Learning how to sell books as an author is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do. It is far more difficult that actually writing a book. However, if you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to success!
Authoring a book is a great way to share your knowledge and experience with others. It’s also a good way to earn extra money while doing something you love, but actually selling a self-published book can be frustrating and disappointing. Selling books is not like selling other items like, say, coffee pots. Books are cheap items, often costing less than a cup of coffee, although it takes fifteen to twenty minutes to drink a coffee, yet about a week to read a book! Nevertheless, readers demand excellence, and satisfaction on a higher level than they do from the coffee vendor!
Not only that, but readers think that they are taking a big risk with their $5 if they spend it on an unknown writer, so this is where you as an unknown indie-author have to come from.
Create A Good Cover Page.
You need to make sure that your cover page has a professional appearance. This means that the font should be large enough so that people can read it easily. Also, the background colour should match the theme of your book. If you’re writing a children’s book, then use bright colours. If you’re writing about politics, then choose a dark background. So, perhaps, if you are new to this, you could employ a skilled agency. The one that produced the cover above charged $38 for the design in four formats, which is a fantastic deal. (See below).
Write A Great Title.
Make sure that your title is catchy and interesting. It should also be short and concise for a novel, longer perhaps for non-fiction. Don’t write something like “How to sell books as an author.” Instead, try something like “The Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Book as an Author” or “Selling Your Book as an Author – Step by Step”. Novels will require a similar, but slightly different, approach. Look at other titles in your genre on a best selling list.
Find The Right Platform To Sell Books As An Author.
There are so many different platforms out there that it’s hard to choose just one. If you’re looking to make money online, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) might be right for you. KDP allows authors to upload ebooks directly to Amazon’s website. Once uploaded, readers can purchase books through Amazon’s site. Some authors prefer to go for the scattergun approach and publish on all platforms. There is at least one publisher that will spread your book around all the famous companies and hundreds of unknown ones. (See below).
Build Relationships With Other Authors.
You should also consider building relationships with other authors who write similar books. This will help you find common ground and build trust between you and your potential customers. It’s also a good idea to join groups where people share ideas and experiences related to writing and publishing. Such groups are available on private websites, writers’ organisations, writers’ influence groups, and The British Library etc. Facebook, Reddit and Tik-Tok also host authors’ discussion pages.
Promote Yourself And Your Work.
If you’re looking to sell books as an author, you need to promote yourself and your work. Start by creating an author website that includes a biography, links to your books, your social media accounts, and contact information. Then, start sharing your story online through not only traditional social media like blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest, but also Tik-Tok, Inkitt and Wattpad.
You will need to know something about marketing, promoting or advertising. It’s all the same really. If that is an alien concept to you, then you will need to realise soon that that is part and parcel of being an indie-writer. No-one is going to sell your books for you. Publishers and aggregators will put them on their virtual bookshelves, but no-one will know that they are there unless you – yes, you! – tell them. You can employ people to help you, but it is hard to know who is a honest and who is not; who knows the job, and who doesn’t.
I think that the correct ratio of writing to promoting is 3:4, but I have a lot of books to promote and have been doing it for more than a decade. If you have only one, or two books, perhaps you will get away with 2:5. Although, that depends on how much you know about marketing. Perhaps, 3:4 is still right, until you you know more about how to sell your book(s).
Don’t Give Up!
Learning how to sell books as an author is a very difficult journey. It can seem soul-destroying, but you have to take comfort from every little success. If you are lucky, you will meet some fantastically interesting people, and you will receive the snippets of praise from readers that keep an author going.