38 Authors Share Their Best Book Marketing Tips, Strategies And Secrets For Self-Publishing Success In 2017
There’s nothing like learning from others.
Whether it’s from their successes or failures, there’s always a lesson to learn.
So I decided to ask our audience…
“What’s the #1 thing that you’ve learned this year
that other authors may find valuable?”
The responses blew me away.
The strategies and insights shared are quite simply gold for any author who’s looking to sell more books, make more money and reach more people.
So we organized all the responses into an easy-to-digest article that you can come back to any time you need some inspiration, an idea or a new tactic to test.
So without further ado, I want to share with you…
The Best Book Marketing Tips, Strategies and Secrets for Self-Publishing Success In 2017 – As Told By 38 Bestselling Authors
- Don’t Sell Your Book!
- The Secret Seven…
- Don’t You Dare Do This…
- How To Actually Use Social Media As An Author
- The Secret of Segmentation
- The One Thing All Authors Must Do
- How To Use “Quiet Time” To Finally Write Your Book
- How Your “Why” Will Keep You Going Through The Tough Times
- How To Manipulate Categories So You Hit #1
- Remember – Your Story Is Unique
- Sit Down Social Media, It’s All About…
- Your Book Is Not Just A Book…
- Create A Network of Writers
- Why The Momentum Must Come From You…
- Investing In The “3 L’s”
- The Power of a “Series”
- The 50% Rule
- Stick To Your Greatness
- Identify How You’ll Monetize From The Start
- Do It Yourself
- You Are What You Eat
- Do Your Homework And Be Realistic
- Give First, Ask Second
- From Time to Time, Be Selfish…
- You Never Know When You’ll Need It
- Be Your Own Brand
- What To Do BEFORE You Launch…
- Why You Must Write a Book That People Want To Buy
- Simple Truth On How To Get More Reviews, Endorsements And Sales
- WARNING: This Mindset Will Kill Your Productivity!
- The New “Currency” of SEO
- The Importance of Pacing
- The Power of Your Pre-Launch
- People Buy From Who They Know, Like And Trust
- How to Boost Your Email Engagement
- Why You Should Write What You’d Enjoy Reading
- Your HEART & SOUL
- Follow The Path of Least Resistance
1 Don’t Sell Your Book!
One of the worst ways to make money from your book is to sell it.
Instead, think of your book as a handshake and business card exchange at a networking event. Your book buys you possibilities. Don’t limit those possibilities by trying to sell your book to complete strangers.
I’ve made well into the six figures off a book that’s sold less than 100 copies. Go and do likewise.”
Author, Called to Stay
2 The Secret Seven…
The one thing that surprises me again and again is how very few authors know about this ‘little known secret’ of posting to the BIG 7 social media platforms with one click of the mouse.
As we all know, one way to skyrocket your success as an author is with maximum exposure.
I get asked all the time which social media software I use. And my answer is always WordPress.
One blogpost, which can be as simple as an image with a title can get posted to the BIG 7 social media platforms…
- Write a WordPress post and share it with…
So easy, so simple, a lot of FUN! With one click of the mouse.
My social media plan makes it super easy to keep track of the message you’re sending; when, where and what. Maximizing engagement and exposure.”
Author, The Holy Grail of Book Launching
3 Don’t You Dare Do This…
This is what I know…
Never give up, keep writing, share with others writers, and every single thing on this planet has a story.”
Author, Wraparound (J.B. Dannan Novels Book 1)
4 How To Actually Use Social Media As An Author
Social Media is not a direct sales tool.
Watch people using social media; they do it on their phone during down time (waiting for an appointment, standing in line at the store, etc.).
They don’t want to buy something; they want a distraction.
Don’t spend money on Facebook ads asking folks to buy your book. Spend money to get them onto your mailing list or to view your blog. Those other tools will then sell your book.”
Author, Fire Cop
5 The Secret of Segmentation
With the advances in social targeting and tools it’s more important than ever to understand your audience, and here’s why. My book is for people who struggle with achieving goals. There’re numerous goals that people struggle with, be it weight loss, business, happiness, etc.
