Additional Services, Marketing, Self Publishing, Social Media

How to Sell Your Self-Published Book Online in 6 Steps

In 2018, the debate is pretty much over; online sales are a key component of any self-published author’s book marketing campaign.

But for authors, who often prefer to be between the pages of a book than on the internet, it can be daunting for someone with little technical experience to break into the sphere of digital marketing. Fortunately, the internet’s ongoing shift towards user-friendliness has given authors more tools than ever to market and sell their book online.

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Even if you have little to no technical experience, these six steps can go a long way to increasing your online book sales.

1. Have a website

Convenience is king. In the increasingly saturated online marketplace, customers need a quick way to browse and purchase your book.

A website acts as a “home” for your book. It’s the place where all of your marketing efforts eventually lead back to. Ideally you’ll want a website with a checkout cart that will allow customers to order your books online. By reducing that number of steps needed to buy your book, you significantly reduce the chance that a customer might distract him/herself from making a purchase.

sales tools sell your book online

Creating, hosting and maintaining a website can often be an expensive endeavor. However, a growing trend in online marketing is to utilize a template website service, which will create and host your website for you.

Looking to service independent authors, we at Gorham Printing recently relaunched our Sales Tools service. Sales Tools supplies authors with a one-page, customizable web store where customers can browse, share and buy their books.

2. Write some blog articles

Imagine this: your book is finally finished. You’ve spent months, maybe years, writing, editing and perfecting it. Then someone comes in and tells you that you have more writing to do.

Blogs keep the conversation about your book going long after its publication. They are a great way to promote upcoming events, such as book signings and speaking events.

Write blogs to inspire discussion among your readers. Write an article about your writing process or a character’s intentions, and let your followers carry the discussion from there.

3. Host an online launch party

Launch parties are a great way to kick off your book release with some momentum. But what if I told you that you could have hundreds of attendees without any of them having to leave their houses?

Online launch parties make it convenient for readers to participate in your release. Often times these launches are paired with giveaways that incentive users to like, comment and share your content. Many authors choose to give away signed copies of their book.

how to sell your self-published book online in 2018

4. Start a newsletter

The quickest way to a customer’s heart is email. A newsletter starts by asking your readers for their email in exchange for relevant and interesting content. Prepare a content calendar following the release of your book with interesting blog articles, event invitations and anything else your readers might find interesting.

5. Create a social media business page for your book

Social media is no place to be shy. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are finely tuned to make sharing content quick and easy.

Beyond just sharing content on your personal profiles, consider creating a business account page for your book or publishing group. This will allow you to gain followers specific to your book without diluting its content with your personal information.

6. Contact popular bloggers for reviews

You don’t have to do all that sharing on your own. There are scores of book review bloggers and websites that are hungry for new content.

Start by looking for local reviewers, who would jump at the chance to feature an up-and-coming local author. From there, expand your search to include bigger bloggers. Even a 140-character mention from a popular reviewer can skyrocket your popularity.

While these online marketing strategies can’t guarantee a successful release, by increasing your online presence you can continue to stay relevant on the minds of your readers long after your books’ release.

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how to store your books to make them last
Reading, Self Publishing, Social Media

How to Store Your Books as a Self-Publisher

Most people are accustomed to storing a few books in their personal library. What they are not accustomed to, however, is handling a shipment of 100+ copies of their freshly printed book. Self-publishers often struggle with finding storage space while also preserving their books’ quality at a level that will be satisfactory to their customers.

If your library of books is becoming frayed or worn, you might be storing them wrong. Here are 6 tips for how to store your books to make them last.

how to store your books to make them last

1. Firstly, you will need a storage space that is neither hot, cold or damp. Storing books on concrete, such as a garage floor, is a recipe for trouble. Similar to a sponge, the paper used in books is hygroscopic, meaning it wants to reach equilibrium with the surrounding moisture level. Moisture from damp floors will transfer to your cover and interior pages. This also holds true for stacking against a concrete wall. Instead, consider using a wooden pallet to elevate your books while also ensuring proper air circulation underneath them.

2. Open cartons of books can attract insects. Unhatched insect eggs can appear as small specs on the pages. If caught in time, the eggs can be cleaned with a soft brush. Sealable containers, such as plastic cartons, can prevent bugs from infiltrating your books. However, do not wrap your books in plastic wrap or foil, as this may trap moisture against your books’ covers and lead to mold.

3. If possible, store books in a climate controlled area. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity can result in mold. The ideal storage space has a temperature of between 60-75 degree Fahrenheit. Spaces like garages, which can suffer dramatic temperature changes between night and day, should be avoided.

stacked books

4. While you may be tempted to display your books next to a window to show off their beautiful covers, too much direct sunlight can lead to bleached covers and cracked spines.

5. Shelves not only provide a nice display for your books but also provide good ventilation to help prevent dust from collecting. Make sure your shelves are high enough to avoid potential water damage caused by spills or flooding.

