How to Market a Self-Published Book

stack of books with marketing terms on spines

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Are you ready to author a self-published book but feel lost on how to market it? The good news is, there are many ways to effectively market your self-published book. The challenging news is there are MANY ways to market your book, and it’s up to you to figure out how to make it happen.

Here are five tips on how to market a self-published book and get it in front of your ideal readers so you can have success with your book marketing. You’ll find plenty of additional book marketing tips on the BookBaby Blog.

1. Create a website

Whatever additional book promotion efforts you embark on, your website is a home base for your book and all activities and events related to the promotion of your book. Whether the website is about your profile as a published author or solely about your book, you want to stake a location on the Internet that you own. It also gives you full control and ownership over your content and brand as an author.

Your website can serve as your digital storefront. It will allow you to showcase your other writing, highlight your achievements, detail your current activities, and present yourself as a credible and serious author. A well-designed website enhances your professionalism and increases your chances of attracting readers, reviewers, book bloggers, and potential publishing opportunities.

Central hub for marketing

Your website acts as a central hub for all your marketing efforts. You can link to and from your social media profiles and ad campaigns, include updates about your current book and future endeavors, and provide exclusive content to engage and retain readers. Done right, this will be the go-to resource for anyone interested in learning more about you and your work.

Book sales and distribution

Through your website, you can sell your book directly to readers. By setting up an online store or integrating with e-commerce platforms, you retain control over pricing, distribution, and sales. If you work with BookBaby, you can direct interested readers to the BookBaby Bookshop, where we take care of order collection and fulfillment, and where you’ll earn the highest royalty rates in the industry (50 percent on printed books, 85 percent on eBooks, and 75 percent on audiobooks).

Bookshop also provides marketing analytics that gives you information about buyers’ locations and provides opportunities to get email addresses so you can create targeted ad campaigns in the future.

2. Use social media

With their enormous user bases and potential for outreach, social media platforms can drive eyes and traffic to your book pages and website.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn boast massive memberships, allowing you to reach a vast audience. Through organic posts and paid advertising, these platforms provide tools to target specific demographics, interests, and reading preferences, enabling independent authors to connect with potential readers who are likely to be interested in their books.

Cost-effective marketing

Social media can be an amazing way to build publicity and promote your self-published book. With cost-effective services like BookBaby’s Ads for Authors, you can lean on our experts to create engaging, targeted ads. Aside from ads, creating and maintaining a social media presence generally takes time and commitment with little to no out-of-pocket expense. You can post new book updates, share content, and engage with readers. With a little time and experience, you might just find you’ve become a social media expert.

Direct engagement with readers

Social media allows you to interact directly with your current and future readers, fostering a sense of community. You can build authentic relationships by following other self-published authors, responding to comments on your publishing platform, answering questions, and sharing insights about your book design and writing process.

This engagement helps establish a personal connection, develop reader loyalty, and encourage word-of-mouth recommendations.

Content sharing

Social media thrives on the sharing of content. The more you post, the more you grow your profile. You can leverage this to build an audience for your book by creating engaging and shareable posts related to your writing.

  • Share quotes and passages from your work in progress.
  • Create video clips of you writing or reading from your book. This “behind-the-scenes” content invites readers along with your journey while building anticipation for your book launch.
  • Create surveys that ask for reader input on the book cover design, your book title, and any other part of the book creation and editing process that can spur engagement.

When readers see that you are including them on your journey to becoming an author, they will feel more invested in your final product.

Building an author brand

With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to be overwhelmed when deciding what social media platform to start with. You can do some market research to determine which might suit your genre and readership — or you can start with the social platform you are most familiar with.

If you are regularly on Facebook, create a page specifically for your book and author career. If you regularly use Instagram, use that and create a profile around images and themes that relate to your writing. Be your authentic self. Share your story about your book and your dream.

3. Analyze your competitors

As you establish an online presence with your website, your writing, and social media channels, take time to understand the marketplace and how books in your genre are packaged, presented, and promoted. Look at other authors in your genre and examine the titles, cover design, and book descriptions for the titles that are gaining attention. This should serve as a guideline for how you might present and market your book. Then you can incorporate your unique point of view and promote how your book meets the market’s expectations while serving as a refreshing, new perspective to the genre.

Examining your competitors allows you to identify current market trends and reader preferences within your genre. By understanding how books are positioned in the marketplace and which are resonating with the readers you are trying to attract, you can tailor your marketing strategies to align with these trends.

Analyzing your competitors will also help you identify what makes your book stand out so you can highlight these unique selling points in your advertising. When you choose BookBaby’s Display Ads or Facebook/Instagram Ads for Authors, you can use this information when you fill out our Ad Design Survey to customize your promotions to include your unique selling points.

5. Design a unique book cover and blurb

A visually striking and professionally designed book cover is one of the strongest selling points of your book. In a crowded marketplace, a unique and visually appealing design sets your book apart from competitors. A good cover design is:

  • Simple. Effective book covers typically feature one image that captures the central theme of the book to create a strong first impression at a glance.
  • Color-coordinated. Working with complementary colors creates an aesthetically pleasing look for your readers.
  • Targeted to your genre. Every genre features elements that translate genre expectations to their book covers.

BookBaby offers professional cover design services for hardcover, paperback, eBooks, and audiobooks.

Cover blurb and book description

A strong cover blurb with a persuasive quote can give your book social affirmation and credibility.

You’ll also need short descriptions of your book’s plots and themes, which will be used on your sales pages and metadata. Your book metadata is critical as it affects how your book is discovered online, on retail outlets, and across public and digital libraries. Having your metadata optimized will ensure that your book is categorized correctly to make it more likely for interested readers to find your title.

Keep distribution channels active with BookBaby

BookBaby offers print-on-demand services for paperback and hardcover books to fulfill orders through the BookBaby Bookshop and major retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more than 60 others.

We offer multiple self-publishing packages, including:

  • Express. For authors with print-ready files, this package includes 25 softcover books, eBook conversion and distribution, print-on-demand distribution, and two ISBN barcodes.
  • Complete. If you need cover design and formatting, this package includes everything from the “express” option plus professional cover design and interior formatting.
  • Deluxe. Includes everything from the “complete” package plus campaign development for Ads for Authors, a Bookshop promotion bundle, and metadata optimization.

Planning a Book Launch free guide

Related Posts
How Social Media Can Help You Find Readers
The “Do’s” Of Planning A Book Launch
Book Cover Design Ideas: Before And After
The Power Of A Strong Book Cover Blurb
10 Self-Published Authors to Learn From

5 COMMENTS

  1. Desing? That’s the title on the 5th book down in the graphic.
    Please ask Book Baby to fix that! I’m sure it’s not your fault but it’s really hard to get past when that’s the first thing we see!

    • Fixed. Thanks for pointing that out. I guess I skipped proofreading the images… another lesson learned that you have to check everything.

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