The tools available via social channels now allow you to craft different messages to market to different audiences. I can have five different ads running, all selling the same book, with five unique pitches to five target audiences. I can craft my pitches and benefits for very specific segments for each of these rather than wasted ad dollars on messages that don’t resonate with everyone.
Once you find the right recipe with this approach, your conversions are sure to improve. You may even wind up focusing all your effort on one small niche for your next projects once you see the path of least resistance!”
Author, Turning Point
6 The One Thing All Authors Must Do
As an author, you can spend hours upon hours researching how to market and promote your work. But, if you don’t spend the time to actually write the book, all the research is pointless.
It is so easy to get swept into everything that you need to know or do, that it is too easy to forget the most important part. The writing.”
Author, A Maple Valley Christmas
7 How To Use “Quiet Time” To Finally Write Your Book
I wrote my book in just 90 days.
The # 1 thing I learned is that I had to cancel some other activities and focus on writing, after my quiet time in prayer, every day for about an hour. If I did other things first, the day would pass without accomplishing writing.
Doing the quiet time first helped me focus on what I was to write that day.
I had already mind-mapped the information and organized it into chapters which helped with the flow of the content.”
Author, Finding Hope
8 How Your “Why” Will Keep You Going Through The Tough Times
No matter what anyone tells you, if you have a book within you calling to be written, write it. Depending on the book you are writing, it can take a long time. Have a strong enough reason, your WHY, to keep you going.
You will have people say all sorts of things to you along the journey, like “People don’t read books anymore.”
Don’t worry about what others say, stick to your vision and keep going. Join Epic Launch and get into a group of people who have done what you want to do and have been through the challenges and overcame them.
Community is so important when you embark upon such an adventure, to be around people who understand you. Once you make the decision to write a book, have a clear and well-defined plan and don’t give up.
Dr. Isabel Sharkar
9 How To Manipulate Categories So You Hit #1
I learned the steps to take in order to become an Amazon #1 Bestselling author. One of the things to do is check out the categories that your book falls under and then look up the subcategories for your book and set yourself up in the sub category that has the least amount of books in your category to compete against.”
Co-Founder, The Doolin Healing Sanctuary
Author, The Only Way Out Is In
10 Remember – Your Story Is Unique
Regardless of your current situation, your story is unique and should be shared with the world!”
11 Sit Down Social Media, It’s All About…
… Lists, lists, lists!
I learned the value of having your own list. Just a few months ago, I had a handful (relatively speaking) of subscribers and now I have thousands and growing. If you are an author, you need a list. I can’t stress this enough.
Your list is your most powerful tool. Social media takes a sea t to lists, in my humble opinion.
Author, Something Like This
12 Your Book Is Not Just A Book…
Use your book not only as a selling tool but a marketing and credibility tool.
Especially if you’re in the coaching industry, it’s great for a speaking piece. Also, don’t be afraid to collaborate with other experts, get familiar with PR, and always make efforts to create an impression of you being the leading expert in your field.”
Victoria LeDay NLP, LWP
13 Create A Network of Writers
The best thing I learned is the value of being a part of a network of other writers who have the same goal of becoming a professional writer. The more minds that are thinking alike, the better.
The different experiences are a wealth of knowledge of what works, what doesn’t, and what they are currently doing to get more readers and write better. You can bounce ideas off everyone for titles, cover ideas, book ideas, etc. You have a ready list of people who will help each other with the launch of their new book, can reach new readers because of their influence and reaching out to their audience for each other, and also keep up on the latest tips and ideas.
The key is to participate in the group. If you don’t participate and help others, don’t expect anyone to help you when you need help. Get involved in the group, participate and be helpful. The more people you help, the better your business will be.”
Author, How to Quit Your Job with Rental Properties
14 Why The Momentum Must Come From You…
The #1 thing I learned is that “book marketing” isn’t “just marketing!”
It is an on-going process of identifying the potential groups of readers who could benefit from the book and getting a marketing message in front of them that will compel them to act!
There is lots of help along the edges…but the momentum must come from you… the author.
