When you sell your book to a publisher, your work is done after it gets printed. You may be asked to go to book signings, or talk about your work on TV, but all the hard work is done for you. Most publishers will have a marketing department and you just have to show up wherever they have scheduled you to appear and talk about your work. Unfortunately, in self-publishing, this doesn't happen. You have to do everything yourself, including the much-needed (and sometimes much-dreaded) marketing. The advantage of living in the digital age, however, is that you no longer need to go house to house in order to let the public know about your opus. There is one major tool available for your use: the Internet. Learn how to maximize it to market your book and it will pay off big time in the long run. There are many ways you can market your book online. The following are just some of them. Maintain a Blog and Update it Regularly As mentioned in 5 Ways to Promote Your Self-Published eBook, you need to create a sales page. This may be static, and you may have it in your website, but to ensure freshness of your site (which is a good thing in Google’s eyes), you must have a blog. A blog is essentially a website, but a website is not a blog. The differences between the two are simple. A website basically exists to give information; a blog does that but also encourages interaction from readers. Most websites also have static front pages (they don’t change), while blogs—because posts are displayed in reverse chronological order—have a more dynamic content structure. Find Other Bloggers in Your Niche and Interact with Them If you are writing about travel, for example, you can search for the top travel bloggers and book bloggers and connect with them. This includes following their social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus), and reading their blog posts. Don’t stop at just reading, though. You would want them to be aware of you, and one way to achieve that is to comment on their posts regularly. Never write spammy comments (e.g., “Nice post,” “Thanks for sharing”); address a point that has been mentioned in the blog, as it shows that you did read it. However, never put your blog URL in the comment itself. In most cases, it will be classified as spam and deleted automatically. Most comment forms have a box for your blog URL anyway. Anyone who wants to get in touch with you can find you through your link there. Make sure as well to share some of their posts in social media sites. Most bloggers will return the favor. Get Your Name Out as an Expert Once your book is published and you have established relationships with key people, it’s time to put out your name as an expert in the topic you’re published in. There are some ways you can do this:
- Offer to write a quality article as a guest post to selected blogs. Make sure that in your pitch, you detail what kind of post that you will write and how it will benefit the other blog’s (not yours!) readers. This means you have to be familiar with the site you’re pitching to and what kind of posts they write for their particular audience.
- Solicit book reviews, either from other authors or from bloggers. With authors, you can offer a reciprocal book review (they review yours, you review theirs). With other bloggers, or simply readers who can write the review on Amazon, you can offer a free copy of the book in exchange for a review. Keep in mind though, that you have no control over what they will say about your book.
- Sign up on expert sites like Squidoo, HubPages, and Suite101. Write articles there that are related to your niche. The more online exposure you have, the better for your book sales.