KDP. This is an easy way to reach a large number of potential buyers at once. However, there are some drawbacks to selling your books directly through Amazon. First, you must pay a fee to list your print book. Second, you must wait until your book sells enough copies to qualify for free shipping. Finally, you must keep track of inventory yourself. You could buy, say, twenty author copies at a time from Amazon, and sell them signed through your blog, but then there’s shipping to take care of too.

Special Offers.

Many publishers and aggregators, such as Amazon and Smashwords make it easy to make promotional offers with discount coupons or time sensitive price reductions. These special offers often work well to boost sales just before the summer and Christmas holidays. You can also run competitions, raffles and give-aways.

Grow Your Audience.

This takes time and patience. Some people have a gift for self-publicity, but most find it difficult. You can join blog tours, host virtual book reading parties. Give away book markers, pencils and keyrings, all bearing your contact details. You will need to write articles for your blog, and post regularly on social media. You could also publish press releases, contact your local paper and ask your local library to buy a copy. A sequel often helps in selling self-published books too. Readers like box sets and series.

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