As one of my great sale mentors said again and again and again: No calls… No sales!
Whether those “calls” are emails, book and letter mailings, or anything else… they must be consistently made to keep the book sales moving so you can leverage it into other opportunities.”
Author, When Is The Right Time To Sell My Business
15 Investing In The “3 L’s”
The #1 thing I have learned this year is that if you invest in Living, Loving, and Learning, you can have more, be more, and do more than what your current limitations are telling you.”
Author, Loss Vegas
16 The Power of a “Series”
Consider publishing a series of three or four books rather than just one monster book on a topic. My first book was 160 pages and took five months to finish. For my next project, I split up a topic for four books of around 70 pages each and took me just over six months to finish.
The first book does well, averaging around $400 a month but the four-part series blows it out of the water with over $1,000 a month in sales. Breaking your book idea into a series only takes marginally longer to write and develop. It will be more work in launching each but you’ll find a lot of people that are willing to review all four since they’re smaller.
It also helps solve the hit-and-miss problem with self-publishing where you never quite know if a book will be popular. Publishing a series gives you four chances for a popular book rather than just one.”
Joseph Hogue, CFA
Author, The Passive Income Myth
17 The 50% Rule
In a nutshell, the #1 thing I learned this year is the importance of following “The 50% Rule” as an author. The 50% rule was most recently made famous by Gabriel Weinberg is his best-selling book “Traction”.
The Rule states that you should “spend 50% of your time on product and 50% on traction.”
In the world of publishing, the product is the book. Traction is the extent to which their book or book’s message starts to gain popularity or acceptance. Today, traction is the biggest piece of the puzzle that authors tend to neglect. Ideally, an author should start building traction as soon as they have finalized their book outline.
A traction strategy (or marketing strategy) should also be drafted and segmented over 3 periods of time during a book’s journey: pre-launch, launch week, and post-launch.
A suggested pre-launch marketing strategy is to create a book landing page with an email capture serving as a lead magnet to not only be notified when the book is complete.
At the same time, you want to build a 15-30 person group of early adopters to serve as your launch team during your launch week. Your launch team will amplify your marketing strategy by making sure you have reviews on week 1 of your launch and have a voice across all social media platforms to create a “surround sound” effect. This will drive a larger audience reach than you could alone.
Post-launch, you will want to reach out to bloggers and podcasters that are in your niche market and identify just one chapter of your book that you’d like to guest post or talk about.
Marketing can no longer be an after-thought if you want to hit the bestseller ranking and leverage your book to elevate your business and personal brand to the next level for years to come.”
Co-Founder, Launch Team
18 Stick To Your Greatness
The #1 thing that I’ve learned this year that other authors may find valuable….
Oh, boy, it is that I am an expert in what I wrote about, but I am not an expert at selling, promoting and pitching my book. I learned so much from the process of working with Epic Launch and I asked a ton of questions because it intrigued me, however, my next book I will come back even though I was really educated on the process.
I am a big believer in letting the experts do their thing, so I can do mine! Thanks for an incredible launch. I will be back for each and every book that I put out there!”
Author, Is Your Business Worth Saving?
19 Identify How You’ll Monetize From The Start
Although I had wanted to write a book for at least about 3 years, I finally wrote the book only this year. Just writing the book itself is a painstaking process, where we have to overcome our mental blocks and self-doubts and be willing to write what we are called for.
However, I feel that for most Creatives especially for writers, the biggest mental hurdle is to decide how to monetize their book. Most of us do not learn to value ourselves and so we do not really feel that our creation is worthy of being heard. Every single creative effort is worth being heard and we also deserve the materialistic rewards as well.
So for any beginner author, the best way to start with the writing process would be to identify the channels to monetize their book and start focusing on how to build a solid business being an Authority in their respective fields.
When you have the end goal in mind, you will feel fired up to actually finish the book and also will find the right channels to market your book.”
Author, Bounce Back with Power
20 Do It Yourself
I would say that CreateSpace is a fantastic tool and if you “do it yourself,” you’ll save time, save money, maintain control, and see higher profit for each sale!”
