So, you’ve self-published your first book and realised it’s not going to turn you into a millionaire. You may have read a ton of blog posts and articles on how you should market your new book online. You need help, maybe a little guidance on how you can try and put your work in front of more people; willing to read your content. And why not, spending time writing a book and deciding to self-publish; can be defined as a moment of significance. As a self-publisher myself, I understand the journey it takes to get a final version live on Amazon or alternative online book stores.
Some Self-Publishing Online Help
Before we look at the offline marketing strategies, lets quickly look at what we can do online. Gaining an online audience takes time, work, more time and a load of SEO and content strategies. Online marketing is essential because it allows you to create indirect and relevant traffic to your book. Thinking longterm can potentially increase the overall sales of your self-published books.
The first thing to do is buy a domain name, build a website and start creating content for that website. If you have no experience in this area, you can learn to do it yourself or employ a web designer. There are plenty of offerings on the net to get you going, just dive in and take control of your journey. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because it’s going to take you a long time (1-year min) to drive traffic to your online presence. WordPress and Wix are good starting points for online blogging and article creations.
Once you have a website established, it’s time to start creating topics of conversation, write about your life experiences or start to write about your book offering. Think about your niche and start writing down title ideas, content ideas and blog your heart out. Make sure to add-in strong title and descriptions in the SEO boxes (in WordPress these are found in the article creation page via separate boxes called title and description). Making these clear and precise lets search engines know about the users you’re targeting.
For your website to rank better in the search index (for users searching out your information), you will need to start thinking about getting some backlinks to your website. Backlinks are other relevant websites pointing back to your website. Relevant websites tell search engines that your content is essential and needs to be pushed higher in the search listings.
As you can see, just with these 3 small paragraphs, there is a lot to take into consideration when thinking about creating a website and pushing traffic to your book offering. It takes time, creativity and strategy. As this article is about offline self-publishing strategies, I will leave you with a list of resources to get you going before we move onto the next chapter.
- Build a free website with WordPress or Wix
- I need free images for my blog
- I need free SEO & marketing on this crazy journey
- What content is trending in my niche?
- How do I start analyzing the data and traffic on my website?
- How do I buy a domain name?
- I need help with grammar and spelling
Self-Publishing offline Marketing
I have briefly talked about creating a website because it becomes important when linking off-line marketing. If you sell your books to potential customers and they get to the end of the book and love your work. You can tell people in the last few book pages about your website, social profiles or alternative online presence. This encourages repeat sales for your old or new titles.
Offline marketing, in short, means getting up, meeting people, talking and selling yourself. You will fail, you will get told “I’m not interested”, “I don’t read that sort of stuff” the door will shut in your face, however, the more you do, the better you get at closing some deals. Remember! People buy people.
Here are 20 ideas to get you going:
#1 Book Fairs
Find out where the local book fairs are in your area. There should be a website with a calendar offering dates and times. Go to a few first and see how they operate. Enquire about setting up a stand where you can sell your book to the local community. Alternatively, get someone on a stand to sell your work.
#2 Local Craft & Art Fairs
Check out some of your local fate offerings. Learn how to join and create a stand where you can offer up something extra with your books. For example, I love creating book sets, offering quill pens, artwork and signed book copies. A creative process that will help you build a brand.
#3 Village, Town or City Magazines
Most towns, villages or cities have an independent magazine. Get in touch for an interview, book a review and offer up a free signed book to their readers. These magazines are run by editors who love local information and putting people in the spotlight.
#4 Village, Town or City Events
Check out what’s going on near you. It might be a fireworks night, charity event, a demonstration of some kind of an alternative offering. Get in touch with the organisers and offer up a book signing alongside the evening. Offer a percentage of the book profits for each sale for the charity available.
#5 National Papers
Using national papers can be a costly process; using this type of media channel will incur a substantial amount of money for an advertising slot. However, if you can afford it, give it a try. National newspapers have a huge audience. You might hit it right and command a new bestseller overnight.
