I’ve been working on an updated series of mini eBooks on how to sell books that will address a wide variety of questions on the minds of self-publishers everywhere. In the process of writing, I’ve been developing a short list of the basics of selling books successfully as a self-publisher.
Here it is so far, in no particular order:
1. Let Go of Your Ego
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your book is better than all of the rest out there — especially if you’re brand new and have never hit a bestseller’s list in the past. Keep your ego in check and humbly push forward with your book marketing plan.
2. Learn Something about Marketing
Ideally you should learn ALL YOU CAN about marketing, but at the very least you should learn the basics. Start by learning about the four Ps of marketing. This is what they teach you in marketing 101 and it applies beautifully to selling books. See if your local community college has some inexpensive courses you can take to get more familiar with marketing and sales.
3. Revamp Your Book Cover
One of the first things I tell my clients when they ask me what they can do to sell more books is to redo your book cover. Many times the book cover is the one issue that is preventing people from clicking that “buy” button and giving your book a try — especially when it comes to online sales. Get a professional to work on you book cover.
4. Do a “Price Check”
I cringe when I see a new self-publisher’s paperback novel priced at $20 for 160 pages. Many book buyers won’t even pay $20 for a 500 page book. Check the price tag on your book to see if you might be overcharging. Many brand new self-publishers are finding success with pricing their eBooks very low (99 cents to 2.99 per copy) as a way to get people interested in their work. Then they price their future or backlist titles higher.
5. Get Familiar with Social Media
If you’re not on social media, you need to be. While many social media sites are not a direct line to book sales, they help you build a community and interest around you and your books over time. At the minimum, join Twitter (for posting your blog posts and updates about goings on) and Facebook (to connect with book clubs, avid reader groups and other authors).
6. Take a Class in Sales or Public Speaking
If you’re not comfortable communicating with others, whether offline or online, take a class to teach you sales and public speaking techniques. These skills will become invaluable to you as you go forward with your book selling efforts, including attending book signings, doing interviews or even just talking to people on Twitter.
7. Seek Reviews
Reviews are solid gold when it comes to selling books, especially when you’re selling them online. People are social creatures—we listen to the opinions of others when making a decision on whether to buy something. Seek genuine reviews from your targeted readers early on in the book publishing process.