Joel L. Rissinger
Author, The Crucified Church
21 You Are What You Eat
The best thing I have learned and experienced this year is how much more productive and energetic you are when you eat healthy fruits and vegetables.
Furthermore, I have disciplined to keep my priorities down to 3 and constantly be doing money-making activities and not being trapped in time. Being present is great as well living in the moment. Do not be identified with your ego. Live being.”
22 Do Your Homework And Be Realistic
Do not set unrealistic expectations and do your homework!
When I first started writing my book I thought I should & could have it completed in 30 days! Not thinking and truly knowing how much work one actually should dedicate to their work in order to have a successful launch. There are many other factors that you must take into account if you want you book to perform to your expectations.
Creating a solid outline, then sticking to the outline (edit and change if need to). And to JUST WRITE!! I found myself trying to edit and sometimes thinking too much as I was writing, forgetting that that is what the editing process is for.
Once you knock out the first draft, then you can work to fine tune and edit. Overall, trust the process and do not rush process. Take your time, so that way you make sure you produce quality work.”
23 Give First, Ask Second
The #1 thing: You can’t do this alone.
Definitely follow Austin’s advice of building a launch team, join other like-minded groups via Facebook, Goodreads or a team like Austin suggests. Pat your teammates’ backs before you expect the same.
Offer advice, leave reviews for others and share on social media. When your turn comes to launch you will already have a team in place who want to help your book launch be successful.”
Founder, Go Go Yoga Kids
Author, Go Go Yoga Kids
24 From Time to Time, Be Selfish…
As authors, especially self-published authors we operate in a very benevolent environment.
We share what’s working and what’s not working with our colleagues. We refer our favorite editors, formatters, and cover designers. And many of us share specific results when we promote our work through book promotion sites.
It helps all of us move forward and keeps others from making the same mistakes. But we need to remember that we are indeed independent business people and our ability to connect with new readers (as well as creating new material for our existing followers) is paramount.
So we need to build our own personal mailing list. We can’t rely on the Bookbubs of the world to always support us. What if we could increase our list of readers by ten percent a month? It’s possible, there are lots of ways to do it.
Right now my mailing list is increasing by twenty percent every month and I see no reason why it shouldn’t keep growing. And those new readers are qualified prospects. They own an electronic reading device, they purchase e-books and they’ve shown interest in my work. So be selfish – explore ways of building your mailing list.”
Author, How I Sold 30,000 eBooks on Amazon’s Kindle
25 You Never Know When You’ll Need It
My tip is to keep everything you write. It may seem like bad writing but you may find it helpful one day.”
Founder, Living Home School
26 Be Your Own Brand
The number one thing that I learned this year was that you have to brand yourself as an author. You have to figure out what and who you are writing for and build your brand around that platform.
My platform is all about writing stories of hope that people of all ages can enjoy and that parents are comfortable sharing and discussing with children. I call it family friendly inspirational fantasy fiction.
Steven A. Guglich
Author, The Veil Saga
27 What To Do BEFORE You Launch…
Build an audience before launching your book.
The reason for this is pretty straightforward: People buy from people they know, like, and trust. If they don’t know, like and trust you, they will be very unlikely to buy from you (especially if you decide to sell it through your own platform). That’s the case of the saying, “People love to buy, but they don’t like to be sold to.”
So how exactly do you build an audience and develop a relationship with them?
In simple terms, you do this by serving people and adding a lot of value to their lives for free. If you have a blog, that’s a great place to start.
Write 2-3 in-depth posts (think 2000+ words) that are closely related to the topic of your book. At the end of every post, link to a landing page where you show an image of your upcoming book, a short description of it, and an opt-in form so you can build a list of people interested in your upcoming book.
Even better, you can provide a sample free chapter from your book, so people can get a taste of it before you launch it officially to the public.
If you don’t have a blog, you can use platforms like Medium.com, LinkedIn, Facebook Notes, and engage in communities like Quora, answering questions on your area of expertise.
Before launching the book, ask people on your list what else should you include in the book. What are they struggling with the most? What other important topics should you cover?
