Self-Publishing with ProWebWriter on a $0 Budget - Part 6 - Marketing Your Book

in #self-publishing5 years ago (edited)

Hello and welcome! This is Part 6 of a series on self-publishing that is exclusive to Steemit. So far, we've learned how to format for Kindle and Createspace and publish our books to both of those platforms without spending a dime.

 If you missed the first 5 parts, here are links for your convenience:

I hope you will check these out when you have time.

What You Will Need for Part 6

  • A published book

DISCLAIMER: A smattering of social media accounts and a website will greatly help with your book marketing. 

What You Will Learn in Part 6

  • How to make your book free on Amazon
  • How market your book for free
  • What not to do 

Introduction

As a self-published author, not only are you your own publishing company, but you are also responsible for marketing your book. 

Unfortunately, you can't just throw it out there, sit back, and collect the cash...at least not at first. You have to get over the hurdle of building that initial following. 

If your niche is hot, this will be easier than if you have focused on a tighter or more popular niche.

Examples From My Experience

I published my first book in 2011. In 2015, I came across a fella on YouTube named Jason Bracht. This guy was making money in self-publishing hand over fist...to the tune of $10,000 a month. Needless to say, I was intrigued. 

Hot Niche

Around that same time, I found another guy on the Warrior Forum (no link; it's just an Internet Marketing forum in decline) who was giving away a blueprint for making bank with cookbooks.

I'm no cook, and don't even care about it much, but this seemed simply enough, so I thought I'd give cookbooks a try.

I was doing low carb at the time, so I decided to focus there. 

My first book did really well. It hit #1 on both the free and paid lists. 

Free:

Paid:

I thought I'd found my path to being the next $10,000 per month earner.

I immediately started writing the second one and this is where I issue a warning.

WARNING

Recipes are sort of a gray area. They are considered a list of facts which cannot be copyrighted. This is NOT a loophole and I mistakenly used it as such. While I did NOT copy and paste the recipes into my book, I did use recipes that I collected from the Internet. Even though I changed the names of  them and wrote the procedure for making the dish in my own words, I still got spanked for copyright infringement.

My second book was pulled from Amazon.

I quit cookbooks.

I figured it was best to stick to what I know and to use my own thoughts and words all the way. I impress upon you to do the same.

Not-So-Hot Niche

I have books in the memoir niche, ADHD, self-publishing, and teen fiction. These books do okay. They would probably do better if I concentrated a little more on what I'm teaching you here. 

My best niche is conspiracy theories which makes me consistent money EVERY month.

What is the Goal of Your Book?


Image: Pexels.com

What is the goal you want to accomplish with your book? 

Are you in it for the money? If so, you'll want to go after a hot niche. 

If you're in it because it's your passion, write and publish that!

Marketing Elements to Include in Your Manuscript

  1. Clean manuscript - This is your first line to greatness. Make sure your manuscript is error-free. We talked about doing this on a ZERO budget in Part 2 of this series
  2. Title - Does your title grab attention? It should.
  3. Front and End matter - The front and end matter of your book can often be the same thing. This includes things like your About the Author section where you would mention your other books, links to your website, links to your social media, and a link to your email list opt-in form.
  4. Request for reviews - It's completely acceptable to include a reminder to your readers to give your book an honest review. Reviews drive sales.

Marketing Your Book Before and After Launch


Image: Pixabay.com

Your first fans are always going to be the people you already know like your friends and family. Often there is a fine line between bombarding your network with business stuff and just being social; however, you must start somewhere.

In my experience, your friends and family are a great way to get reviews.

I actually created an email list just for this purpose (Mailchimp is free for up to 2000 subs). Rather than using my social networks to drive sales, I use them to push my free promo. It's not so business-y when they get your book for free. There's billions of other people to sell to.

Creating a Series of books is a great way to expand your reach. This allows you to cross promote your books by placing front and end matter showing the other books in the series into your manuscript. 

The Art of the Box Set - I first learned about the box set from Steve Smith of PassionatePages.com. Steve writes erotica which I'm not remotely interested in, but he has some insights on self-publishing that are valuable. 

He is the king of selling a story more than once. 

For example, he publishes short stories which he sells for 99 cents each.

Once he has a good number like 20 or so, he will publish a box set for $2.99. 

Then he will do it again at 50 for $4.99.

Sure, he will have certain fans that buy his stories more than once, but for the most part, he is reaching more readers who get their value from buying the box sets. I thought this was pretty genius.

Steve also said back in 2015 that he was making more money on Google Play Books than from Kindle.

That's why later in this series, I will be showing you how to expand to other platforms including Google Play.

Price your book realistically and strategically. Once you have gone through writing a book and publishing it, you tend to want to value it accordingly. Realistically, no one is going to pay $25 or even $10 for your ebook. I'm not saying it's never happened, but it is the exception rather than the norm.

Ideally, you want to price your book between $2.99 and $9.99. 

Why?

Because this is your 70% royalty range. 

If you price it more or less, your royalty drops to 35%.

Also, you will garner more sales in this range. Book priced less are seen as mediocre and if they are too expensive, they simply will not sell.

Is a Preorder right for you? Setting your book up for pre-order (or your next one) is a great way to build momentum. It also gets money rollin' in while you are putting the finishing touches on your manuscript. It's just a matter of taste.

Goodreads is a social network for authors and readers. There are many self-published authors out there who include this in their book marketing. It also works for preorders. 

