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Find Your Readership, with Creativity and Alliances

Trying to market any self-published book is hard, so marketing author Jennifer Lancaster offers her tips

In this mock interview, we discuss some of the pitfalls of trying to publish and market your own book online. 


What problems are encountered when marketing a book?

First of all, we authors tend to rely too much on personal friend sales and believe that all our Facebook followers will buy. There are lots of good things about promoting this way, like a higher conversion rate, but there is a hard limit to sales numbers and also the fact that all different friends are not going to be interested in the same topic.

The unspoken problem is getting your message noticed among all the noise online. 

Even celebrities with 10,000 followers have had trouble selling their book, unless they also get a strong message out as well, e.g. with a launch speech and other talks. 

Business-minded authors battle for headspace in their market, not just with other more well-known authored books – but also with courses, workshops, and giveaway books. The clutter is intense. 


Q. So what do you think is the answer, to get more notice?


After trying the traditional route of just listing my book and posting sporadically, I say shake things up a bit. Be creative.

Give something relevant and wanted to your potential audience – maybe a cheat sheet, an inspirational poster, or a free video series. Go above and beyond. You will then be capturing their email address at the same time.


Q. Great, what other tips can you give authors?


Well, like any product, you want to be talking about your book to a hungry audience. 

So form alliances with other authors and marketers in the same space, that benefit both. They should be a fan or your ideas first, so perhaps give a select few micro-influencers a paperback copy to read. Share your email lists.

Engage with followers through a webinar or give them a preview chapter through your own sales page. Sadly, not many are going to buy just through one mention and a buy now link.


Be sure to check out Jennifer’s blog (jenniferlancaster.com.au/blog) for free tips on self-publishing and her new academy at www.businessauthoracademy.com. 

Jennifer Lancaster, author of five How To books and author mentor, has created a members resources area to help other Australian authors learn successful self-publishing and help market their books. It’s called Book Creation Success Club.