By AK Fielding
Most self-published authors I meet ask me for ideas on how to market their books. In this article, I want to address ways that you can market and promote your self-published works. You may find some of these options work for you and others can be discarded. Keep in mind, whichever method(s) you choose, they all require dedication, commitment, and hard work. You may find overnight success with one or many of them, but be prepared to spend time on working these ideas. Remember, as a self-published author, you are responsible for the success (or failure) of your work. The more you pursue the means to promote your work, the better your chances of success. Listed below are twenty free (or almost-free) ways I have tried to promote my books:
- Find local bookstores that will be willing to place your book on their shelves.
- Contact a local library (even your state library) and find out if they have author seminars that you could attend.
- Ask your local library if they would consider adding your book to their database.
- Look for other local shops—restaurants, gourmet stores, pet shops (shops that would benefit from your book)—and ask if they would consider showcasing your book.
- Offer to speak at your local library, church, business organization, school function, or any other community event about your book.
- Contact your local newspaper and ask if they would consider writing an article in the community news section.
- Use social media to promote your book.
- Create a free blog or website to promote your book.
- Join a community group and share your book with the members.
- Teach a class on a subject related to your book and make copies available to students.
- Cross promote with other authors.
- Send a copy to famous individuals who are interested in your genre.
- Rent booth space at a local re-sale shop and distribute copies.
- Take a great line from your book, have it printed on a T-shirt, and wear it around town.
- Use the same great line as a bumper sticker on your car.
- Use old-fashioned word-of-mouth to help spread the word about your book.
- Go to your local retail bookstore (such as Walmart, Waldenbooks, Barnes and Noble) and ask if they would consider stocking your book.
- Contact your local radio/TV station and find out if they would consider doing an interview with you.
- Instead of handing out your business card, hand out your book to key individuals in your community.
- Start a book club.
As with any other part of the self-publishing process, marketing your book requires commitment and focus. I hope these twenty suggestions will provide a way for you to get your work in the hands of readers. Also, be sure to check out my Bite-Sized Guide on more help with self-publishing (released December 2015 by Molly Green). A quick thank you to reader Ken Demlow for asking about ideas for marketing a self-published book on my last Molly Green Blog article.