Marketing Basics for Self Published Authors
Updated: May 13
If You Build it They Won't Necessarily Come
Ouch! That's a rough way to start off a blog post. But it's also a true dose of reality. Any author that has written a book knows the truth of that statement. If you haven't written your book yet, sign up here to get my free ebook 7 Days of Creation - The Book to Get You Started Writing.
If you're blessed enough to have family and friends that will support your writing endeavors, that's great news! Excellent even. But after those 100 people or less where do you go from there?
Writing and selling books is a careful combination of finding readers for your books that at the very root of them either educate or entertain. Even though you wouldn't mind reaching everyone with your books you have to set a goal of a main target audience. Once your target audience is set, then you can market to them.
Marketing Has 4 Pillars
These pillars are also known as The 4 P's of Marketing.
Side note: The first 3 of the pillars are the foundation for marketing.
Product is just about as simple as it sounds. Your book is your product. However, with books, we have more than one format we can present our product in.
Books can come in the form of -
After deciding which format(s) you will choose for your book product it is vital that your book cover has market appeal.
And now it's time to dispel myth #2 (people don't judge a book by it's cover).
That's a cute statement but it doesn't work any more in everyday life than it works with books. People subconsciously will judge you by the appearance that you put out to the world. Now you can choose to not let it bother you, but it doesn't change the fact that it's true. It's apart of human nature - of course as Godly Entrepreneurs & Marketers (G.E.M.S) we have to fight against it. But it doesn't change the truth that you can be denied opportunities based on how you present yourself to the world in dress and manner.
What does this have to do with books you say?
You can have the most awesome, life changing, made for TV, deserves to be turned into a movie, book - but if people aren't attracted to the cover they won't read it.
In order to properly market your book product
Have a professional book cover
Have a book cover that matches the book covers in its genre.
When pricing your book it needs to be competitive and on point with the other books in your genre. It is also worth noting that Indie and self published authors have to take into consideration how well they are known when pricing their books (especially ebooks).
A reader is more willing to take a chance on a new author if they can get their book for a low price. Ebooks are excellent for this. I see so many authors pricing their ebooks at prices equivalent to well known traditionally published authors and those prices generally just aren't marketable for self published/Indie authors.
Fiction ebooks are sold on average at $2.99 and $3.99 depending on the length of the book and the genre. Nonfiction ebooks sell at a higher rate. I invite you as the author to dive into Amazon and while you're researching book covers in your genre, check out the prices of Indie published books in your genre as well.
Placement or Distribution
Placement is all the places that your book is distributed to. In today's digital world you have multiple opportunities for digital placement of your ebook. If you publish with KDP you can even choose expanded distribution for your paperback books and potentially have your paperback distributed to several online stores. Below is a list of several places that I currently distribute my book, Poor Little Mixed Girl to.
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million
Ernest & Hadley (a local bookshop)
Bookshop.org (for Indie Authors)
Authorlamoniquemac.com (my personal website)
In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening don't withhold your hand; for you don't know which will prosper, whether this or that, or whether they both will be equally good. Ecclesiastes 11:6
Promotions are all the things you do to get the word out about your book.
Social Media announcements
Author platforms such as Youtube, Podcasting, etc.
Call to action to buy
Promo sale prices
The promotions pillar is what is usually thought of when people bring up the term marketing. But as you can see there is a lot of foundation that needs to be set with the first three pillars of marketing before it's time for promotions.
Putting together your product, price and placement with a strong foundation can make your promotions much more successful and even save you money.