How Self-Published Authors can use Digital Marketing for Book Promotions

Picture this. 

The final draft of your book is complete, and you have already taken care of the minor changes. Your book is ready to be introduced to the world, and you are all set to become a successful self-published author.

While all of this sounds great, there are a few aspects about self-publishing you must know, before going ahead with it.

Self-publishing is reputed to be the most feasible option for a writer while publishing their books. It is very different from conventional means of publishing, where the writers’ requirements and needs are handled by an agent or the publishing house.  However, you already know that readers do not come easy unless you are an established author. 

A self-published author has to handle everything on their own. Practically, they face numerous difficulties, such as garnering adequate sales, branding, discoverability, and inadequate financial support.

So, how do you successfully make your way to the top, amid the intensifying competition?

Here’s how.

Digital marketing plays a very crucial role in the self-publishing avenue. But, as a continually evolving field, keeping up with the most effective strategies can be quite a task.

That’s precisely why we have complied 7 ways how self-published authors can use digital marketing for book promotions – 

1. Building an Exceptional Author Website

Do self-published authors really need a website? 

We’ll help you decide.

As a self-published author, your website speaks volumes about your book. It’s almost like the cover readers would judge your books by! Building a unique, non-complicated, and exclusive website also helps reach new readers and procure book sales. For instance, when book lovers look for their next read on the internet, your website would play a pivotal role in attracting them, and selling relatively more copies of your book. 

Make sure that the website is easy to navigate and reader/mobile friendly. Having an optimized author website will help in organically ranking you and your books in web search results.

Here are some of the important aspects that your author website must include:

  • Create an appealing author bio that reflects what you and your books have to offer the readers.
  • Include one-click purchase links to all the book stores from where the readers can purchase your books.
  • Add your social media page or group links, and invite your readers to be part of your community.
  • Allow users to subscribe to your newsletter. This will help you share your latest articles, books, and updates with the readers directly in their inbox.

2. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is an excellent way of connecting with potential readers, minus the advertising charges and in-person book launches, signings, and tours.

D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed., the successful and self-published author of ‘Book Marketing Made Easy: Simple Strategies for Selling Your Nonfiction Book Online,’ says, “By promoting my book launch via a virtual book tour along with announcements and discussions on the social networks, my book became an Amazon bestseller within two weeks of publication.”

Well, that’s quite impressive! 

Here are a few ways of creating a comprehensive social media marketing strategy for self-published book promotions – 

  • Post engaging content, relevant to your target audience. 
  • Share the latest reviews of your book that you have acquired on different marketplaces or websites.
  • Create unique hashtags while posting content related to your books, on social media platforms. But, keep them short, relevant, easy to remember, and exclusive to your brand. You could also encourage your followers to use it when they post content related to your books. 
  • Contests and giveaways are great marketing tools for increasing social media engagement. These can either be solo or in collaboration with similar social media accounts or influencers who have a similar target audience. Also, ensure the rules are simple and easy to follow.
  • Encourage your readers to share their views about your books on social media and, amplify it further by sharing all user-generated content.
  • Share sneak-peeks of your book on Instagram, tweet about the writing processes you use, or even upload short and aesthetic quotes from your book on Pinterest!
  • Create a community that is exclusive to your book readers and engage with them personally.

Social media marketing is all about familiarizing potential readers with yourself and your work. Also, having an active social media presence keeps your readers hooked and engaged, even after your book has already charmed them. 

3. Implement SEO and Schema Markup for author, books, reviews

Most authors tend to skip this fundamental strategy, and miss out on potential readers and book sales. In simple terms, schema markups are codes on your website that help search engines procure more refined and informative results for users who are searching for your products or services. It plays a crucial role in distinguishing and setting you and your book apart, across search results. Schema markups also help achieve a higher search engine ranking and click-through rate (CTR).

On the other hand, SEO is essential for self-published authors, mainly because it is highly unlikely that readers will proactively look up a specific author or book, unless they are already familiar with them. Make sure you do both on-page and off-page SEO for your author profile and books, to help them rank higher in the search results.

Optimize your website for all the relevant keywords so your books not only rank via marketplace, but also on organic search results.

4. Book Distribution

More than 50% of all book sales, irrespective of the format, happen online. This means, self-published authors have equal access to online retail distribution just like predominant publishers. So, look for online book distribution avenues, such as Amazon, Google Play Books, Safari Books, or online e-book distributors like Smashwords and Draft2Digital.

Working with online retailers often results in lucrative benefits and added control, and provides you with increased access to promotion and marketing tools.

5. Publish Blogs and Podcasts

Numerous authors have successfully built an audience through blogging. It helps identify your target audience and gain insights into their collective preferences. Blogging is particularly relevant for non-fiction writers, while being an excellent platform for testing out story ideas for all our fiction writers out there. You can also share your thoughts, book excerpts, and even run an informative podcast.

Or you could be a guest blogger for similar websites and niche blogs, as well! Guest blogging helps you attract traffic back to your website, and gain high-quality links. 

Similarly, interviews and podcasts with popular media publications or influencers will help you gain extensive visibility. Procure press space by getting in touch with magazines, local newspapers, as well as podcast stations, and schedule interviews. For instance, the interview’s theme could revolve around the challenges faced by an upcoming self-published author. That’s an excellent platform for you to promote your book, as well!

6. Use Amazon’s Book Promotions

Amazon is among the leading platforms for readers to discover and explore books It also helps authors promote their books to prospective readers, through different programs. Here’s how.

  1. Author Central helps you share latest and updated information about your books, and yourself, among millions of readers.
  2. Kindle Countdown Deals offer an assured discount for a limited time period, along with a countdown timer.
  3. You can purchase advertising to promote your paperbacks and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) eBooks, through the Amazon Advertising program
  4. Kindle eBook pre-order enables your readers order your eBook, at least 90 days before its release.
  5. Sample Chapters shows prospective readers a small portion of your book.
  6. Free Promotions make your book available at no cost, for a limited amount of time.

Other programs that you could avail, include, Buying and Gifting eBooks for Others, and Lending for Kindle, and Share with Kindle Instant Book Reviews.

7. Getting Your Book Reviewed

Readers would be very skeptical about purchasing your book if it does not have sufficient reviews. Reviews also provide your self-published book with an aura of professionalism, credibility, and legitimacy. When readers, literary outlets, and established authors leave a review under your book, it subtly tells potential readers that your book definitely deserves their time and money. You should encourage readers to review your book when they purchase it.

You can also share a copy of your books with influential book reviewers and ask them to share their views on their blogs, newsletters, and social media channel. Such collaborations will help you attract new readers and increase your books’ visibility.

Since you’ve been a patient and receptive audience, we have a bonus tip for you!

Provide your readers with a free chapter or a short preview of your book to intrigue them. Allow the readers to read this chapter after sharing their basic details like name and email id. You can now use these emails that you collected with this fantastic lead magnet to encourage the readers to purchase the book if they liked the free chapter!

Yes, digital marketing for self-published authors is that convenient and effective. Of course, these are just a few of the book marketing and promotion strategies that will help increase your online visibility, get more engagement with the readers, and increase your book sales. Get in touch with us to learn more about how Growth Engage can help you with your book promotions!

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