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When you self-publush, how do you sell books other than begging friends and family, donating a copy to your local library and waiting forever?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Grace Roman said:

When you self-publush, how do you sell books other than begging friends and family, donating a copy to your local library and waiting forever?

Good question. No idea. 

Edited by Sarah Daffy
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I’ve heard it’s important to build a platform (social media, website or blog) so by the time you’re ready to publish, you have the word out and people are already interested. 

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It is best to start marketing the book about a year before the book is published.

 

Offer free talks to groups about it. If it is a book about e.g public speaking, you probably want to go to public speaking conferences like Toastmasters, where you are sure to have an entire audience that is interested in what you are publishing, and will get the community talking about it.

 

Get on social media and ask for reviews by giving out the advance review copy version of the book (free).

 

Go to conferences related to the subject matter of the book, and start building contact lists of people who will be notified when you launch the book. Keep in touch with the contacts, build momentum with them. They will likely buy the book at launch time.

 

These are a few good places to start.

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VF, I hope you'll hop over to Meet and Greet and introduce yourself so everyone will know you are here and can welcome you. :D

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Also, join social media sites. On Facebook, you can join Christian writing and marketing groups. Also indie (independent/self-publishing) groups. Be sure to read their guidelines. Many do not allow links for selling your books. Submit to magazines and guest post on other sites. There are sites where you can advertise your book. You can buy ads on Facebook. You can also check The Christian Writers Market Guide 2019. :)

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31 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

Also indie (independent/self-publishing) groups. Be sure to read their guidelines. Many do not allow links for selling your books.

Just adding to Lynn's idea. If you join groups and/or forums online, sometimes they do allow for a signature. And, if they allow for that, it's a good place to add a link to your sales page.

 

Also, one of my plans is to keep doing what I'm already doing, but with the extra sales pitch in my signy. (Short for signature.) Join groups that are about your subject matter. In my case, my novels are about stuffed animals, but I really do love stuffies in real life too, so I join others who let their stuffies have a presences online. There's a whole subculture of stuffie lovers who post pictures on the usual social media sites, plus join forums, and blogs all from the perspective of their favorite stuffed animal(s). And because there isn't that much difference from a teddy bear lover and a dog lover, we also tend to join the "fur-baby" community of people who post from the POV of their cats and dogs too. And then just join in with the conversation. About 25% of the stuffed animal Twitter accounts I've found are from people who have books about their animals or draw animals. (Draw animals. Great place to find illustrators for animal stories.) It just happened. (And buying their books just happens too.)

 

I also know a writer who is marketing her historical novel set during WWII, who associates with others about WWII the Japanese side of the war because that's her passion. And she's able to market her novel that way. It's all about the common passion, but it's also a way to promote to the right audience. The most important thing to remember is it's about people, not your writing. But it is a way of networking to get your story out there.

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One method that I have heard of but haven't tried (because I also haven't got to that stage yet :D) is to read books in your genre and write reviews/what you loved about it in the form of a blog post. Then, you contact the author, offer for them to post it on their site, linking back to your website, which gets the word out to their readers about you, and benefits them in the sense that your readers have now heard about them. I can't remember where I heard this idea, or from who, or I would credit them and include a link. 

 

Personally, I love this idea, because that way I get a really awesome excuse to read more books ... which means that I have to buy them ... which means that I get to fill my bookshelves even more ... sounds like a winner to me!

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Hi Grace!  Nice to see you here!

Honestly, not a single one of us wants to sell our books.  If we could hand that over to someone else, or just have recognition and connection with our audience without being quantified in dollars but still be able to feed our families, we would be happy to just write. Alone. Far away from the maddening crowd.

Sigh.  Instead, we have to find ways to talk to people who share our passions, as Spaulding has said.  (yet another reason to praise God for this forum). 

Once I ask God for direction, I keep my eyes and ears pealed and my spirit tuned to the opportunities and cracks of light in the wide world.  One thing leads to another, and suddenly you are flourishing!  

Claire, your idea is very effective!  Thanks for that! And may God bless us all. 

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