6 Tips for Selling More Self-Published Books

How to Sell More Self-Published Books – 6 Tips for Success – Part 1

I’ve been madly searching the internet for tips on selling more books, and a few suggestions keep cropping up again and again.  So I’ve put them together here to save you time!

Please leave your comments and further suggestions at the end of the post…

1. You Should Use a Professional Editor

To me this seems obvious.  You have to put out a quality product if you want good referrals and repeat buyers.  But when perusing the CreateSpace forums recently, I found several posts asking whether authors should use a professional editor or not?

Surprised by the number of replies against using a professional editor, I realized print-on-demand (POD) authors face issues which professional authors (funded by a publisher) never experience!

There were also a number of comments regarding unethical or poor editors who had caused more damage than improvement, which is unsettling.  Make sure to get references!

Self editing a 500-1000 word blog post is one thing, but self editing a 70,000 word book is another matter all together.  You simply can’t catch every error, especially if your profession and forte is creative writing.

Professional editing is exactly that; a profession.  A reputable professional editor WILL make your book better because they will force you to fill in the gaps, realign the ideas and keep you in your style.  In addition, they can be a source of motivation when you receive praise or critique…

You can also use fixed cost professional editing services such as those offered on sites like CreateSpace, formerly BookSurge.  This company is owned by Amazon and provides a range of publishing and pre-publishing services

I’m about to publish a 40,000 word non-fiction book and am going through the process of using a professional editor.  The experience has been great!  So if you are publishing in this genre, and need someone good, please contact me.

2. You Should Know Your Target Market

There are three primary book markets; Fiction, Non-Fiction and Poetry.  But within these three parent categories are dozens of subcategories.  My book is in the subcategory of non-fiction, self help.  Within self help there are dozens of sub-subcategories.

To sell more books you need to find your sub-sub-subcategory readers.  If you wrote a book about meditation or weight-loss, they are sub-subcategories.

What is the sub-sub-subcategory of your book?

meditate on deskI am aiming my book at men who want to improve their lives by learning how to control their feelings of anger and jealousy.  Readers accomplish this by learning the science behind their mind and body, then applying this on a metaphysical (spiritual) level.  These lessons are delivered through a series of clever literary devices called clichés, which makes it easier to communicate some fairly technical information to the reader in layman’s terms.

So my sub-sub-subcategory is men who want to improve themselves mentally and spiritually.  But even that can be broken down further by age, income bracket, reading habits, etc.

That is an example of segmenting a book’s market.  But, as mentioned previously, when I step outside that particular audience of men interested in mental self-development, and consider a potential audience of readers wanting to lose weight, I’ve now opened up an entire new sub-subcategory.

And this needs to be analyzed further by asking a few questions…

Where do these types of people hang out?  Where do they spend their time shopping or browsing?  Do they buy books?  How is your book applicable to them?  How do you get to these people?

You can’t answer any of these important questions if you don’t know exactly who your target audience actually is!

This website has 373 self-publishing tips and includes some ideas on marketing and selling self published books…

3. You Should Learn About the Publishing Industry and Your Genre

Just as the blogosphere has its own etiquette and language, the world of book publishing also has a ‘proper’ way to communicate with the associated ‘industry jargon’ to learn.

A great way to get your head around the industry is by reading the Publisher’s Weekly website.  Check out their publishing webcasts here.  I know some authors who subscribe to this service to stay in touch with the latest industry gossip.

You have to understand that if you’re a POD self published author, you are the enemy!  So you need to do your reconnaissance and get the inside scoop on what the big players are doing to market their books – if you want to compete.

Visit the websites of the publishing companies who produce books in your niche.  There’s heaps of information on the following sites: Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Random House, HarperCollins and Scholastic.

Check out the author’s appearance schedules as this can give you marketing ideas to implement your self.

Come back for Tips 4-6 tomorrow…

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