Marketing Your Self-Published Book

I turned down an opportunity to have my first novel published by Harper & Row (now HarperCollins). Sure, I was 23 at the time and focusing on my nascent career as an attorney, but the reason I walked away was a matter of a difference of opinion. H&R’s senior VP didn’t like my protagonist because he was an antihero. The VP thought readers didn’t like antiheroes and wanted me to rewrite the story—which he liked—from the perspective of a nerd I had thrown in for comic relief. I wonder if he ever heard of Jack Reacher?

I turned to self-publishing with my next novel, the first in a series of political/espionage thrillers. It went to #1 on Amazon Kindle in two different genres. Part of that was due to the use of Kindle’s free promotion tool. That resulted in a large amount of reviews, 80%+ are 4 and 5 stars. Since then, I’ve learned that productivity also increases sales. I just published the 3rd book in the series; my 4th book overall. The next book in the series is nearing completion and its publication should boost readership/fan base even more.

In a nutshell, here are marketing tools that work for me.

·      A growing body of work

·      A short, advertised freebie period at launch

·      The use of beta readers in my genre

·      Working in a group with fellow writers in my genre to critique and suggest improvements, as well as to write an initial blurb or two for a new book’s launch (join an existing writer’s group or form one)

·      Hiring a freelance editor who gained substantial experience in my genre by working for a major publishing house (this is going to run, on average, 4 to 6 cents per word, so forget the 200,000-word masterpiece unless you can break it up into 2 or 3 separate books in a series and have it edited accordingly. The end cost is the same, but you spread the payments out over time.)

·      Spending unreasonable amounts of time on my book’s description; polishing it endlessly

·      Always having a professionally designed cover; I want to look like I’ve been here before.

Each writer’s experience is unique, so there are other methods of marketing that can work. See what’s working for others in your genre. And good luck.

© John Wayne Falbey 2017 All Rights Reserved