6. The way your books are stacked also matters. For long term storage, books should be kept together according to size and weight. Books should never be stored on their spine. Rather, books should be either stored upright or stacked flat with the heaviest books at the bottom. If they are stored upright, make sure the books are pressed tightly together and not slumping at this can lead to creases.

Keep in mind these suggestions are for books for general usage. If you have rare or extra valuable books, additional means of protection should be considered.

With proper care and regular cleanings, these steps can go a long way in keeping your book beautiful, clean and ready for the market.

Olympia High School Literary Journal
Community, Events, Local authors

OHS Unveils 2018 Literary Magazine: Petrichor

On Friday, June 1st, 2018, students gathered in the Olympia High School library for the unveiling of the school’s 2018 annual literary magazine, Petrichor. Streams of paper butterflies and balloons encircled the ceiling as students took turns in front of the room, reading excerpts from the magazine. Onlookers feasted on pizza and exchanged books for signatures.

The unveiling marked the year-long efforts of students and faculty in putting together the journal. Carolyn Gilman, an English teacher at OHS who spearheaded the project, praised her students for their countless hours of hard work. From editing to fundraising to design, students played a vital role in shaping all aspects of the book.

Olympia High School literary journal

Petrichor presents students with a unique opportunity to practice real-world trade skills, such as outreach, computer design and copy writing, from a classroom environment. The magazine derives it name from the Greek words petra, meaning stone, and īchōr, meaning the blood of the gods. Both the front and interior designs were created by students of the art department at OHS.

Olympia High School Literary JournalThe team behind Petrichor received a landslide of submissions, totaling more than 500 entries for inclusion in the journal. While many of the submissions came from members of OHS’ literary club, entries were accepted across the entirety of the student body.

In previous years, Carolyn Gilman and other faculty had served as judges for the entries. However, this year a small group of students volunteered for the daunting of picking the winners. After a lengthy and difficult review process, the team was able to pair down the submissions to just over 100 final selections.  Winners included poems, short stories, song lyrics and at least one rap song.

Gorham Printing was honored to be a recurring sponsor of the journal by donating half of the book’s printing cost. We take tremendous pride in supporting the literary efforts of our community, especially those among budding writers.

Free copies were distributed to all contributors. The remainder of the books went on sale to friends, family and anyone else interested in reading the works of these talented, young authors.

After a few more readings by the students, the event concluded with a master copy of the book being passed around for signatures from all of the journal’s contributors. The copy was presented to Carolyn Gilman as thanks for keeping this exemplary and valuable literary tradition alive at Olympia High School.

Community, Design, Local authors, Self Publishing

Gorham Printing Honors Our Veterans

Here at Gorham Printing, we take special note of Veteran’s Day. We have printed dozens of veterans’ memoirs over the course of our time in business, and we believe it is some of the most important work we do. We’d like to take a moment to showcase a few examples in addition to thanking all our veterans for their service to our country.IMG_0637

In 2014, retired Master Chief Petty Officer Peter Slempa brought his story to our shop with the help of local personal historian Julie MacDonald Zander. A Pennsylvania native, Pete Slempa served in the Navy aboard the USS Worcester CL-144 before qualifying for an underwater demolition team. He became a plank owner and first master chief of SEAL Team One, and served six tours in Vietnam. His memoir, Why Me, Lord? chronicles his life of service, including multiple near-death experiences. Earlier this year, we had the privilege of working with Officer Slempa again when he brought us his first novel, Ten Minus Nine Equals One Half.

Julie MacDonald Zander has had a hand in preserving the stories of dozens of veterans. She helped Lee Grimes tell the story of the founding of Lewis County’s Veterans Memorial Museum, now captured in the pages of the hardcover book, The Miracle Museum. Mr. Grimes conceived of the veterans museum in 1995 after a spiritual encounter, and realized his call to gather and preserve IMG_0638the stories of our veterans. The museum also serves as a community meeting space for local veterans to socialize, and seek support and healing. Copies of this book as well as Officer Slempa’s titles are available for sale here. You can learn more about the museum on their website, http://www.veteransmuseum.org/.

Gathering and preserving the stories of our local veterans makes up a significant part of the work done by Legacy Washington, a project run by the Secretary of State’s office just 30 minutes north of us in Olympia. Their big publication this fall was Korea 65: The Forgotten War Remembered. This 180-page 8×10” softcover commemorates the 65th anniversary of the “shaky armistice” that marked the end of the war on the Korean Peninsula that took the lives of 532 Washingtonians. John Hughes, Lori Larson, and several other members of the Secretary’s office have done and IMG_0639continue to do incredible work to make sure that our veteran’s stories are not forgotten. You can buy copies of Korea 65 as well as Washington Remembers World War II (2016) in Legacy Washington’s online bookstore.

We take a tremendous amount of pride in the work we do for veterans and the people who’ve committed themselves to preserving their legacies. We get to do this work year-round, and we always do it with gratitude, but today and tomorrow are special days set aside for deep reflection of and gratitude for the countrymen who have dedicated their lives to protecting our freedom.

From all the hearts at Gorham Printing, thank you.