This post is an excerpt from our Self Publishing Guide for Indian Market. If you have not, you may want to read the following post in this series before starting on this one
- What is publishing?
- What is self-publishing?
- Self Publishing and Print on Demand (are not the same)
- Self Publishing your Book – Step 1: Finalize the Content
- Self Publishing your Book – Step 2: Design the book
- Self Publishing your Book – Step 3: Printing
- Self Publishing your Book – Step 4: Distribution
Although marketing comes as the fifth step in publishing, fact is, the buzz should start even before writing. Marketing a book is all about building the author’s brand. It takes time and you have to work towards it. If you recall the hype surrounding release of a Dan Brown or a JK Rowling book, you will understand the concept. The books sell on the author’s reputation, which is created by a team of professionals representing a publishing house.
This obviously is a limitation for an independent author who has chosen to self publish. But the good news is, with the Internet, everyone has a free and effective marketing tool to reach their audience. This works especially well when going for POD. You can get your readers, book orders and then have the book printed. It is important for the author to build a brand before trying to sell the book. Just coming online with a book to sell won’t be effective.
- There are many social and professional networking Internet sites where you can promote your work. Among them Orkut, Facebook and Twitter have the largest following. Build your profile on these sites to market your book economically and effectively. But build up your credentials before making your sales pitch.
- If you have written a book about your professional expertise, market it on professional sites like Linkedin where you can join groups with shared interests. Also explore book centred websites like Shelfari and Librarything which provide excellent opportunities for marketing.
- Adding your book to Google book search displays it in relevant search results.
- You can also create a website about your book. Request a friend or some prominent personality to write a review of your book and post it on your site as well as their networking sites. You could even write about your own experiences while writing the book.
- Put up extracts from your book on your website for others to read. This will catch the reader’s interest and help sell your book. Don’t worry too much about piracy. Nobody is interested in a great but unknown manuscript. Book pirates only target bestsellers.
Apart from the Internet, you could also arrange for a press release in the local newspapers. If you know someone in the print media, you could have reviews of your book published in newspapers/magazines. Remember:
- It is easier to market a non-fiction book in your area of expertise rather than fiction or poetry.
- Think about your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). The market is flooded with books and other content mediums. Why should someone buy your book?