#6 Garden Centres
Huge garden centres are popping up all over the place in these current times. They offer restaurants or coffee shops; some even offer up small book stands, book swaps or books for charity sections. Speak to the manager and arrange a slot to see if you can negotiate to get your book into their centre or centres. Offer them a percentage of book sales. What’s the worst that can happen?
#7 Leaflet Drop
You can also design and print a leaflet. Drop these around your local area or post them into peoples houses. Offer a discount on the leaflet; give them a reason to buy.
#8 Door to Door Sales
If you have the stomach for it, try the door to door sales technique in your local area. Try it; you might be surprised. It might be wise to go with a friend, don’t force sales and offer a signed copy with their name on it.
#9 Local Chip Shop
Everyone has a local fish and chip shop, and the traffic is huge. Talk to the manager and see if they are interested in selling a few books for you on a small cardboard stand. Offer them a percentage of sales and give them a few free copies. Return in a few weeks and see how the sales went.
#10 Charity Shops
Charity shops are a perfect starting point to get your book into a few stores. I would give them around ten books for free and pop back after two weeks. If all your books sell, offer them a percentage deal.
Local pubs can also work to help sell your self-published book. Talk to the landlords and see if its an angle they are prepared to do. It depends on the pub or the environment they wish to create. Some pubs have restaurants and offer bed and breakfast services. You might be able to cut a deal and get a few copies in each room.
#12 Contact Libraries
Some libraries are open to pushing out self-published books to the public. Get in touch and tell them your story. They will review your offering and let you know if it’s something that interests them.
#13 Local Book Shops
Local book shops are also a great starting point. Walk-in and see if your book is a fit for the welcoming shop. They might only be interested in a certain type, age or topic. You need to find a book shop that fits your niche.
#14 Shopping Centre Stands
Shopping centres will also offer space for open stands. You will need to invest some money here to get it right. However, the traffic is huge, and you will be targeting everyone walking past. Will you be successful? You might, but think about trying to grab peoples attention.
#15 Friends & Family
Family and friends are your first point of call. Get in contact with everyone and beg them to buy your book and leave a review. Make sure they leave a review because that is more important than the sale itself. Getting a 5-star rating from friends and family will help buyers in the future to make that final decision.
#16 Book Dropping
Once you publish your book and are happy with all your edits, had it proofread and uploaded the final version, buy 50 copies. Now go and drop those books around your city, village and town – in places for people to find. Ideas could include;
- Car windows
- Coffee shops
Do you get the idea? The people who find them will read your offering. If they like your content, they will tell people; this can cause future sales through word of mouth. This form of media transfer is powerful for a self-publisher. You didn’t make any money, but people read your words and passed it on.
#17 Radio Advertising or Interviews
Find out about your local radio station. Get in touch and tell them your story, offer a free copy of your book to listeners and see if the radio station is up for an interview. Radio advertising is a great way to gain a few buyers, and depending on who your target audience is, your book might start flying off the shelves.
#18 Coffee Shops
Visit all your coffee shops and speak to someone in charge. A coffee shop is a great place to read and enjoy the delicate words you have created. The owner may buy a few books from you and offer them to customers for free, or they may try and sell them for you. Again, offer a percentage deal or undersell the book at a markup that makes you feel happy. This way, they can sell the books for what they want.
#19 Business Premises
Post your book to a few business premises. Wait a few weeks and call them up and ask if anyone got it and read through it. Try and get a little feedback. Once you have established common ground, ask if anyone is interested in buying a signed copy.
Work towards offering a workshop with one of the local colleges or universities. You may have an edge on writing style, writing form, poetry creation or how-to books. People young to the industry, love a great workshop, and you can indirectly sell your book offering. Alternatively, visit a few workshops yourself, network with people and open up doors for your new career path.
I hope these little tips opened up your imagination? Don’t sit about waiting for something to happen; otherwise, you will be waiting a very long time. If you like my work? check out some of my poetry, wisdom and philosophy books on Amazon.
You will love them, I promise.