I am not one of them. I do have an account, but I just can't seem to want to spend time there. 

Be sure to set up your Amazon Author Central page. Once you've published your book to KDP, you can set up your page on Author Central

This is a fairly intuitive process. You will want to have a picture and a bio prepared to add to your page. Then you can search for your books and claim them so they appear on your page. 

The link created by your author name on your book sales page will link to this page. 

Social Media is one of the best free marketing tools out there. At bare minimum, you should have a Facebook Page and Twitter Profile separate from your personal pages that focuses on you as an author. 

I know a lot of people get hung up on Twitter, and it very well may be dying. However, it's still a great place for authors to promote their work with relevant hashtags and more. Here are all of my Twitter tricks FREE.

It's simple to create social media content for your book using Canva. See my post on that here

Some people create pages and profiles for each of their books. I don't recommend this. You will burn out quickly trying to manage all of that. Create a page and profile for your author name or pen name and market all of your books in one place per social network.

Speaking of Pen Names

If you write in more than one niche, it's a good idea to create a separate pen name for that niche simply so your readers don't get confused. 

For example, if you write Romantic Fiction primarily, and you publish a Non-Fiction How-To book on self-publishing, you fiction fan base will most likely not be interested in that title.

Essentially, you will be marketing to the wrong target audience, so it's necessary to create a new audience for that niche.

Benefits of Permafree Books


Image: Pixabay.com

What is a permafree book?

A permafree book is your book listed free on Amazon. 

Why?

Permafree books are a great marketing tool especially for a book series. You can use the free price point to hook readers on the first title and if they like it, they will buy the other books in that series.

You can also use permafree books to promote other parts of your author platform like your website, a video channel, your email list, Steemit...pretty much anything you want to promote.

Permafree books allow you to leverage Amazon and the popularity of your chosen niche.

The Caveat of Permafree

Amazon doesn't allow you to set your book price below 99 cents. 

In order to make your book free on Amazon, you have to publish it free on a different online bookseller like Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or Google Play Books.

Then you have to go back to your book listing on Amazon and tell them about a lower price.

Then it's just a waiting game to see how long it takes them to begin price matching. Even then, your book may not be free in all markets. 

Being Active in Your Niche

This is one of the best marketing tools in your arsenal. 

This is why I always advise writing on something you are passionate about because you will eat, sleep, and breathe the topic if you are doing it right.

Being active in your niche means that you can promote your content on forums and in Groups where you are active without being seen as only there to sell your book. 

There are Facebook Groups, Reddit Subreddits, and all kinds of other places where you can list your book free, but the problem with these places if that there is no reader audience. There are only other authors trying to promote their books. I don't recommend even wasting time here.

You will do much better if you are involved in your niche and can naturally promote in places that you regularly contribute.

Your Author Website

In this day and age, I shouldn't have to explain to you why you need your own website. It's such a low-cost investment for a place that is all yours. If Facebook, Steemit, Twitter, or even Amazon blew up tomorrow, you'd still have your website. 

You don't necessarily have to sell from your website, but you certainly can. Just be sure to match your price to Amazon.

You can also use your website to build your audience with email marketing. Your website and email marketing are something that I will certainly cover as we go forward in this series.

If you are considering creating your own website, my recommendation is WordPress, hands-down.


Image: Wikimedia.org

Kindle Direct Publishing Marketing Tools

If you enrolled your book in KDP Select as discussed in Part 3 of this series, then you have a couple options:

  1. Free Book Promotion - This option allows you to promote your book as a free download for 5 days out of every 90 you are enrolled in KDP Select.
  2. Kindle Countdown Deal - This option allows you to create a timed discount where buyers can see how much time is left to get your book at a special price.

I always use the free book promo to offer my book to my friends and family free of charge to get reviews. I can sell to everyone else. I like to run all 5 days at launch.

Paid Marketing

I am only touching on this because it is cheap and effective. It is certainly not required.

Amazon now offers promotion through their ad network. This is cheap, targeting promotion that brings your book up in relevant searches ahead of your competition. You can easily 10x your book sales this way.

You can also do the same with Facebook ads. For as low as $5, you can promote to a highly targeted audience.

Wrapping Up Part 6

This is just a starting point. There are a ton of creative ways to market your books and a lot of information out there on this topic. 

Be smart. Spend your time on building assets to your marketing arsenal rather than posting your book link everywhere willy nilly.

Coming Up

I originally planned for Part 6 to outline how to publish your book to Audible through ACX. Acquiring a narrator for my title is taking longer than expected which is actually a good thing to find out. I previously published 2 short, non-fiction books to that platform with great success. 

My recent addition is actually my debut novel, and acquiring a narrator willing to do the work on a royalty-share arrangement is proving difficult, and I don't really blame them.

Aside from that, it will be a couple months before I'm ready to publish my recent book to additional platforms. 

In the meantime, I will begin a new series on WordPress. 

So, if you've used this series to publish your book and you're interesting in creating your author website, then be sure to follow me so you don't miss this! 

If you've looked into WordPress, and it seems complicated, I will simplify it for you from top to bottom. I hope to see you there.

If you want to check out the previous parts of this series, here are the links again:

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below. I will do my best to answer. You may just help another Steemian!

Thanks for reading!

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Such a great post, so much information packed into just this one. Going to take a look a the previous 5. Thank you so much...🐓 Resteeming!

Thanks for taking the time to comment! I'm glad you found it useful. Thanks for the Resteem.

You're most welcome🐓

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