Local authors, Marketing, Reading, Self Publishing, Social Media, Writing

16 Marketing Strategies for Your Self-Published Book in 2019

We get asked often: “What’s the difference between book printers and book publishers?” Many people like to use these terms interchangeably. However, the printing of a book is merely one part of the complete process that is publishing.

One of the key differences is marketing. Book printers are responsible for the production of your physical book. However, in most cases the self-published author will be responsible for marketing his/her book once it has been printed.

With the amount of effort required to write a book, marketing is often an overlooked component of the self publishing process.

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By 2019, several marketing strategies have emerged as clear winners for self-published authors. We’ve compiled some of the most successful strategies for indie authors and publishers.

1. Social Media Marketing (Paid & Unpaid)

The value of social media marketing cannot be understated. Your book should have its own page on all of the major social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Use your channels to keep followers updated with upcoming events and releases.

If you’re looking to expand your audience, consider running paid advertising campaigns. Set your ads to target readers with your local area using targeted interests.

2. Contests/Giveaways

Contests and giveaways are a great way to drum up excitement for your book release. Many authors choose to give away signed copies of their latest release. Host the giveaway on your social media pages or personal website.

3. Speaking Engagements

Create a list of all the local libraries and bookstores in your area. More than likely, these venues will be actively seeking speakers for weekly/monthly events. The stores benefit by showing that they support local writers, and you benefit by gaining a platform to promote and discuss your book.

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4. Print & Flyer Advertising

While online marketing has become more crucial in recent years, print and flyer advertisements cannot be overlooked. Create posters for your upcoming book and hang them up at local coffee shops. Create postcards with your book’s artwork and send them to potential customers and local bookstores.

5. Writing Competitions

As a self-published author, you retain 100% of the rights to your book, meaning your free to submit your transcript to writing competitions. Winning an award is a great way to help your book to stand out from the crowd.

6. Newspapers & Press Releases

Your local newspaper likely has section promoting local art and culture. Learn to write press releases and send them to newspapers around your area. You may score an interview or a promotion for your upcoming book release.

7. Blogger & Influencer Endorsements

Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing strategies in 2019. Find bloggers and book reviewers with large online followings. Snagging a positive review from a widely known influencer can help you reach audiences beyond your local area.

8. Personal Website

Resume websites are a popular trend in 2019. Create a resume website for your book! There are several free hosting services that can help you make this happen. You only need 1-3 webpages to describe your book, promote upcoming speaking engagements, and provide a link to where to purchase a  copy.

9. Newsletter Email List

You should be collecting names and emails at all your promotional events. Use this list to create a newsletter. That way you can send email blasts, alerting your list to your upcoming events, giveaways and future releases.

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10. Guest Blogging

Larger blogs and review sites will sometimes invite guests to write one-off blogs for them. Contact blogs related to your book to see if they’d be open to you writing a guest blog for them. Be sure to include a short mention of the book towards the end of your article. It can’t hurt to ask!

11. Attend Conferences

As book sales continue to increase in 2019, so do book related events and conferences. Consider buying a booth at a local conference. Bring plenty copies of your book and sell signed editions from your booth.

12. Contact Bookstores & Libraries

Most of your local stores will have a section for local and independent authors. Contact your nearest bookstores and libraries to see if they’d be open to selling your book. Be prepared to provide a short summary, price and ISBN number.

13. Contact Publishers

Just because you’ve self-published your book doesn’t your manuscript can’t be picked up by a larger publisher. Submit your work for consideration. Self-publishing a book is also a great way to accrue reputation in the eyes of publishers for future releases.

14. Create a Business Card

Business cards are a tried and true method of promoting yourself. Design a business card that includes a description of your book, your contact information, and directions for where to purchase your book.

15. Get Your Books on Review Sites (Like Goodreads)

It’s not a mystery why so many books include reviews on their cover art. Reviews provide a backbone for your marketing campaign, especially if you can get a review from an established author. Sites like Goodreads make it easy to create a profile for your book for your to start soliciting reviews.

16. Make Connections!

Above all else, as a self-published author, you need to be comfortable with talking about and promoting yourself. The more people that you are able to connect with, the more likely one of those people will open a door for your book. Whether it be with bookstore owners, publishers or simply your readers, building lasting and personal connections may surprise you in ways you never thought possible.

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ebook conversion service
Additional Services, Cost, Design, Page Layout, Reading, Self Publishing

Understanding the Difference Between eBooks vs. PDFs

Ever since their rise to popularity in the early 2010s, eBooks have dramatically changed the way we read, share and enjoy our favorite books. In 2018, e-book sales accounted for roughly a quarter of global book sales, further cementing their place in the growing market of readers.

