3 Simple Tools for Promoting Your Self-Published Book: A Marketing Guide for Authors

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The rise of self-publishing has allowed emerging and independent authors to release millions of new titles every year, shaking up the traditional publishing industry and giving readers worldwide the chance to discover new stories and voices. The indie market tends to be more creative and experimental since authors can play around with themes and writing styles that publishers would be loath to invest in. So, if you want to try out new topics or ways to tell a story, this market may be perfect for you.

Technology has greatly facilitated the entire process—from creation to marketing and distribution—but it has also made the industry much more competitive. Today, nearly anyone can self-publish a book, and while some newcomers aren’t very good at their craft, competent authors still have a lot of skilled peers to compete with. That’s why self-published writers are learning more about the tools that can make their marketing campaigns stand out and deliver the desired results.

If you’re a self-published author, marketing your book is entirely your responsibility, and as brilliant as your story may be, readers won’t discover it unless you market it. If the thought of launching a marketing campaign yourself sounds overwhelming, check out our book marketing packages for authors and let the experts do the hard work for you. 

Let’s start with the basics. 

1. Use data processing tools and analysis to identify your target audience

You may think you know your target audience, but without the help of data processing tools, you can’t be entirely sure which demographic will be interested in your story. You might unexpectedly tap into an entirely new audience you’ve never considered before. Thankfully, the internet has made data analysis accessible to everyone. This is great news for authors as it can be an incredibly useful tool in researching the genre, topics, or subject matter of your book and learning more about the people who are interested in them. 

Don’t worry; you don’t have to be an expert analyst to derive useful insights from data—there are already multiple data processing tools out there (like Google Analytics) that make it easy. However, you should take the time to learn more about your target audience so you can craft your marketing campaign accordingly. Identifying your key demographic will determine the tone and design you use in your ads, making them more effective, as well as where to place them to craft a compelling marketing campaign. Use this information to your advantage. 

Once you know who’s interested in your book, you can tailor all your promotional strategies—whether that’s traditional advertisements or your content on social media—to the specific demographic, which can more effectively draw additional attention to your book.

2. Promote your self-published book with paid ads

Advertising has been a dependable tool for authors for decades, but the internet has completely changed the way we view ads, where we find them, and how we shop. There are all types of advertisements available these days, and as an independent author, you need to know which of them will be more effective before you invest your money. After all, while ads are an invaluable marketing tool, people famously hate and ignore them, so you’ll want to make sure you’re showing your ads to the right audience.

Although not nearly as ubiquitous as they once were, print ads are still an effective and reliable way to reach new customers and make a longer-lasting impression on potential readers. However, they aren’t the best idea if you’re targeting younger demographics. Paying for ads in local newspapers and magazines, especially smaller publications in your hometown or where your story is set, can have a significant impact despite the lower circulation. If your story has a strong connection to a particular location, this can be a great way to pick up some new readers. Provided you can afford to make the investment, a larger campaign in a national publication will reach more readers. 

A print campaign won’t be as big as an online campaign, but it may have a stronger impact because we’ve become desensitized to online ads and tend to scroll right past them. Still, online ads can be cheaper and reach more people, thus increasing the chances that someone will buy your book. From social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to marketplaces and communities like Amazon, Goodreads, and Google, paid ads can be placed almost anywhere, and algorithms will target the right demographic, making sure your ad reaches the people most likely to purchase your book. The extremely targeted nature of online ads is their greatest strength for advertisers, and devoted fans of your genre hunting for their next great read may find it hard to scroll past your ad.

That said, even the best-crafted ad will be rendered useless if it’s published in the wrong outlet, which is why choosing the right platforms for your advertisement is key to translating your campaign into sales. Once you’ve established your target audience and the kinds of ads most likely to persuade them to purchase, you can decide where those ads should be placed.

3. Promote your self-published book through networking

Not everything has to cost you money—sometimes it just comes down to good networking. Getting interviewed or featured on podcasts, YouTube channels, blogs, and online magazines can offer great promotion for your new book, and it’s usually free. Being featured on a trusted platform with a large following will give you and your book credibility and likely result in more sales. It can be more effective than advertising campaigns because the readers and listeners of these media trust the opinions of the hosts and are more likely to believe them if they say your book is excellent. Plus, they can get to know you a bit, making you more personable and enhancing their opinion of you, which can lead to more sales.

However, you must put in the work: You have to reach out, write proposals, share your book with platform creators, or ask mutual friends and acquaintances to put you in touch with influential people. It can be scary and not everyone is cut out for it, but it’s effective and won’t cost you any money. If you’re intimidated but want to try it out, start small and work your way up.

Get out there and take advantage of every (legitimate) opportunity that will get your story in front of a new audience. Beyond reaching out to outlets focused on promoting books and authors, research those that work within your niche or genre as they will already have a dedicated audience interested in your subject matter—this is the perfect way to find new fans. Take an open-minded approach to marketing: There are many ways to draw new readers to your book, and sometimes they’re quite unconventional.

As a self-published author, you can do as little or as much as you want to market and promote your book. You don’t want to burn yourself out, but you do want all the hard work that went into writing and publishing your book to pay off, so find and use the ways that best suit you to promote your book, whether that’s paying for ads or putting your face out there for the world to see. If you need help assembling a marketing package, don’t hesitate to contact our book marketing experts to craft a bespoke package for you.  

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