My attitude to writing is perfectly described in this quote by Yann Martel:
Every book I’ve written has been a different attempt to understand something, and the success or failure of the previous one is irrelevant. I write the book I want (via bqotd.com)
I write to get a deeper understanding of something. I have yet to collect my writings into a book but I am always on the lookout for different ways to go about that.
Deciding to avoid traditional publishing outlets and get your completed works out to the masses all on your own is a decision that promises to bring with it a sense of pride and potential financial returns that simply cannot be matched, but never underestimate just how difficult such an endeavor can be.
There are many pitfalls that will claim your success in your marketing efforts if you’re not careful, leading to low sales and a lack of word of mouth that could threaten your very existence as a self-publishing author.
Put your best foot forward and be just as efficient an advertiser as you are a writer by avoiding these four most common mistakes that self-publishers make:
1. Get the Basics Handled First
Probably the biggest challenge facing self-publishing writers is getting ahead of themselves; while it may be difficult to market your work, it’s certainly easy enough to throw it out into the world, and this too often makes for unfinished pieces of fiction finding their way to the masses.
No matter how eager you are to expose your hard work, never forget that writing formulas, proofreading, and editing are all necessary to produce a book that has the potential to catch and draw in readers. Without an editor to pitch to and critics to throw your work back at you, you’re left on your own to work until you come up with the masterpiece that you’ve always intended to create, requiring a healthy dose of self-discipline in the midst of your crafting.
To help you out with the actual steps, here’s a very clear clutter-free checklist to go through while you are still working on your book.
2. Plan Out Your Marketing Strategy
The biggest challenge for self-publishers is handing their marketing strategy on their own. If you cannot sell yourself well, you may be in trouble.
But don’t panic: Here are a few social media marketing tactics you can start planning out now:
- Start those social media accounts to support the brand name and manage the reputation properly. Take my quick course on how to properly manage your search and social reputation
- Try alternative formats: Try this platform for online magazines to re-purpose parts of your book for wider reach
- Hold a book launch Twitter party. Twitter chats are fun!
- Arrange a few guest blogging columns on prominent blogs. Make it very clear that you are preparing to launch a book, so editors know you will be mentioning it in your bio or even in the article. Editors must be ok with that, so that they don’t get offended later.
- Partner with email marketers in your industry to arrange some newsletter promotions utilizing their lists (Work out some partnership / sponsorship opportunities for that)
- Get interviewed! There are plenty of people who’d love to hear your story!
- Start a podcast: There are plenty of opportunities to re-market that content!
3. Bring All Your Marketing Pieces Together
With so many new social media assets to keep an eye on, you risk getting overwhelmed quickly. Work out an efficient system to monitor everything from one place. My way is to use a business dashboard Cyfe which handles lots of tasks for me:
- My social media growth stats
- My site performance and Uptime monitoring
- My invoices and finances
- Posting and scheduling on social media, and so much more
4. Give Away Freebies
People love freebies, so the easiest way to win their hearts and get them promote your book is to give them something for free. Here are two ways you can approach that:
- Reach out to niche influencers and offer to send them your book for free (many of them will review it for you!)
- Offer a chapter from your book for a free download to collect emails from those who opt-in
Colorlib is a great example of freebie marketing in action: They give away awesome tools and resources using freebies to build their email list.
One of my favorite methods of promotion is also one of the more innovative to have come out in a long time. Paying with a like is a super simple way to get more visibility on social media without any work on your part. You install a plugin on your WordPress blog or landing page, such as WPLike2Get and Social Locker.
This requires anyone who wants your book to “pay” with a like or share, so that it shows on their social media profile. This exposes the book to hundreds, thousands, and even more new readers without any additional effort on your end.
5. Keep an Eye on Content Thieves
If you succeed in the steps above, you’ll have another problem to handle: People trying to spread your book for free or people using your private content on their sites. Unfortunately, self-publishers have to handle their content security on their own. Use Duplicate Content Tool to monitor any potential attempts to reuse your content without permission.
Are there any other tactics to promote a self-published book? Let us know in the comments!
Image source: Pixabay