Writing a book is no small endeavor. Whether it’s a sweeping romance, or a point-by-point guide on how to turn a small business into an empire, it takes time, sweat, and grit to sit down in front of the keyboard day after day to force that book from your mind onto the page. If you managed to do that, and to stick with it through editing the manuscript, picking the cover art, and setting your price, then you deserve a moment to toast yourself, and your success.
Unfortunately, the job is only half done at that point. Because once the book is written, you need to get out there and sell it.
That’s easier said than done, though. So if you’ve got a fresh, new e-book on the market, here are some tips you can use to get it off the digital shelves, and in front of readers’ eyes.
4 Tips For Marketing Your Newest E-Book
Tip #1: Consider The Benefits of Being Exclusive, Versus Multi-Platform Publishing
Unless you’re publishing your e-book on your own platform, chances are good you’re going through a services provider. Maybe you wanted to put your book on the Kindle, or you decided to go through Smashwords instead. Now, there is nothing that stops you from publishing your book on multiple platforms… but there are potential benefits to be reaped by joining exclusive programs.
Kindle Direct Publishing Select, for example, is a program e-book authors can enroll in. The terms of the agreement are that Amazon will make your e-book available to more readers, and give you a chance to earn royalties from a subset of readers who normally pay a flat fee to read all the e-books they want rather than buying them. The catch is that you, as the author, cannot publish your book on any other platform.
There is no right answer in this situation, but it pays to examine the pros and cons of both options.
Tip #2: Line Up Reviewers, And Get Them Early Copies If You Can
Word of mouth, like an avalanche, is nearly impossible to stop once it gets going. The hard part is picking up speed, and getting that initial time in the spotlight.
That’s where book reviewers come in.
Book reviewers, big and small, have audiences who listen to them. They run blogs, or YouTube channels, where they tell their followers about your books. They link back to your sales page, and they shine that light on you. But you shouldn’t wait for them to discover you on their own, especially considering the millions of books already on the market. Instead, put together a list of reviewers, and ask if they’d review your book. You’ll need to provide a review copy, and you’ll want to ask well in advance of your release date since most book reviewers may have the next month to two months of reviews already lined up.
You don’t pay for reviews. You simply ask, and hope that they recommend your book to their audiences. And, if possible, leave a review on Amazon while they’re at it.
Tip #3: Tag It Properly
One of the truths that translated to the digital marketplace was that in order to make sales people have to be able to find your book. That’s why bookstores are split up by genre; it made it easier to find what you were looking for. Digital bookstores do the same thing, which is why every e-book is tagged with search terms that make it easier to categorize.
If you want to increase the chances that someone will find your book, make sure you have it properly filed.
The goal with search tags is to make sure your book shows up in the biggest number of niche searches possible. For example, if you have a book on how to run a successful small business, don’t make “business” one of the tags. Make it “small business,” and then pick other terms that apply specifically to your book that make it different from the competition. Test the terms to see who is searching for them, and what the competition is. This is a bit like a linguistic chess match, and you’re trying to pick just the right combination of moves to maneuver past the competition.
Tip #4: Giveaways Work (If You Promote Them)
No one wants to give away all their hard work for free. You put a lot of time and effort into crafting this book, and the idea of just tossing it to whoever wants a copy can provoke a knee-jerk reaction. However, a good way to drive up sales is to host a short-term giveaway.
It’s quite simple, really. Pick a date range (typically a date of importance to the book, or just a convenient time like a weekend), and make the book free to download. Not cheap, not discounted, but actually free.
Most importantly, though, you need to promote that giveaway. Mention it on your social media pages, talk to your colleagues about it, and tag it in your blog or video pages. Make sure that everyone knows when they can get your book for free. Then, once the giveaway is over, wait for the results to roll in. Because while it’s true you aren’t going to get a review (or even a read) from everyone who downloaded your book, it is likely that some people who snatched a free copy will be back for more. What’s better, they’ll tell their friends and family about it, which can be just the word of mouth you need to start that avalanche.