In this second article on tips for self-publishing and marketing your book, we move closer to the publication date and look at what you should be doing.
You’re now well-prepared for your publication date, which is about three months away. This is the time to create a buzz and a following, so set up whichever social media accounts you think are best. You can even set up a pre-order option – if this works well and you make a lot of sales, it can lead to eBook retailer promotion opportunities.
Start offering freebies to your followers – chapter extracts or interesting sections of the book, advice and tips or some sort of giveaway. Also use this as a platform to share related articles which will be of interest to your readers, and to promote any media coverage you have locally or regionally (or nationally if you’re really lucky!) Connect with other writers and authors, and those in your field who could be customers or collaborators to recommend and promote for you.
Get a Website Built Before Publishing
Set up a website, or get someone to do it for you. You can build a simple landing page if you like, with either a shopping cart option for people to purchase from you, or where you can point people to your external retailers. It can be as simple or as complex as you like, but you need a good online presence.
Add a blog to your site so people can keep up to date with what you’re up to. This is also a good way of maintaining a relationship with your fan base, so when your next book is ready for publishing, you have a ready-made audience who are investing in you.
Remember that people have all sorts of e-readers, so make sure you don’t isolate them by using only one publishing platform. It may be difficult to offer these different formats on your own site, but provide links to the places where your book can be downloaded for each ereader.
Publishing and generating press interest
Whether you’re producing a physical book or an eBook, have it printed or converted two months prior to the actual release date. This means you have copies to offer for review to online and print publications, as they plan their content well in advance.
This is the time when you need to produce a press release. Include a biography and a description of you book, and the story behind it – make it sound newsworthy to generate interest. Write a few slightly different versions, tailoring them to generic, special interest, local and regional publications. If you’ve written a book based on your experiences, whether fiction or factual, be sure to mention that. Include the format options that are available too.
In the final month prior to publication, look for other outlets too. A good idea is to look for reviewers, and online can be the place to go. Choose active reviewers with lots of followers and who have an interest in your topic, and send them a copy of the book (NOT the original file of your eBook!). You could also look at the Author Program offered by Goodreads, where you can have your book reviewed in exchange for a free copy.