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Xlibris Book Publishing Company: How To Market Your Book

Your book is written. Your job as author is over; time to just sit back and let the fame and fortune roll in.

Well, maybe not yet. In many ways, to paraphrase the Carpenters, you’ve only just begun. If you want your book to be bought and read by the widest audience possible, you have to let readers know that it’s available, and that means marketing.

Publishers have departments whose sole purpose is to market books. They promote books through advertising and direct mail, conferences and trade shows. Publishers also arrange bookstore signings and send out review copies. There are marketing managers, copywriters, publicists, and designers who are paid to get your book noticed. While there are obvious advantages to this system, there is a serious downside: No one knows a book better than its author, yet authors are often out of the marketing loop at large publishing houses.

As a self-marketing author, you need to take advantage of the fact that you know your book, and you know who its audience is. The problem is, of course, how to reach that audience. Here are some ideas for how to effectively, and inexpensively, market your book.

It all begins with promotional copy. Condensing a 300-page book into 300 words is a difficult, but necessary, first step. Promotional copy should be brief, descriptive, and engagingly written. Revise, polish, and check your work for spelling and grammar. Your promotional copy offers readers and reviewers a thumbnail sketch of your book and should be used as a starting point for all marketing activities.

Once you have promotional copy written, it’s time to put it to work. Include promotional copy on the jacket and back cover of your book. With the right copy and an attractive design, your book becomes its own marketing tool.

Having your book reviewed is the best form of free publicity available. Although reviews are difficult to get, they are worth pursuing. Use your promotional copy as a press release and send it to any and all possible reviewers, from your local newspaper to The New York Times Book Review. Include information about yourself and where you can be reached. Try to target individual reviewers who might be particularly interested in your work.

Authors interested in marketing their own book will find most direct-mail options cost-prohibitive. However, flyers featuring your book can be easily produced and inexpensively photocopied. Give these flyers to friends and family, hand them out at work, ask your local bookstore to display them, pass them out to members of your reading group. Make certain your flyer includes ordering information, the book’s price and ISBN, and your web address (which should, of course, prominently feature your book).

Personal web pages are a great way to advertise your book. Include promotional copy, a cover image, and ordering information. Be sure to feature your web address on all promotional materials, both print and online.

Marketing your book can often seem like an uphill climb. With effective and polished promotional copy, the right amount of determination, and a basic understanding of self-marketing, however, you can make this hill much easier to climb. You’ve done the work of writing your book; now it is time to make your book work for you.

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Xlibris Writer’s Workshop Presents Self-Marketing Your Book

The creative freedom that self-publishing affords aspiring writers (especially from conventional publishing practices) entails more self-marketing effort. Accomplished independent author J.A. Konrath believes that writers are largely responsible for promoting their books.

“There are 50,000 novels published a year, and four out of five don’t make money. You have to get people to read you, or else you won’t be a writer for very long,” he said.  

Here are self-marketing tips from thriving self-pubbed writers who have proven that success in what was once known as “vanity publishing” is real and attainable.

“Don’t let the things you don’t have prevent you from using what you do have.”– John Locke

While the American e-book writer of crime fiction had no formal training as a writer, his gift of imagination not only propelled his writing success but also his marketing strategies. He believes that cost-free marketing can reap good results if you have “enthusiasm, empathy, people skills.”

“There’s always a way to compensate for what you don’t have. If I’m not as smart as you, I’ll have to work harder. If another woman is prettier than you, you might have to be more charming. There’s always a way to compensate,” Locke stressed.

“Guy’s provided me with such great content all year, the least I can do is buy his $10 book.”– Guy Kawasaki

With his bold statement that traditional publishers are having aneurysm from the growing influence of indies, the self-published author/entrepreneur recently published his book APE: Author- Publisher – Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book co-authored with Shawn Welch. Kawasaki, however, reminds hopefuls that content quality very important. Perhaps such an advice is self-explanatory and surely the first step to attaining marketing success.

“I have beta readers, copyeditors, and an army of proofers and before I publish each book I have to make sure every one of them is available when I need them at the right time to release my book. I also have to make sure I’ve set aside time to design my cover, create my marketing copy and reach out to my readers when the book is released.”– Bella Andre

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author have sold more over 1.5 million books to date. The figures speak for themselves. Also a full-time wife and mother, Bella juggles her demanding tasks pretty well. Only a disciplined person can pull that off.

Ready to make it big as an indie? The Xlibris Writer’s Workshop is here to guide you in your self-publishing journey from start to finish. Read more writing, editing, and marketing tips at theXlibris Blog.

 

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Xlibris presents the Benefits of Self-Publishing

For years, Xlibris has been making tens of thousands of people’s dreams of becoming published authors come true, and we definitely have some experience to share. So what are some of the advantages of self-publishing, as opposed to the “traditional” publishing route?

Today we’ll highlight some of the more significant differences you’ll encounter if you elect self-publishing, and you can decided if it’s right for you.

Let’s say this up front, though: publishing, self or otherwise, has never been an easy business. Regardless of how you publish, you’re going to have to be a great self-promoter. That means book signings, social media, readings, and good old-fashioned word of mouth. But if you had the perseverance to complete that first book, you can handle it!

So what are some benefits of self-publishing?

Speed:

Even if you find an agent, and even if that agent finds a publisher (two rather big “if’s”), it can take years for your book to actually hit the shelves. The self-publishing cycle is much shorter; your book can go from your computer to the shelves in months (or even weeks, if you elect to publish as an e-book.)

Longevity:

Traditional publishing is a “survival of the fittest” kind of world. If your book isn’t selling, it’s going to be taken off the shelves, before it even has a chance to build a fan base. When you self-publish, your book stays available as long as you want it to be available.

Creative Control:

When you self-publish, you have much more control over the final appearance of your book, to include the cover design, size, binding, etc. Does this place the weight of more decisions on your shoulders? Sure–but the final product will be more in line with what you envisioned.

No More “Gatekeepers”:

Remember what we said about publishing being a tough business? Well, you know what’s harder than promoting a published book? Promoting an unpublished book. Traditional publishing isn’t about making sure the most deserving books make it to the bookstores, it’s about what the publishers feel they can successfully market. “Why,” their thinking goes, “should we sell 5,000 copies of a thousand authors’ books when we can sell five million copies of ONE author’s book?” Good-bye, midlist.

Even if your potential audience is just a few thousand people, a few hundred, the residents of your town, or your own family members, self-publishing allows your book to become a reality.

You’ve worked hard, spent hundreds of hours and weekends, and probably sequestered yourself from friends and family to get that manuscript completed. Why let it lie around in your closest, or take up space on your hard drive? Self-publishing, with Xlibris or on your own, can help you take it across the finish line to your ultimate goal: putting your book into the hands of your readers.

Check out the Xlibris Bookstore to see how other self-publishing writers are making their dreams come true! We hope to see you back again soon at the Xlibris Writer’s Workshop!

Source: Xlibris Writer’s Workshop

 
 

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