Millions of eBooks sell each year. One in five books being sold in the United States today are eBooks. The popularity of eBooks has made self publishing eBooks a lucrative option for aspiring authors, writers, coaches, teachers, professionals and entrepreneurs.Many authors now simply publish and sell ebooks online.
The rule of thumb for successfully selling eBooks is to spend as much time on promotion, as writing the book itself. Yes, it sounds boring, but look at the best selling authors – many spend months touring and promoting their books!
True – independent, self published writers are on a tight budget, and they can’t really finance massive roadshows. Thankfully, today one can easily promote their book sitting in their bedrooms, or while on a beach holiday. With simple tools like blogs, newsletters, podcasts, and social media, authors can quickly gain a massive audience in the tens of thousands.
We spoke to as many successful writers as we could and tried to learn their favorite marketing techniques. We learnt that successful writers tend to focus on and execute a few proven techniques. So without wasting any more time, here are the 8 secrets we discovered:
- Start Early
Give yourself anywhere between 6 to 30 months to promote your book. The earlier you start, the more time you will have to promote your book. The longer you promote, the larger your audience is going to be. It really is that simple.
Never wait to finish your book. This is the single biggest mistake many writers make – they wait too long to promote their work.
Popular authors who have global readership, spend many months flying, travelling, and living out of their suitcases.
- Grow Your Social Media Presence
Social media is a great way to connect with like-minded audience – people who would want to read your book: your target market. It is not enough to use social media just to send out your release announcement. You want to be building your online presence from the day you decide to write your book.
You have to build buzz around your book. Encourage people to tell friends about your ebook and spread the word. Post teasers and chapters from your book. Make people want to know more about your book. Twitter, Instagram and Youtube are particularly great for eBook authors.
Do giveaways and organize polls. Get creative with your marketing. Don’t feel shy to start a vlog or a podcast.
If you want a more detailed and effective guide to promote your eBook(s) on social media, check out our Beginner’s Guide To Promoting eBooks On Social Media.
- Have An Active Blog
Blogging and writing books are like wearing socks with shoes. Blogging is the easiest way you can reach out to your audience. An extremely popular and successful method is to simply share new content with your audience on a regular basis.
This serves 3 purposes: (i) helps you find new audiences, (ii) keeps your existing audience engaged and (iii) gets you real feedback from your audience.
- Don’t Be Hesitant To Pay For Ads
Paid Ads are a great way to get new audience, or to target your existing audience.
Paid ads might feel technical and challenging to run at first glance, but with some preparation they can help you sell five times more. Track people who engage with you on social media, or visit your website, and then retarget them with ads to buy your books: this simple strategy is foolproof and converts to sale.
- Take Proofreading seriously
Double check for grammatical errors, readability and misspellings. Have a trusted friend or even better: pay for services of a few professional proofreaders. It is very easy to find such services online, on platforms like Fiverr.
- Get A Great Cover
Book covers are easy to make these days with tools like Adobe Spark. If you are uncomfortable doing it yourself, get a graphic designer who you like, and who understands your work, to create one for you.
It is usually a great practice to have a few alternatives, and ask your audience for feedback. Another trick is to do a simple test: have a few alternatives, and show each alternative to a subgroup of your audience. Pick the cover that performs the best.
- Build An Email List
Having an email list, and sending regular newsletters, allows you to build personal connections with your audience. You should aim to make them feel special, and send out exclusive valuable information.
This works really well for authors who are writing books that are educational in nature. People who regularly engage with your emails possibly find it helpful, and are most likely to buy your book(s).
There are many proven methods to build your list. Create popups, encouraging people to subscribe to your newsletter. Tell them clearly what they will get in return. You can even give away something for free (for e.g. a short eBook), in exchange for people to sign up to your newsletter.
WordPress can be easily tweaked to build creative email capture techniques. Many of these functionalities come built-in with Hustly’s fully functional WordPress website package for eBooks.
- Partner With Other Authors
Reach out to other authors in your niche or in related niches. Find ways to partner with them. Maybe host a podcast and invite them. Promote their content to others and ask them if they can help you out too. Such collaborations and partnerships are win-win in nature, and will help both you and your partner authors to dramatically increase your following.
- Start Early
So these were the 8 simple things we identified that you could do to succeed as an eBook author. Never forget that the key is to start early. Never wait to finish your book to start promoting it.
I hope you found this article interesting. Please leave us some comments and let us know what you thought of this article.