A few weeks prior to the launch of your book, start building anticipation. Engage your community in the conversation. Share the ups and downs of the process you’ve been through while writing the book. Share a few personal experiences, and have the courage to be vulnerable. Show that you’re a human, and share your struggles along the way. Don’t pretend to be perfect. Share bits and pieces from your book along the way.
Ask them what do they think about the cover of the book. Do they like it? What can you improve?
There are many ways to go about it. Be creative and let your imagination run wild and you’ll come up with incredible ideas.
Also remember that after launching your book, you’re not done. You’ve built an asset that will work for you 24/7. So continue nurturing the relationships with your audience and increase the existing one. If you won’t get the results you’ve expected from your launch, don’t be disappointed. See what you can improve and move on.
Most importantly, believe in your message and in your voice and be persistent.
One thing I have to remind myself often is to have patience, because most of us want it all NOW. But we really need to enjoy the process and focus on who we are becoming along the way. What’s most important is the journey, not the destination!
Bottom line: Add as much value as you possibly can to other people’s lives and you won’t ever have to worry about money again.”
Author, Extreme Productivity Unleashed
28 Why You Must Write a Book That People Want To Buy
If you want to write a book that sells well, write a book that people want to read and buy. And to achieve that, invest time and energy into understanding what they want to read – in terms of the topic and delivery mode/writing style.
My book has sold over 20,000 copies since it was launched a year ago, and I believe that the key to its success is the fact that I invested time and energy in researching what and how people wanted to learn about.
I spent a few months just exploring the unmet needs in the area of mental performance, by reading and answering questions on various forums and asking people what their biggest challenges were. I also checked the books available in the niche to see what approaches to delivering information on overcoming those problems were lacking.”
Author, Hack Your Habits
29 The Simple Truth On How To Get More
I recently learned the importance of asking…and asking…and asking again.
I unashamedly ASK for reviews and endorsements when people tell me how much they enjoyed my book. My mantra is “pleasant, patient, and persistent” and it requires all three!
I can count on one hand the number of reviews or endorsements I’ve gotten after just one ask. It typically requires three or four. The key is to not take it personally! People are busy and have long “to-do” lists of their own. Writing a review for my book isn’t a high priority, and that’s OK. I pleasantly and patiently follow-up with them every week or two until I have that endorsement. I’m never pushy, just gracious and persistent.
Lastly, I always give a “why” when asking – one that appeals to the person’s higher senses. It’s not spin, it’s what I really believe, but saying it helps move my “ask” higher up their priority list. I say something like…
“Your endorsement will help me get my book into the hands of more struggling couples, help me bring hope to more families, help me save more marriages, etc.”
I read a Tim Ferriss quote shortly after my book launch and committed it to memory. It continues to guide me:
“Success can be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations you’re willing to have.”
BAM. There it is, in a nutshell!”
Author, The Sex-Starved Husband’s Guide
30 WARNING: This Mindset Will Kill Your Productivity!
I’ve been lazy with my self-publishing lately, not necessarily through choice.
I’ve been of the mind that I have to be THE expert on the subject matter when I have an idea for a book. This mindset kills productivity!
It’s taken me over a year to recognise this problematic mindset for what it is and begin getting pen to “paper” again in anything nearing a meaningful way, and I would have you avoid this pitfall at all costs.
You don’t have to “know it all,” to begin creating your book. Build on and create from the knowledge of those that have come before you. Tim Ferriss, Robert Cialdini, James Altucher, Napoleon Hill or just about any author who writes interesting stuff didn’t know everything that is in their books when they started documenting the information that is inside.
You have to open that word doc and take the first step, just start writing and researching and the rest will follow.
You’ll be an expert at the end of the process, not at the beginning.
Write books to teach yourself as much as to teach your audience, and don’t let “not being an expert” be an excuse.”
Author, CreateSpace and Kindle Self-Publishing Matrix
31 The New “Currency” of SEO
Reviews are the new SEO “currency”.
When your product shows up at the top of Amazon and Google lists, magical things happen. To get there, you need to provide descriptive text about your book–but, more importantly, you need a lot of great reviews. This is how the world “upvotes” your book.
