Self Publishing Guide
Writers tend to avoid wanting to publish their own books with the most common question being how the final manuscript will be distributed without the conventional network? It’s a natural question and results in a lot of wariness and raised eyebrows from writers. It often shocks them to discover that not only is promotion not the mountain they’ve made it out to be, it also pays incredibly well (you manage all your own profits, after all!). It is also one more rung to add to the ladder to success as an ‘expert writer’.
So how does one promote the final book? Guerilla marketing: intense and no-nonsense. Provided you have a market for your book and it’s been thoroughly vetted beforehand [free from spelling and typing errors, fact checked, etc], success is to be had. The best thing about self-publishing is its ease: there aren’t many [if at all] overheads from websites and you won’t be splitting the profits from anyone besides yourself. Besides, if you’ve already been published before, you’ll already have a reputation you can build from. But even if you don’t want to go through the hassle of buying your own domain, blogging tools like Wordpress and Blogger can help you get started write away.
So let’s dig into the how-to’s of getting your eBook out there.
Search Engine Optimization
The first thing you need to look at is getting you and your eBooks at the top of search engine results:
- Use often searched for keywords on your landing/selling page and on every e-promotional literature you send out.
- Free press releases: there are a lot of services out there. Make sure you inject your press releases with the right keywords also.
- Narrow down online stores who would be open to listing your book for free.
- Use social networks to announce and promote your book [twitter, Facebook, MySpace , blogs, etc are key points].
- Use linking services like online e-zines who will list your website’s link on their pages.
- Online forums will usually allow you to promote your work.
- Through online book tours, where you join forces with bloggers to help get the word about you and your book out there.
The key thing to selling self-published books [both in print and online] is getting links to the content to as many places, which in turn elevates the PR ranking. You also have to remember that you lack the traditional infrastructure like book signings and book events that would usually fuel any publication. So make the Internet your very best friend.
But what if you’ve followed everything and still aren’t generating interest or sales. The follow up question has to be: are you sure have a market? Contrary to the advice “everything is sellable”, if you don’t have a market, you won’t be successful. So before you start writing the next e-best seller, you might want to ask yourself these questions:
- Why is my book different from all the other books in this genre?
- Who’s going to buy my book?
- What will the knowledge gleaned from this book be?
- Is that knowledge already available on the Internet?
- Am I looking to satisfy my reader in some other capacity, besides providing entertainment value?
- Can I pique the reader’s interest? If so, how?
- Will putting up an excerpt of the book or chapters be helpful?
The questions above will help in getting into the head of your readers which as any good salesperson knows, is the key to closing that final sale.
So then? Get to it and good luck!