Self-Publishing Guide: Marketing Overview

by Rachel Sawden
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Alright! So, we have your amazing and perfect manuscript uploaded, printed proofs approved, marketing materials in order. It is now time to promote the hell out of your book until publication day.

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Authors are introverts by nature and tend to be shy, so hyping up ourselves and our work can be unnatural, but you have just made a massive accomplishment, you have earned the right to promote your work! Please don’t accept the story you tell yourself that “you’re not good at promoting yourself”. Tell yourself a new story and make it happen. What’s the point in going through all the work to write your book, put it into print and then not tell anyone about it?

You can hire a publicist or marketer but these are not cheap. I hired a publicist for $750 per month on a 6-month contract, and her rates were on the lower end. She was a great value add as I had no idea about how to market a book, and she handled the heavy lifting of the marketing. Also, she was a much-needed cheerleader when I was ready to give up on my baby.

What I’m about to lay out is everything I learned through that experience.

Pre-Sales are Key!

One of your goals will be to get as many pre-downloads sold as possible. This will tell Amazon’s algorithm that your book is one that it should promote to readers.

First off, you’re probably wondering what is an algorithm? An algorithm is a set of instructions. All search engines including Amazon’s search function has them. It is a method of delivering the searcher with the best results. Amazon’s Algorithm will deliver results based on a book’s sales ranking. Basically, the more sales your book receives, the great its sales ranking.

The more pre-order books you sell, the greater your sales ranking on launch day will be.

This section of the guide the most important for me to write because I feel like I dropped the ball on effective book marketing. Even though there is so much information on the web and in books about book marketing, I had no guidance, so I became overwhelmed and just figured I’d launch the book and hope for the best. In the following pages, I’m going to guide you step by step through the process of what I wish I had done.

The months before your book launch are crucial, so make this period as long as possible – around 3-6 months. I know you’re excited to bring your baby into the world, but if you rush this, you will regret this. Trust me.

Mine was less than a month. After 8 years of work I was ready to be a published author already! I started getting my book ready for publication in the summer of 2018, and I launched Runaways in November.  Even though Runaways is a great beach read (and I’m sure a publisher would push for me to launch in the Spring), I wanted to hit shelves for Christmas.

My Christmas strategy paid off as I hit the craft market circuit and pushed the book as a gift item, but I wished I had waited one more month and put more work into getting reviews, growing my book’s social media, and pushing and promoting as I could have launched with stronger buzz and still hit the Christmas shoppers.

First step in marketing your self-published book – Set Up Your Amazon Author Central Account.

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