While printed book sales continue to rise in 2018 and beyond, eBooks still play an important role in the marketing strategies of many self-published and indie authors. eBooks represent a nearly unlimited resource for authors, requiring no investment beyond the initial conversion cost. In other words, your eBook sales will always perfectly match your demand.

ebook conversion service

But what is an eBook, and what makes it different than a PDF?

A PDF (Portable Document Format) is a common file type that can be easily downloaded, shared and read across a wide range of computers and monitors. Most documents can be converted into PDFs using standard text editing programs, such as Word or InDesign.

However, PDFs lack many of the quality-of-life features of your standard eBook file. The two most common file types for eBooks are Mobi and ePub. Mobi files are required by Kindle and Amazon devices. ePub files are accepted by most other online booksellers, including Google Play and Barnes & Noble.

Both Mobi and ePub files are specifically designed to be read on an e-reader or tablet. As such, they’re equipped with some convenient features, including:

1. Linking

eBook files are an HTML-based format, meaning they may contain links within the text. This allows readers to quickly navigate between sections of the book, from the index to relevant pages, or out to separate websites. This is especially handy for textbooks and guides, which may contain reference notes.

2. Reflowable Text

eBooks text will “reflow” depending on the viewing window. This allows eBooks to be conveniently read on multiple devices and sizes, including tablets, phones and computers.

3. Pagination

With reflowable text, the total page count of your book will increase or decrease depending on the window size of your device. Publishers handle this differently; some embed pages to match the print or PDF version, and some leave them out entirely. As such, some eBooks will not display a page number and will instead allow users to jump directly to chapters using the Table of Contents.

In some instances, however, you will not want your page count to change, as in the case of some academic books with chapter or section citations. In these cases, PDFs are often the preferred format as they will lock in your total page count.

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4. Accessibility

For impaired readers, eBooks give users the ability to modify the appearance of the content on their device, making them much more accessible than a PDF. Features, such as font style and font size, can be easily modified on the fly to meet the reader’s needs.

5. Zoom In/Out

Unlike PDFs, eBook files do not have a zoom in/out tool. Instead, users can customize the font size of their books using their device, and the text will automatically reflow to fill their screen.

6. Advanced Features

In addition to the above features, eBooks can incorporate many advance features, including:

  • Video — embed a video that your reader can watch.
  • Audio — enhance your message by including audio recordings in your content
  • Gallery — your readers can swipe through an entire collection of images with captions instead of navigating through pages to find them.
  • Read-aloud — make certain words, sentences, or paragraphs of an ebook read aloud to the reader. This can be useful when reading to children.
  • Multi-column Layout — add visual appeal to your content with multiple columns.
  • Pop-over — this feature enables the readers to access another window that contains additional information, data, or another image to give more context about the selected image with just a tap.
  • Scrolling Sidebar — insert relevant information and topics into a scrolling sidebar so readers can view additional or explanatory material without ever leaving the page.
  • Interactive Image — incorporate callouts and pan-and-zoom features to your images.
  • Reviews — let the readers review their knowledge using different types of tests such as multiple choice, select correct image, label the image, or a mix of all three. Authors can include up to six possible answers to each question.
  • 3D Images — instead of just seeing flat images on your ebook, your readers can interact with 3D objects by touch.
  • Keynote Presentations — browse presentations with custom animations right inside your ebook. This feature includes controls for slide navigation as well as optional auto-play presentations.

how to make an ebook

What’s the difference between a “classic” and “fixed-layout” eBook?

A classic ePub or Mobi file has flowable text so it can be read on any device using the reader’s preference for font size and styles. There are no official pages because the  text flows into each device differently, much like a web page. With this kind of eBook, the reader has more control over the reader experience. The classic-layout is less expensive than the fixed layout because less attention is paid to the look of the pages.

A classic ebook layout is ideal if:

  • Your book is mostly text (such as a novel)
  • Your book uses only small images that are embedded between paragraphs

A fixed-layout ebook does not reflow

because each page is locked in place, much like in the pages of a printed book. This type of eBook is ideal when pages rely heavily on images or formatting, such as with children’s books, cookbooks or books with detailed layouts. The reader has less control over his/her reading experience other than the ability to zoom in/out. Fixed-layout eBooks are more expensive than classic eBooks because they require extra attention during the conversion process to maintain the design.

A fixed-layout eBook is ideal if:

  • You want to preserve the look of your pages
  • You want your book to have a horizontal orientation
  • You want multi-column text pages

Learn more about our eBook conversion service to find out how to get an eBook copy of your book.

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.

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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.