If you write it, there’s no guarantee that anyone will buy your book. First they have to be aware that it even exists!
As an entrepreneur, you’re probably already familiar with sales funnels. Books are no exception to this rule. In order to sell your book, you’ve got to guide your readers through the book-buying funnel. From awareness to loyalty, there’s a journey they need to travel if you are self-publishing your nonfiction book.
Define your target audience
This is something we’d do before you ever write a single word because your audience is everything to your book’s journey. Are you writing to colleagues or customers? They could be very different groups of readers. Who that group is, also informs your marketing choices.
Build an author platform
If your book is going to be a tool for marketing, then you’ll want to sell it both to your business’s customers and to the general public. This means that you need to ensure your book sells.
You’ll want to add it to your company’s website, and consider having a separate website for you as an author. If you’re selling through sites like Amazon, you will want to take advantage of the tools they have for authors as well.
Develop a marketing plan
Outline your goals, target audience, and tactics for reaching them. This may include online advertising, guest blogging, virtual book tours, or collaborations with influencers in your niche.
Leverage book reviews
Seek honest reviews from reputable sources, such as book bloggers, online review platforms, or professional review services. Positive reviews can help build credibility and attract new readers. Be aware that reviewers are often backed up for months so don’t hesitate to ask your readers to write a few words on your book in the meantime.
Utilize social media
Regularly share engaging content related to your book, such as excerpts, behind-the-scenes insights, or reader testimonials. Engage with your audience by responding to comments. I’m not a fan of giveaways since they can be hijacked by spammers and scammers.
Engage with your readers
Interact with your readers through book signings, author events, virtual workshops, or online discussions. Building a personal connection with your audience can generate word-of-mouth recommendations and loyal fans.
Leverage online platforms
Utilize online bookstores, such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble, to promote your book. Optimize your book’s metadata, choose relevant categories, and encourage readers to leave reviews. There are plenty of places where you can sell your book, including your own website! Consider making the e-book version available for sale directly from you and make it easy for your customers to buy.
Collaborate with influencers
Partner with influencers or experts in your genre or industry to gain exposure. This can involve guest posting, joint promotions, or endorsements to expand your reach and credibility. Look for reputable people you can partner with because stepping in front of someone else’s audience, with their endorsement, validates you and your book as worth paying attention to.
If you don’t want to self-publish, you’re still going to have to do a lot of promotion. Publishers now have more limited budgets and time available for each of the books they release. If you want your book to hit any bestseller lists, you need to make sure you’re doing your part.