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.

shutterstock_143889826

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.

dreamstime_m_5555015

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.

dreamstime_m_58266342

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.

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!

Community, Events, Local authors, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing

National Encourage a Young Writer Day is April 10th!

The crew at Gorham Printing was excited to learn that Encourage a Young Writer Day is a thing, and it’s right around the corner! Monday April 10th is a day marked to let any young writer in your life know that they should keep up the good work.

We participate in and support many young writers and literacy projects in our community. Last year we sponsored a young writer contest in affiliation with the Roosevelt Elementary Read-a-Thon, and we’re doing it again this year. Last year Arianna’s The Girl Who Saved a Dinosaur was a hit in our shop. A winner has been chosen for this year and we can’t wait see his story (we’ve heard it’s about a ninja pig!).

Last spring we also sponsored the printing of the Olympia High School Literary Press anthology, Attic. This anthology showcases the talents of English classes at Olympia High School and pairs it with submissions from the art department. Students solicit and gather submissions, curate and edit the content, then design and promote their book.

A few of the local colleges hire us print anthologies and other projects, too. South Puget Sound Community College printed their annual literary anthology, The Percival Review, with us last spring. We print The Evergreen State College’s Vanishing Point anthology, too, along with collections of student work from various creative writing courses.

We even have one young author who published Small Stories, an adorable 5×5” collection. Hadley Stanfill’s mom Laura is the editor in chief at Forest Avenue Press and we take great pride in helping her encourage her daughter to write and publish!

Young Writers

Do you know a young writer? Whether they’re a college student studying creative writing in an undergraduate program or a third grader writing stories in their journal, let them know you support and admire their efforts as a growing artist.

And if you happen to know a young writer who has a story they want to turn into a book, let them know Gorham Printing is here to help!

 

 

 

 

Book production, Events, Local authors, Marketing, Reading, Self Publishing, Writing

We Went to Wordstock!

This time last week, Genevieve and Alison were loading up boxes of guidebooks, tote bags, business cards, candy, and Genevieve’s trusty typewriter Buttercup to drive south for Wordstock, Portland’s recently-rebooted  festival of books and writing hosted by Literary Arts.

2-wordstock-boothThousands of writers and readers from around the region gathered at the Portland Art Museum last Saturday to attend workshops, hear readings from over 100 authors, and wander the booths at the book fair.

We talked to dozens and dozens of readers and writers, most of whom stepped up to our booth to browse our beautiful selection of sample books, and to pull a word from a fish tank to use in a sentence on Buttercup, the 1950s Royal typewriter that made the trek with us. Many of them took a copy of our free guidebook to learn more about the book printing process for themselves or a friend or family member working on a book.free-words

As a short run book printer, we attended this  event not only to meet writers who might be interested in publishing their own work who might need a printer, but also to chat with the 25+ independent publishing companies who were there to meet writers and sell their books.

While many of these publishing companies are big enough to need quantities of books that warrant printing on offset presses, they may need Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) ahead of the run that will be sold in stores. Our digital printing methods mean we can keep costs low on a smaller run of books, and we can produce them on fairly short notice if a publisher finds themselves with a deadline an offset printer couldn’t hope to meet.

We had the great privilege of printing the ARCs of City of Weird, a fresh-released collection of short stories from Forest Avenue Press. This book was a Powell’s Pick of the Month in October! We also saw past clients at tables for Atelier26 Books as well as the Willamette Writers, who print their literary journal, The Timberline Review, with us. We made friends at booths for YesYes Books, Chin Music Press and Overcup Press.

All in all it was a day full of excellent conversation with fellow book-folk. We can’t wait for next year!