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.

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.

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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.

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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.

Community, Design, Events, Marketing, Reading, Self Publishing, Writing

Are You Ready for Alaska Book Week?

Did you know that October 1st through 7th is Alaska Book Week? In 2015, the governor of Alaska declared the first week of October the official week to “celebrate [their] writers and the state’s rich literary tradition.” They encourage Alaskans to participate in events such as book clubs, author readings and library visits to promote “a passion for reading among all [their] citizens.” (You can read the full declaration here.)

We could not be more excited to learn about this celebration. In the last three years alone, we’ve printed books for at least seven Alaska-based authors. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase their work, and tout our ability to happily accommodate everything from complex design work to logistics-heavy barge shipments out of Seattle.

Who are the Alaskans we print for? Read on to learn about a few!

Matias Saari is a veteran marathoner who brought us the story of the USA’s oldest marathon: The Equinox. He hired us to design the interior and the cover of this thoroughly researched and reported personal and impersonal history book. He wanted to make sure he had books in time to sell at the 2016 marathon, so we worked under a deadline to get 1000 copies of his books on a barge to Anchorage before last September. Learn more about The Equinox: Alaska’s Trailblazing Marathon and buy a copy at Saari’s website.

IMG_0382Outdoor adventurer and transformation coach Wendy Battino and her world-famous  Alaskan husky, Luzy, brought us their irresistible landscape softcover, Luzy Lessons, to print in July, and we’re proud to report they needed a reprint by August! Luzy has a vast social media following, and Wendy turned her popular photos and positivity lessons into a book. You can get a copy, “signed” with Luzy’s paw, at their website, wendybattino.com.

Jan O’Meara is the owner of a small publishing operation, Wizard Works, who’s worked with us for several projects. Late last year, she brought us files for Cosmic Kitchen: Breakfast, Lunch and Friends, a cookbook compiled by two Homer-based (but Hawaii-raised!) restaurant owners, Sean Hogan and Michelle Wilson. This book makes our mouths water every time we printed it – four times in less than a year! If you’re in Homer, visit their restaurant to say aloha and pick up a copy to take home (I know I would).

IMG_0383Arguably the “crown jewel” of our Alaska-oriented books was researched and written by Cora Holmes and designed by our own Kathy Campbell. Alaska’s Wild West: The True Story of Alaska’s Range Wars in the Aleutian Islands, an 8.5 x 11 inch cloth-bound hardcover, has it all: color images printed on 100lb coated stock; a gloss-laminated dust jacket; custom printed end sheets; and foil on the cover and spine stamped with a custom die. This book catches the eye of many of our in-shop visitors, and we are proud to have designed and printed it. Learn more about Cora and all the books she’s hired us to work on at her website, coraholmes.com.

If you are an Alaskan author looking to self-publish, an Alaska-based independent publisher, or an Alaskan family or organization who needs books to preserve your history, Gorham Printing is ready and able to put beautiful books in your hands!

About Us, Additional Services, Community, Marketing, Self Publishing

Store, Sell and Ship Your Books with Gorham Printing’s New Sales Tools

We are thrilled to announce our brand-new Sales Tools program!

It is not uncommon for our customers to ask, “How can I sell my books online?” We now have an answer that doesn’t involve major online book retailers.

Booksite with Buy Button

Sales Tools connects you directly to online shoppers with your very own Booksite. Your Booksite is a web page hosted on gorhamprinting.com that includes an image of your book cover, a book summary, reader reviews, your author photo and bio, social media links, and the all-powerful Buy Button. All you need to do is supply those pieces and we take care of the technical work.

Quality Book Printing + Safe Storage

When you enroll in Sales Tools Booksite + Store & Ship, you tell us the number of books from your print order you’d like sent to the fulfilment warehouse owned and operated by Major Goods, right here in Centralia. Major Goods stores your books in their climate-controlled facility, waiting for orders to be placed on your Booksite by your future readers.

Order Fulfillment

When your customer clicks the Buy Button and enters credit card information, Major Goods receives a notification. They pick, pack and ship your book to the address entered. Your customer pays the shipping & handling with their order, and the rest of their payment goes directly to you via PayPal.

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Really?!

Really! You paid us when we printed your books, so we’re not going to charge you every time a customer wants to order your book, too. We charge you once to enroll in the program and set up your web page ($170) and again every year if you’d like to continue ($60). PayPal does have a small service fee for each purchase, but the rest of the funds go right to you. It really is that simple.

You’ve Got Options

Like so many other facets of our approach to book design and printing, we can tailor our program to meet your needs. Prefer to store your books and fill your orders from home or your local post office? For $120 we’ll set up your Booksite and you receive the notification when your customer places an order.

Already have a website? You can work directly with Major Goods to integrate their sales platform (that magical Buy Button!) into your web content, then tell us how many of the books we print you’d like to store in their warehouse.

Special Offer!

Enroll in our Sales Tools program before September 30, 2017, and receive fifteen months of service instead of just twelve with your first payment. Learn more today!