For many authors writing the book is the easy part, selling it is quite another. While publishers will sometimes lend a hand, you can’t rely on that happening. Basically you are often on your own.
It therefore makes sense to start planning your marketing strategies long before the book comes out, and if the publishers come through, then their activity is a bonus because you’ve taken charge yourself.
In addition to book launch party, when you will definitely sell books, here’s some other ideas of what you can do:
1.Start building your list. Don’t wait until the book comes out to build your following. Long before your book is finished, you want to have established yourself as an expert and recruited subscribers. Then when the book is available, you have an established set of customers eager to buy.
2.Blogging. This is one way to build your list. Start writing about the topic of your book but don’t give too much away or people will not have a reason to buy. You want to whet their appetite and stir their curiosity.
3.Get connected. If you are on LinkedIn, start reaching out to people you know and add them to your list of connections. That way when you want to announce the arrival of your book, you have a ready-made audience.
And if you are not on LinkedIn, it’s time you were.
4.Post comments. Respond to other articles and make a comment, saying of course, that you are author of your upcoming book.
5.Give updates. Keep your “friends” on Facebook updated on your progress as you write the book. Likewise, send out tweets that relate to your topic, again building an audience. And when you are out socially, tell people what you are doing.
6.Line up speaking gigs. Use your book as a platform for speaking and research upcoming conferences, networks where your talk would be appropriate. It is better to speak after the book is out. While you can talk prior, book sales are likely to be lower.
People like to have the book in their hands. You could also try to make it a condition of the presentation that the conference organizers have a sponsor cover the cost so each participant receive a copy of the book.
7.Booth. If you can’t get a speaking gig at a conference, you could still set up a booth and sell from there. It is not as effective as people tend to buy when you’ve spoken and they are intrigued and want to learn more.
8.Book reviews. Arrange for advance proof copies to be sent to people/organizations that will review and write about your book You may also want to use their testimonials inside the book or as part of the back cover blurb.
9.Special offers. Once the book is out, and available as an e book, you can arrange for a special offer where for example it is free for a certain period of time.
10.Accept pre-orders. This can help if you anticipate cash flow issues in that you get the money upfront. It also gives you an indication of how many to have printed.
11.Affiliates. You can align yourself with other authors or experts, and in collaboration arrange for them to promote and market your book in return for a commission on sales. Or maybe you barter and have a reciprocal arrangement.
12.Create a bundle. You know buy this and you will also get x. So the offer seems more enticing for someone to buy. Everyone likes to think they are getting a bargain.
As you will see, it is not as simple as do this, this and this and your book will sell. You have to draw on the creativity that got you writing the book in the first place, and take a multi-faceted approach.
What you don’t want is boxes of books sitting in your garage gathering dust. Make a plan and get started.