You have checked the page proofs, completed the bibliography, the index, and the numerous last minute details before the book finally goes to print.
Now publication day is looming and you can sit back and relax. Wrong! Forget about taking it easy if you want your new baby to do well in the world. To make it stand out from the crowd it’s going to need a lot of nurturing from you, its creator.
In the couple or so months before the book appears, there are certain steps you must take to help your book on its way. Once it is out, you only have a six-week window, at best, when everything is focused on the book. After this, your offspring is pretty much on its own.
Ten Ways to Make Your Book Sell
Spread the Word
Compile a list of everyone who might be remotely interested in the book. This will include the relevant organizations, museums and shops (as well as bookstores) where it could be sold. Don’t forget any overseas contacts – the Internet can help here. Of course Amazon needs to know about it too.
Ask the publisher to provide a press pack, complete with book jacket, order form and sample chapters from the book.
Send this, with a covering letter addressed by name, to everyone on your list. For instance – written a travel book? Try in-flight magazines whose destinations are covered in your book.
Have A Book Launch
Make sure you have a book launch. Ask if the publisher’s representative will organize the launch in a local bookshop. Saturday afternoons are best when shoppers have more time to browse. Set up a small table and chair in a prominent position near the door, with a pile of books and a pen at the ready. Some people are too shy to approach an author if there is no one else near, so ask a friend to stand by to casually flip through the book.
If a public launch is not possible, have the publisher supply copies to your home, then throw a drinks party and invite all your friends and acquaintances. People enjoy being part of a new event and will support you, you’ll find. They will then pass the word on to others.
Tell the Press/Media
Call up the local radio/TV station and offer to speak. Most news stations are delighted to have topical events to cover.
Contact organizations that might be interested and volunteer to speak to members. Many of those attending will want to buy a signed copy after the talk.
Send press releases to local and national newspapers, and offer to be interviewed. Warn your publisher of impending interviews in advance to avoid bookshops being out of stock.
Write articles, which refer to your book, for magazines and newspapers. You could use some chapters as a basis for the articles. Be sure to put the book title in the Further Reading section at the end.
When people tell you, oh so readily, about any typos or errors in the text – there should never be more than two – make a note so they can be corrected in the next edition. If you do all of the above, there will be one.
Finally, do your best to keep the book in print. The Backlist is your most important ally – those royalty checks will keep trickling in, year after year, making you, and your publisher, very happy.
Planning on sending traffic to yourself site or amazon listing? If you self published you have to worry about selling it on your own, whereas if you have a publisher then they will often have a web design team create a nice looking landing page. Sell on amazon? Well Amazon does the layout work for you, you just optimize your book listing per their guidelines.
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