Now that your book is published, you can just sit back, relax, and watch the sales come in. Right? Wrong! There’s one crucial thing you must do if you expect to earn anything from your book, and that’s to promote it. After all, according to the New York Times, hundreds of thousands of new books are published every year. How will people buy your book if they don’t know it exists? However, promoting your eBook is not as simple as emailing friends or sending buy-my-book messages to your friends and your friends’ friends in Facebook. You would want to promote, not to spam people. Here are some of the more effective ways of promoting your work.
- Come up with a marketing plan. You would want a strategic way of promoting your book to get the most return out of your investment. What are your goals, and how will you achieve them? What tools are you going to use and how will you monitor the effectiveness of those tools? If you have no idea how to make a marketing plan, do some research. There are a lot of good reading materials on the web nowadays.
- Use social media. If you’re a published author, it’s a mistake not to harness the power of social media to promote your work. Make it a part of your marketing plan to sign up for a Twitter account to connect with potential readers. You can use a Facebook page as well; you can either have one for yourself as an author, or you can create one fan page for each book you publish. Just remember, don’t spam your friends or your fans with promotional tweets or status updates. Create content (for both Twitter and Facebook) that are useful or entertaining for them.
- Connect with bloggers or other authors. Networking can do wonders for your sales. Come up with a list of the top 20 bloggers who write book reviews. Contact them and let them know how you find their blog. Give a brief introduction about yourself, but don’t immediately ask them to promote or write a review of your book. These bloggers get pitched daily; if you don’t seem aggressive, they can take the time to get to know your work. Once you have established a little rapport, you can bring up a proposal, e.g., if they promote your work through a post or their newsletter, they can have a commission for every book sold through their site. Don’t limit yourself to book blogs, though. You can also tap bloggers in the same niche as your book.
- Create a sampler of your book that readers can download for free. A lot of successful self-published authors swear by this strategy. Offer one to two chapters free for readers to download, and then let them know that if they would like to read more, they can buy it. It works because customers are wary nowadays of buying a book whose quality they are not sure about. Too many books look good on the outside but are crap inside. By letting readers peek into the first chapter or two, they can get an idea of what they’re buying. If a lot of readers in Amazon download your book as well (even if it’s for free), it will give the impression of demand and can even put your work on the charts.
- Create a sales page. You can have it on a website or blog, but make sure that it’s a separate page. Make sure to highlight what the book is all about, what the readers can get from it (value), and how it has helped others (i.e., through testimonials). Include a call to action—ask the readers to buy it, and of course, provide a link to whichever online retailer you may have uploaded the book.