For authors who choose to self-publish, writing their books is only one part of the work. As a self-published author, you also have to consider how to get your book into the hands of the people who want to read it. Grassroots marketing can be an excellent way to keep control over your book while reaching new and excited readers.
When you market your book, you will need to take a few things into account. For example, consider the demographic your book is written for, how to build excitement around your book, and how to make it easily available — and then how to reach that audience in your advertising efforts.
The digital age is fruitful ground for independently published authors, but you have to know how to approach it. Using a combination of traditional and grassroots marketing methods can help set you up for success.
Creating an Online Presence
There are a few key elements in successful self-publishing that you need to make sure you are prepared for. These elements will help provide a basis to build your marketing and outreach campaigns on, provide a hub for new and established readers to find your information and books, provide you with insight into who is finding your work, and help you reach people who will love your work.
Having a professional website that can act as a hub for all of your professional needs is especially important for independent authors. Since you may not have the luxury of a publishing company, or even want it, you will need to make sure that you are easy to find across social media, and that your website is updated. What this looks like will depend on who you are marketing to.
Independent authors need to research their market before beginning marketing efforts. Knowing your genre, age brackets, and keywords associated with your work is an excellent place to start. Marketing can be one of the most expensive parts of creating your book, so you will want to make sure that its development is done purposefully and intentionally. Be aware of who your online audience is versus your offline audience, for example. With an online presence, you can open up your book to a variety of audiences — all of whom will make the decision to read your book based on the format.
The formatting of books, whether in physical copies, ebooks, or audiobooks, has been a long waged debate that will continue to wear on. Although format preference differs from person to person, it’s ultimately your decision as an independent author how your readers consume your writing. While having all formats available for purchase can be nice, there are pros and cons to all. One benefit of digital publishing is that it allows for adaptability, especially when the economy is in a questionable position.
Adjusting to economic changes can be stressful for authors, especially those who have to do their own marketing and promotion. One way that you can continue to successfully sell your books during the current crisis, is to focus on digital formats. Ebook and audiobook sales have seen an enormous rise over the previous months, and as the shift to online work and access has continued, having an adequate response is important.
In addition to making format decisions, you will want to look at your prices. When marketing during a public crisis, or even when you are just beginning your marketing campaign, consider dropping your price for the time being. While this results in lower revenue per sale, it makes the sales more possible to a wider variety of people. This is another step in accessibility that can make or break for independent authors. By making your writing more accessible to others, you open the door to feedback and overall improvement.
One of the major benefits of grassroots marketing and self-publishing is the connection you have with your audience. Books depend on reviews and blurbs, which grassroots marketing specializes in — so seek out readers that fall into your demographic, and ask them to review your work. These can be through platforms like Amazon so that they are easily accessible, and can be used on your website.
For most independent authors, only a small portion of their marketing will be done through traditional channels. Digital and social media marketing is a key resource and can help you build a following before your book has even been released. By focusing on the area where your demographic is most likely to engage with your content, you can not only reach your readers, but build trust with them as well.
Being an independent author can be incredibly rewarding — but also very scary. Finding grassroots ways to reach and connect with your readership can be incredibly rewarding, and allows you to focus on that connection. By giving readers an easy way to find you, reaching out to them for feedback, and adapting to the current environment, you can develop a dedicated following who will be excited to read your work.
Beau Peters is professional with a lifetime of experience in service and care. As a manager, he has learned a slew of tricks in the business world and enjoys sharing them with others who carry the same passion and dedication that he brings to his work.