No matter what any publisher or marketing company tells
you (even the traditional publishing houses), you, the
author, are almost 100% the reason your book will sell.
It is your belief, excitement, enthusiasm, and energy that
will get a reader excited about buying your book.
Publishers are certainly a vehicle by which you can
communicate your passion to the rest of the world, but, for
ANYTHING to happen you'll need to know a few things about
yourself and your book -- and be able to communicate them
1 -- What is your definition of success for your book?
Some authors write and self publish for themselves and their families only -? they don't dream of their books as bestsellers in the marketplace. Some authors write for a very specific personal need to tell their story. Some have unique insight into
very specific topics. Many have dreams of seeing their book
in the front of Borders or Barnes & Noble. Each author is
different, but you MUST decide what your real definition of
success happens to be. Don't try to pursue a goal that may
not be what you actually feel is important.
2 -- Who will buy your book?
This is the big secret to sales success in self publishing.
Target your marketing to your potential reader -? and have it
be someone who is reachable.
"Everyone will want to read my book!" Sorry, but that
doesn't work. Even the absolute best selling books ? that
sell 2 or 3 million copies in a year -- only penetrate to a
very small percent of the population. Sales success for your
book will be driven by defining a very clear picture of who
is interested in what you have to say.
And -- they must be identifiable: Make a list! Which groups
would be interested in your book? Why? Who is next? Why
should the need or want your book? (remember this ? someone
is more likely to buy something they NEED before something
Now ?- narrow it down even more. Years ago books on computers
were all the rage -? the market was saturated at the
"beginner" level, and it seemed impossible to get anymore
books into consumers hands. Then a company came along with
the bright idea that they would write a computer book for
beginners ? but beginners who felt intimidated by their
computers ? and the now ubiquitous and quite famous "For
Dummies" series was born ? at the time the books hit, there
were nearly 3 dozen titles out for beginners. Yet this one
scooped up nearly a 70% market share overnight. The rest
were left to fight for the scraps. Find a unique angle about
your book ? and don't try and be everything to everyone,
because you can't -? instead target 100% of a specific part!
3 -- Where will you sell your book?
Start Worldwide (world wide web that is) and then get local:
Where are your customers? Probably scattered around the
country. Use the power of print on demand and just in time
fulfillment to deliver books all across the nation without
having to print hundreds at a time. Where does your customer
hang out online? What magazines and papers do they read?
What stores do they frequent -? that AREN'T bookstores? What
associations, clubs, or affiliations do they join? What
conventions to they go to? How can you reach them? Promote
your books where you find your potential buyers.
4 - How will you promote your book?
The least expensive and most effective ways to promote books
are with book reviews, news releases, search engine
registration, and some form of highly targeted direct
advertising ? such as email campaigns, news releases, and
pay-for-performance click through advertising. Longer term
promotions include author signings, TV and Radio spots, and
tradeshows ?- these are also the most difficult, time
consuming, and expensive to secure.
Do NOT neglect the power of you the author ?- many publishers
promotional packages include materials that can help turn
you into a promotional machine. Business cards, posters,
bookmarks -? all are available to support your marketing
Follow these steps on creating a plan for your book, and
you'll find it much easier to create an effective and
efficient marketing program for your book.
Ray Robinson is a partner in Dog Ear Publishing
http://www.dogearpublishing.net a self publishing services company specializing in delivering "high touch" services to the author community. His company provides a full range of services to authors, from editorial to page layout to marketing and fulfillment.