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.

How to pick a book size
Book Printing Cost, Book production, Cost, Design, Page Layout, Pre Press

How to Pick a Book Size for Your Genre

Printing a book takes a lot of decisions. What will your cover look like? What font will your book be printed in? How will your characters escape their fate?

how-to-pick-a-book-size

There is one question, however, that authors often forget to ask themselves until their book is ready to go into production: what SIZE will my book be?

Trim size affects not only the price of your book but also how your readers will perceive and handle your book. Your readers will have a preconceived notion of what kind of book they are about to read based on the page count and size.

What book sizes are best suited for my genre?

While book size is largely a matter of preference, below are some of the most common genre and book size pairings.

5_5x8_55.5 x 8.5” – Pocketbooks, Travel books, Novellas

If you intend your reader to travel with your book, 5.5 x 8.5” is a convenient size for readers to fit in a purse or briefcase. This is also a great size for books with shorter word counts, as it will increase your overall page count.

Genres that work great as 5.5 x 8.5” include business guides, thrillers/mysteries, self-help books and instruction guides.

6x96 x 9” – Paperbacks, Novels, Anthologies

6 x 9” is one of the most traditional and well recognized trim sizes. This is your “standard” book size, great for paperbacks and softcover novels. It is also one of our most popular sizes, chosen by many first-time and independently published authors.

It would be hard to find a genre that doesn’t work well as a 6 x 9”. Popular choices include sci-fi, memoir, spiritual and both general fiction and non-fiction.

8_5x118.5 x 11” – Workbooks, Textbooks, Histories

If you have a book with a lot of content, 8.5 x 11” is a great size choice to reduce your page count. It also gives your pages a lot of room to show off charts, tables and photographs. Most document editors are also set up for 8.5 x 11”, making this a convenient size when preparing your files for print.

Popular genres for 8.5 x 11” include school textbooks, ancestry books, family history books and picture books.

11x8_511 x 8.5” – Art books, Photo journals, Children’s books.

If you’re looking for a size that will help your book stand out, consider a landscape trim size. Landscape books are often intended to be put on display, such as coffee-table books. This size also works really well for books with multiple columns.

11 x 8.5” is a great choice for books that want to showcase their artwork, including children’s books, photography books and artist portfolios.

How do these trim sizes affect my final cost?

Paper is commonly bought as what is known as a parent size. Two common parent sizes are 25 x 38” and 23 x 35”.

For example, if your book is 5.5 x 8.5”, it would likely be printed on stock that started as 23 x 35”. If the book is 6 x 9”, it was likely instead printed from a 25 x 38” parent size. These sizes give you the best cut out with the least amount of waste to still allow for finish trimming.

So what if your desired size is 6 x 8.5”? This would then mean your book would be printed from the 25 x 38” parent size, creating the possibility for additional charges for a non-standard size. This might not be the case if your book is printed on different equipment or if the bindery is able to adjust to a non-standard size without time loss.

Check with your book printer before you do the final page layout to find the most cost-effective approach for your book.

Check out these other helpful self-publishing guides for how to pick the size of your book:

BookCover Cafe

The Book Designer

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.

dreamstime_s_55718231

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.

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.