Improve Your Marketing Strategy and Sell More Books This Holiday Season

As a self-published author, you wear a lot of hats. And one of those is most certainly marketer.

As an author, you know it takes hard work to create an engaging story. Luck has nothing to do with it. Luck has nothing to do with marketing, either.

It’s up to you to make meaningful connections with readers. You have to pique their interest and convert that interest into a sale.

One of the biggest obstacles you may come across is not having the enormous budget that large publications do. So the question is then, “How can I promote my book on a limited budget?”

Not to worry. There are numerous ways you can market your book that cost very little. The bigger investment will be your effort and patience.

From seller behemoths like Amazon to social media and classic email marketing, you can effectively market your self-published book. Here’s our roundup of how to sell your book this holiday season and capture the attention of more readers through marketing strategy.

Boost Sales with Amazon Ads

While Amazon has historically had a tumultuous relationship with those who sell through their platform, it’s a pathway that you should consider. As a self-publisher, it’s a place where, at the very least, you can find new channels to grow your sales.

Amazon requires little upfront. Listing fees are low and you don’t pay them until your books sell. If you start to sell more than 40 books a month, you can then purchase a Professional Seller account for $39. It’s a monthly fee but it opens up a lot of dynamic selling tools which can increase your sales.

If you really want to be seen and heard, Amazon Ads will help you cut through the noise. These function in the same way that Google Ads do. For example, when you search for “Best Young Adult Books of 2021,” Google will pull up a cohesive list for you. Amazon Ads do the same thing.

It doesn’t stop at just buying ads. How to sell books on Amazon involves knowing your target audience well, focusing on keywords in your ads, and taking advantage of automatic targeting. Automatic targeting is a tool built right into Amazon that helps widen your reach.

With how streamlined and popular the platform is, it’s a good starting point for any self-published seller.

Promote Your Book Through Facebook Ads

When it comes to book marketing for self-published authors, data is your new best friend. One of Facebook’s most valuable assets to sellers and businesses is its ability to harness data. Tapping into this can help you pinpoint exactly who you should be selling to.

By using Facebook’s Analytics, you can narrow down the age group, gender, and locations of your top followers. This gives you an idea of the people already into what you’re putting out there. From there it comes down to targeting who your ad needs to get in front of.

When you’re thinking about who your target audience is, consider the following:

  • Which authors do they read?
  • What are their favorite TV shows?
  • What are their favorite movies?
  • What genres do they enjoy?

These are rather broad questions, but you can go deeper. Now that you have your group’s interests, find out more about them. Start to look at the age range, genders, and occupations. You’ll start to find trends among these data points.

Once you’ve got a target audience, start testing your Facebook Ads with them. You can go through this process a few times. This will help you discover who your most ideal audience is so that you can continue seeking them out.

Increase Engagement with Social Media Giveaways

Social media has changed the way authors promote and sell their books. Gone are the days of relying on the press and publishers to promote your book. But there are plenty of ways to grow your own social media and get attention for your upcoming book.

Book giveaways are an important tactic to consider. While you want to increase your followers, you also want to connect with them. Giveaways attract readers and followers.

One of the simple approaches to giveaways is simply asking participants to like your post, share it on their feed or story, and tag a friend in your comments. These steps immediately broaden your reach. They can also get a conversation going in the comments.

As you plan out your giveaway, be sure to specify your giveaway rules and prizes. Deadlines also need to be explicitly stated. Once your giveaway is over, announce your winner(s) in a gracious fashion.

Don’t forget to promote your giveaway yourself! Remind your readers and followers that your giveaway deadline is approaching. It’ll whip up more excitement.

Reach Readers by Holiday Email Blasts

In the world of social media, email marketing remains the best way to market your product online. Email marketing is much more personalized and puts you in direct contact with your audience.

When someone signs up for your newsletter or email blasts, they actually want to hear from you. They want to stay connected and purchase your next great book. They trust your content and regard you as an expert in your field.

Utilize your email list to share with them a holiday special on an existing book that you know they’d love to add to their collection. Encourage them to buy your latest for an avid reader in their life. Add a personal touch with a holiday anecdote of your own in the email.

Send these emails using different messaging and formats to continue to engage your subscribers. Utilizing email marketing tools can help you plan and execute a solid holiday campaign. These can also help you keep track of who’s opening your emails and how many are converting.

Emailing is cost-effective, easy to share, and simple to personalize. You’re in full control of how and what you share with your audience in order to sway them towards a sale.

Packaging Your Book for Holiday Shoppers

No matter your genre, you need to present your book as a gift this holiday season. Create a connection between your story and gift-giving. Pull shoppers towards your book when they’re looking for “just the right thing” for the readers in their life.

One simple way to do this is by adding simple descriptive touches to your book page (or signage if you’re at a market). Try something like, “Perfect for Mom This Holiday Season!” or “Give Your Young Reader the Gift of Story!” to add a little cheerful pizzazz.

If it fits your brand, another option you can try is uploading a photo of you in a fun holiday-themed setting while holding your book. Sitting cozied up with a blanket and hot cocoa while reading is another good look.

The visuals can help deepen that connection between your book and the holiday shopping season.

Don’t Forget About Last-Minute Shoppers

There’s always last-minute shopping, but thanks to Amazon, it’s now the new normal. Books make excellent last-minute gifts. They’re more personal than a gift card and show that special someone you were thinking about them.

Along with print versions, offer the opportunity to gift an eBook. Make it the first thing shoppers see on your website. Offer an immediate download to the recipient’s device but still provide a printable version so they have something to wrap up.

Be sure you’re promoting your book as an awesome last-minute gift on social media. There’s bound to be a follower out there who needs something quick!

Outsourcing Your Marketing Efforts

It takes a lot of grunt work and persistence to market your story. But you’ll find it’s well worth the effort you put in.

Being a self-published author, you’re as much a writer as you are an entrepreneur. On the surface, writing and marketing may seem like polar opposites. In reality, they’re art.

Without marketing, your book may never get to where it needs to be — on shelves, reading lists, or in your reader’s hands.

There are certainly agreed-upon best ways to sell your book, but in the end, you still have to find the right combination of marketing tools to get more eyes on your book.

Sometimes, going at it alone as a self-published author can be exhausting. It’s hard to know where to start, but you don’t have to do it alone. An agent can help you find an indie or mainstream publisher for your book, who can help you sell more copies.

If you feel it’s time to look into a literary publisher for support and guidance, here are our tips for how to land your first one >

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