When you finished your book, chances are you thought the hard work was done. You had an idea, planned the book, and wrote it. In truth, the real work of book publishing is just beginning. Self-published authors are in charge of their own marketing, a daunting task to say the least. Where do you begin? How can you continue to market your book?

I’ve been published by royalty publishers and Print-on-Demand (POD) publishers. What’s more, I have worked with large book marketing companies. Some marketing ideas didn’t work, and others worked better than I thought they would. If you’re a self-[published author you need to create a marketing plan and work your way through it. These tips will get you started.

  1. Create a flyer that describes your book. Be sure to tell readers how and where they can find it.
  2. Large conferences usually have their own book stores for attendees. Arrange for your book to be sold in conference stores.
  3. Always have a book with you. This way, when someone asks about your book, you can show them a sample.
  4. Send press releases to local radio/television stations. Include a sample copy of your book with each release.
  5. Create and maintain a website that supports your book. Your website should have a heading that tells what you write.
  6. Offer things, such as free handouts and podcast links, to website visitors.
  7. Create a blog and/or become a guest blogger.
  8. Get on blog talk radio.
  9. Ask friends to write Internet reviews.
  10. Speak to local book clubs. Your talk should be an extension of your book, not a commercial for it.
  11. Get a graphic designer to create a bookmark that advertises your book and give them out whenever you can.
  12. Use article marketing to get the word out about your book.
  13. Speak to local churches and service organizations.
  14. Add a Kindle edition of your book.
  15. Create a press kit about your book and distribute it.
  16. Email a notice to your alumni office, along with the cover of your book.
  17. Pay a professional reviewer to post a review on an Internet book club website.
  18. Pay for a small ad in a professional magazine.
  19. Plan and give workshops on topics related to your book.
  20. Give free talks at the public library.
  21. Donate books to the public library or your church library.
  22. Create a wallet card about your book and give it to each person who buys a book.
  23. Autograph books and affix “Autographed Copy” stickers to the covers.
  24. Write and distribute a brochure about your book.
  25. Give away books, one of the cheapest forms of advertising.

Many of these ideas cost money and you will have to decide how much you’re willing to spend on marketing. Start with the cheapest ideas first and see if they spark sales. Keep in mind that there’s often a lag time between when someone hears about your book and when they actually buy it. Book marketing is a daily job and you have to keep at it. Along the way, you’ll meet interesting people, interesting self-published authors, and learn about the book marketing world. You’re in good company!

Copyright 2013 by Harriet Hodgson
About Harriet Hodgson

Harriet Hodgson has been an Independent Journalist for 35+ years. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists, Association for Death Education and Counseling, and the MN Coalition for Death Education and Support. A prolific writer, she is the author of 31 published books and hundreds of print and electronic articles.  Hodgson is a Forum Editor for the Open to Hope Foundation website and answers posts from those who have lost an adult child. She also is a contributing writer for the website. In addition, Hodgson is Assistant Editor of “ADEC Connects,” the electronic newsletter of the Association for Death Education and Counseling. She also speaks to local and national groups about recovering from loss and grief.

Hodgson has written about parenting, recycling, sexual harassment, aging, Alzheimer’s disease, caregiving, communication, nutrition, physical activity, weight management, anticipatory grief, being a GRG (grandparent raising grandchildren) and many other topics.

Hodgson started out as a teacher and earned a BS with honors from Wheelock College in Boston, MA. She went on to earn an MA in Art Education from the University of Minnesota and did additional graduate work. After spending a dozen years in the classroom Hodgson changed careers and turned to writing.

All of her writing comes from life experience. Hodgson has shared her experiences on more than 160 talk shows, including CBS Radio and dozens of television stations, including CNN. Her work is cited in Who’s Who of American Women,Who’s Who in America, World Who’s Who of Women, Contemporary Authors and other directories.