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Marketing is possibly the most important aspect of self publishing and it is often the one step overlooked. People think that if they write a good book, one that others will enjoy, then it will sell. Perhaps, if it gets some press or word of mouth it will sell. If you market it well it will definitely sell. In fact, as proven by hundreds of products, if you market it well it doesn’t matter if it’s a good book or not.

I’m not advocating poor writing here, but this is the power of a good solid marketing strategy.

It is important to define your marketing strategy and begin to market well in advance of your books release. Many of the marketing items below take time to become effective and you want to begin to build anticipation prior to your release.


Online Marketing


Create a Website or Blog

It is important to create an online presence for your book and yourself as an author, part of that is creating a centralized information source about you and your book. A personal website or blog is a great way to do this. It gives you the opportunity to keep your readership informed and advertise your book.

The key to a good website or blog, however, is not the information about you or your book. It is the alternative information you post that adds value to the visitor. It is this information that will keep your readers returning to your site which will help to increase your SEO scores, incoming links, and overall presence in the market.


Social Media

No single marketing medium has had the impact for any industry that social media has for the self published author. This is the marketing channel that made authors like Amanda Hocking and E. L. James. Using it effectively, however is very different from just using it. You need to build a following but this doesn’t just mean getting a lot of likes on Facebook or followers on twitter. It means getting active likes and followers. People who will help grow your following.

To do so you need to provide value to those following, ads about your book are not going to do this. You need to post content that will make followers repost, comment and be active on your page.


Offline Marketing


Press Release

A Press Release should not be a simple introduction or review of your book. Remember this piece is being sent to the media, if you want to get media attention for your book then the release has to be newsworthy. What’s the story behind, the book, the launch or the author that makes it worthwhile for the media to cover. Concentrate on that aspect when writing your release.

Once written the big question is where do you send it? For local media I suggest contacting them personally and directly. For mass media blasts the following links will help you get your Press Release out there.

24-7PressRelease.com – Free release distribution with ad-support

1888PressRelease.com – Free distribution, paid services gives you better placement and permanent archiving.

ClickPress.com – Distributs to sites like Google News and Topix.net, Gold level will also get you to sites like LexisNexis.

EcommWire.com – Focuses on ecommerece and requires you include an image, 3 keywords and links.

Express-Press-Release.com – Free distribution company with offices in 12 states.

Free-Press-Release.com – Easy press release distribution for free, more features for paid accounts.

Free-Press-Release-Center.info – Distributes your release, offers a web page with one keyword link to your site. Pro upgrade will give you three links, permanent archiving and more.

I-Newswire.com – Allows for free distribution to sites and search engines, premium membership differs only slightly in adding in graphics.

NewswireToday.com – All the usual free distribution tools, premium service includes logo, product picture and more.

PR.com – Not only will they distribute your press releases, but you can also set up a full company profile.

PR9.net – Ad supported press distribution site.

PR-Inside.com – European-based free press release distribution site.

PRBuzz.com – Completely free distribution to search engines, news sites, and blogs.

PRCompass.com – Distribute your press release with a free or paid version, others can vote it up ala Digg style.

PRUrgent.com – Not only distributes your release, but attempts to teach you how to write one, and even offers downloadable samples for you to work with.

Press-Base.com – Submit your release for free and get on their front page and the category of your choice.

PressAbout.com – A free press release service formatted as a blog.

PressMethod.com – Free press release distribution no matter what, but extra services based on the size of your contribution.

PRLeap.com – Free distribution to search engines, newswires, and RSS feeds. Fee based bumps get you better placement.

PRLog.org – Free distribution to Google News and other other search engines.

TheOpenPress.com – Gives free distribution for plain formatted releases, fees for HTML-coded releases.


Press Kit

This is a specific outlined Kit of information to be provided to the press prior to reviews or interviews. You should put one together well in advance of your release and ensure it is ready when needed.

The press kit should include.

  • Introductory letter outlining the contents of the Press Kit
  • Press release
  • Short summary of the book
  • Author Bio
  • Reviews
  • Book cover images in high and low resolution
  • Author Photo in high and low resolution
  • Marketing information and materials (website, bookmarks, events calendar)


Book Signings

Signings are a great method of getting media and local attention for your book. I would suggest using these as a cross promotional item in conjunction with a store that is carrying your book. This helps get you the widest coverage possible as well as getting word out about a possible distribution channel.


Readings / Speaking Engagements

Readings are another great way to promote yourself and your books. Do you have an expertise that is valuable? If so then readings or speaking engagements will allow you get both your name and your book into the public eye.


Bookmarks, Posters, and Flyers

Promotional graphics that can be hung or distributed in local stores, or at signings and readings are another great way to get your name out there. Make sure these contain a website address where people can get more information on your book and where to buy it.


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