To get reviews, drive readers of your book back into your marketing machine (your website, email list, auto-responder, and more). Your book should ask people to come back to your site and opt-in. Give them value and reason to do so. As your readers move through your marketing machine and begin interacting with you, simply ask them to leave you a review.
So get your marketing machine in place and ask!
Author, Leave the Grind Behind
32 The Importance of Pacing
With being a stay at home mother of 5 and trying to make money on the side until the re-launch of my book, I learned to pace myself. It’s easy for me to dig in and buckle down until every box is checked but when I do that I easily begin to neglect other things.
Finding balance and pacing myself is important, not just for the sake of being available to my children but for my own sanity and the eventual birth of my long time dream of being a successful author. So pacing myself is definitely my big lesson of 2016.
Author, God, Why Am I Not Married?
33 The Power of Your Pre-Launch
What I learned the most about launching a book is getting people involved.
The pre-launch is so important and through the pre-launch you can build your following by creating a buzz and interest.
Also I found out there are many free advertising websites for books. Through those lessons and making time to promote my book, it is on the way to being a best seller.
Author, Awaken with Gratitude
34 People Buy From Who They Know, Like And Trust
I think the one thing I have learned has to do with Social Media.
I learned that I don’t always have to be advertising my Book, and making ads on my book. I need to be myself and be involved in who I am as a person on Social Media. People then become interested in me and then go to my websites on Facebook or Twitter and check out my book and purchase a book.
They end up buying my book because they like who I am.
So you need to be busy on Social Media, but not necessarily in their face selling your book. By doing that, you sell books automatically.
Author, Rising Above the Pain
35 How to Boost Your Email Engagement
The tip is: I send an automated email about 45 minutes after they sign up, asking if they were able to download the resources successfully, and to just hit reply and let me know. Many do.
This does a couple of things:
It shows I care about them and that I’m not leaving them on their own.
It gets them trained to engage with my emails, and at the same time. 3.
It keeps my emails from landing in the junk/promotions folder, because they’ve now SENT an email to my address!
Author, Don’t Sell Me, Tell Me
36 Why You Should Write What You’d Enjoy Reading
Write what you’d enjoy reading instead of trying to vary every thought to touch some perceived persons mind. Does it help, encourage, teach, spur on, enlighten, awaken, feed you?!
If so it’ll help, encourage, teach, spur, enlighten, awaken, feed and reach others.
37 Your HEART & SOUL
One of my big lessons learned this year is that every once in awhile, you have to go ALL OUT and put your heart, your soul and all of your energy into something.
It’s challenging but invigorating as hell. And it makes for something that you can be proud of for a long time to come.
Too often (me included!) we go through the motions or give 70-90% effort on something (even though we like to tell ourselves we gave “110%” effort).
Truly getting to that full 100% and leaving it all on the line is extremely rewarding.
38 Follow The Path of Least Resistance
The best tip I can give is to always follow the road of least resistance.
So how do you know what that road is? We all have a built-in guidance system, our feelings. Always ask yourself before you make a choice one way or the other, how do you feel about the choice I about to make?
If it feels good, exciting, abundant etc that that is the road of least resistance. If it doesn’t feel good or like procrastination or just not uplifting and all the other not so good feelings then that is the road to more resistance. Make the choice with your built-in guidance system, you then have direct access to your abundance source and the road of least resistance.
So there you have it.
38 authors who’ve shared their #1 lesson from 2016.
You can now take these strategies, tips and tactics to apply them to your self-publishing business to see a boost in your sales, email subscribers and reviews.
If you’d like to download a free PDF of this guide, use the button below now.
And if you have a strategy you’d like to see featured on this list, please email [email protected]ch.com and let me know, I’ll be sure to add it to the list.
Austin G. Netzley
Founder, Epic Launch
Let’s Talk About Your Book
Please tell us your name, email address, and a quick summary of your book.
We'll be in touch with you within one business day to discuss your book and your goals. Then we'll help you determine the best path toward publishing and promoting your book... even if it’s not with us.