5 Ways to Market Self-Published Books on a Shoestring Budget | Arts & Culture
Self-publishing books is on the rise, as even celebrity and well-known authors opt for that route to publication. In fact, Lulu.com reports that the number of print titles they produced in 2011 was approximately 50,000, which represented a 9 percent increase over the prior year. In addition to their print sales, they also published over 115,000 new e-book titles last year, which was a 22 percent increase. Self-publishing has been made easy, but authors can increase their chances of sales success by making marketing a priority.
“Authors don’t need to spend a lot of money to market their books,” explains Sarah Gilbert, director of sales at Lulu.com (www.lulu.com), a self-publishing company. “There are plenty of marketing options that are either free or quite affordable, all of which can help authors to reach their target market and sell more books.”
Here are 5 ways that authors can help to market their self-published books on a shoestring budget:
- Start a blog. Authors that don’t already have a blog should consider starting one that coincides with the genre their book is in. This will be helpful in building a platform and attracting their target audience. They can also offer links to where the book can be purchased, right on their blog.
- Ensure availability. Ideally, authors should aim to make their book available in multiple formats, including print and e-book, as well as in a variety of online stores.
- Get people talking. Word of mouth is a free, and important, marketing tool. Ask people you know to help spread the word, and even to write some online reviews in order to help get the word out. Authors can also contact their local library and newspaper, to see if their book can be promoted through that route.
- Give review copies. Contact blogs or book reviews that cover the book’s genre and ask them if they would like a free review copy. It’s a small investment for the author to make, but can pay off big if it results in a favorable review.
- Write guest articles. Whether writing guest articles that allow for a bio or link, or writing and distributing free press releases, there are free online means for getting the word out. Authors can check out article directories, submit free press releases, or even provide guest blog posts for others.
“Ideally, it doesn’t hurt to try each of these routes, one at a time, to see what works best in promoting your book,” adds Gilbert. “They can all be effective ways to get the word out and increase sales, and doing them won’t break the bank.”
Lulu.com, a self-publishing company that was founded in 2002, provides complete services to authors. They are the #1 source of independent content on the iBookstore(SM) and Nook Bookstore, with 60,000+ titles currently available in these channels. Authors have the ability to publish their books, of any genre, using their simple online tools. Lulu.com’s self-publishing service is provided free, and authors retain all rights, as well as 80 percent of all profit from sales. To learn more about using Lulu’s publishing tools, log onto www.lulu.com.
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Lulu. Number one in e-books. < http://www.lulu.com/blog/2012/02/lulu-number-1-ebooks/>
Lulu.com Print is dead. <http://www.lulu.com/blog/2012/04/>