Staying in the Game: Book Marketing for Self-Published Authors – Virginia Colton | Guest Post

Self-publishing is becoming more and more popular among authors nowadays. Self-publishing is the publication of books, magazines, and any other media by authors without the involvement of an established publisher. In other words, self-published authors do pretty much all the tasks necessary to publish and sell a book – this includes book marketing.

To be quite honest, most self-published books sell very few copies. The main reason behind this is the lack of marketing ties of self-published authors. Compared to the established traditional publishers, self-published authors often do not have any marketing ties in place to sell books. For this reason, effective book marketing is important in self-publishing.

However, book marketing can be confusing and exhausting, especially if you are still new to the industry. It takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to market a book. There is no easy button for it. Nonetheless, there are many proven measures to up the promotion of your book and increase its salability without having to exhaust all of your energy and resources. Below are some of these measures.


Do a market research

Doing market research refers to figuring out the what’s and whys of your target readers – what their expectations and preferences on books are, why they choose certain types of books, and more. In other words, doing market research is a way to get to know your target audience.

Performing market research can help you streamline both your writing and marketing processes. This is because, through researching, you can learn what types of books are known to sell well, which can then give you some ideas on how to create your book in such a way that it will most certainly sell – this is called writing to market. Writing to market is when you write and package your book according to the expectations and preferences of a specific audience. When your book is able to meet these expectations and preferences, it becomes less difficult for you to find potential readers.


Build an author website with generated traffic

As an author, you need to build and maintain a website to support your literary career. An author website is an online hub where you post everything about your career and your books. It should be a 24/7 up and running resource for your readers and media – one that you own, control, and update. The primary purpose of an author website is to serve as the central area of your online presence to help establish your author brand more easily and bring in new readers.

An author website is a great marketing tool, especially for self-published authors. However, for your website to be truly effective in marketing your books, it should be generating some traffic. Website traffic refers to the number of web users who visit your website. The more traffic your website has, the more effective it is in attracting an audience for your books. There are several ways to increase traffic to your website, the most common of which are through web traffic optimization or search engine optimization, building backlinks, and guest blogging.


Increase your social media presence 

Aside from having a website, you also need to be active on social media to support your career as an author. Social media is another great way to help you promote your books and other projects. Today, nearly everyone from across the globe uses social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These social networking sites have increasingly become an efficient avenue for businesses to promote their products and services. You, as an author, should also make use of the extensiveness of social media to market your books. 

As much as possible, maintain a constant presence on social media. Post relatable content regularly to become more relevant and to increase your followers. To attract more potential readers, you also need to interact with your audience over social media – ask them questions, respond to their comments, and connect with them in several meaningful ways. More importantly, make sure to establish a good reputation on social media, as your online presence already represents your brand as an author.


Get reviews for your book

Reviews are important for businesses in general. Reviews help a business build credibility and entice new customers. In the literary industry, reviews are also important both for the readers and the authors. Many readers rely on reviews when it comes to deciding whether or not to buy and read a certain book. Reading reviews reduces the risk of regrettably spending a buck on an awful book.

For authors, on the other hand, reviews are very much helpful in establishing credibility and enhancing salability. The more positive reviews a book has, the greater its chances of selling well. For this reason, you need to get as many reviews for your books as possible. These reviews should be authentic, and should come from people who have actually read your books. There are some effective ways to get book reviews without resorting to creating fake online accounts. This includes creating an advance reader team, contacting book bloggers, and using social media to ask for reviews.


Use enticing book blurb and cover

Packaging plays an important role in increasing the salability of your book. Although an adage says that a book should not be judged by its cover, many readers still consider the quality of blurb and cover when it comes to choosing a book. For this reason, if you want to market your book well, you should start by making sure that your book blurb and cover are enticing enough to capture the attention of potential readers.

A book blurb refers to the short promotional piece that is typically found on the back of a book or within its sleeve. Its main purpose is to provide a brief description of what a book is all about. A blurb needs to be interesting and well-written because it is usually the first thing that many people read when they pick up a book. When writing a blurb, make sure that it reflects the overall tone of your book. Use proper formatting, and avoid writing long sentences. When it comes to creating a book cover, on the other hand, it is important to be as creative as possible. The cover should be eye-catching, and it should be consistent with the central theme of your book.

In summary, book marketing is undoubtedly more tiring for self-published authors than for the traditionally published ones. Authors who go through traditional book publishers worry less about promoting and distributing their books because the publishers already take care of these for them. On the contrary, self-published authors still have to figure these things out for themselves using as many resources as available.

The things mentioned in this article are only some of the many ways to help you enhance your marketing game as a self-published author. There are still plenty of other book marketing ideas out there that can help you in your literary endeavor. The most important thing is to gain as many ideas as possible. Book marketing is no piece of cake. You will go through a series of trial and error, trying to identify what measures can help you the most. Nonetheless, never lose your hope and patience. Remember, an achievement is more rewarding when it is reached through hard work. So, happy marketing!



My name is Virginia Colton. I am a digital marketing expert. I am currently working as SEO Specialist for a self-publishing company. I also do copy writing for a team of digital experts. I write poetry. My other interests include archery, painting, and designing.

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