Written by A Guest Author December 14th, 2023

The 5 Dos and Don’ts of Self-Promotion for Authors

By Ellie Matama

Writing a book is an accomplishment because it takes a lot out of you. By the time you finish, you will have invested a lot of effort and time. But completing your book is only the beginning of the struggle because books don’t sell themselves.

Below are some basics of self-promotion.

1.  Do Create a Book Worth Bragging About

The book you create should be worth sharing. Check and countercheck your assertions, and avoid plagiarism. And also invest in an excellent editor.

If you create a book with many factual and grammatical errors, you may find initial buyers, but they will probably never buy from you again. In addition, they will offer negative reviews that will make it harder for you to convince other readers to buy from you. People who may have loved to promote the book on your behalf may also be ashamed to do so because it would be a bad look for their brand.

But if your book is well written, it will be easier for people to recommend it or promote it on your behalf. So, take your time and do it right the first time.

2.  Don’t Assume People Know You

If your name is not J.K. Rowling or John Grisham, it’s best to assume no one knows you, even if your family and friends know about your books.

So, make yourself known to anyone who matters while sharing your expertise with others during your interactions. Be bold and say that you are a writer or mention your published books whenever you attend networking events. If you make an excellent first impression, yours will be the name that comes to mind when those you interact with want to recommend a book or writer.

3.  Do Social Media Marketing

Technology helps make our lives easier. So, use it to make your book promotions easier.

First, you must create an author’s website and social media pages for your brand. You can then use these platforms to engage people who share similar interests with you to build trust.

You will become a trustworthy source of information by sharing your authentic self, anecdotes, tips on writing, and other things you are skilled at. And that will make it easier for you to promote your books. It will also go a long way in creating a loyal fanbase.

Also, remember to join online authors’ groups and other relevant networking events online. By raising your online profile, you will find it easier to promote your books since some people will be familiar with your brand.

At the beginning of February 2023, Marguerite Richards created a TikTok video to introduce her father, Lloyd Devereux Richards’ thriller novel. He had spent 14 years writing the book while working full-time and caring for his family, but his book, Stone Maiden, had minimal sales after 11 years.

Her story tugged people’s heartstrings and went viral. The more people learned about the story and bought and reviewed the book, the more sales it generated. And that, in the end, propelled her father’s book onto the #1 best-selling spot on Amazon within 24 hours.

Such is the power of social media. Don’t underestimate it.

4.  Don’t Be Pushy

Promoting your books as an author is one thing and quite another to be a mental battering ram. If you are too pushy and always selling books when interacting with people, you will turn them off.

Instead, learn to add value to conversations and provide helpful information to your target audience and others within your network. They will be more willing to buy what you offer when you do that.

5.  Do Embrace Collaborative Alliances

You need other people to promote your books effectively and sell more copies. And the sooner you realize that, the better off you’ll be.

For starters, you can attend networking events and begin to build relationships with the publishing industry stakeholders, such as publishers, agents, and marketers. These people may recommend you to someone and forever change your life as an author.

Even if you are self-published, work with others. Work with other authors, bloggers, and influencers to promote your books within the niches they rule. And while you may need to pay them a percentage of sales as your affiliate marketers, the larger volumes they can help you sell will make up for that.

Additionally, every human being has a unique perspective on things. When you share your knowledge with others on different platforms, such as blogs or podcasts, you will assist the hosts by adding value to their content.

In exchange, they can help you promote your brand and books to a larger audience you would otherwise have had no access to. Think of it as a scratch-my-back-I-scratch-yours kind of thing. It works out great for everyone concerned.

A book doesn’t sell itself. You have to put in the work to promote it. And if you do it right, the initial buyers may eventually sell it for you through word-of-mouth. And you never know; you may become a best-selling author one day.

Bio: Ellie Matama is a Kenyan-based freelance writer who has been in the writing business since 2011. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, watching cooking shows, and fantasizing about global travels. You can reach her via LinkedIn.



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