How to Gain Exposure and Sell your Book

Far too many people approach their first self-publishing venture without firstly addressing the question ‘how and where will I sell my book?’ In fact, apart from the actual creation and production of the title, the most important consideration is getting the book in front of potential customers. A well thought out strategy will give new publishers an idea of how many books will initially be required, which is likely to determine which publishing process is most cost-effective

Whether it’s a memoir, cookbook or children’s book – you need to create awareness of your project by exploring every avenue possible to get exposure. Despite limited budgets, there are a range of resources available to you. Here are a few you might like to consider:

Book Launch

Perhaps the most pleasurable, and one of the easiest, events to organise is a gathering of family, friends and associates to mark the completion of your publishing project. A few things to consider when organising your launch are:

· Promotion: ensure that plenty of promotional material is distributed beforehand, you might like to consider placing posters in local businesses, utilising social media such as Facebook or Twitter, or an email campaign.

· Venue: by hosting your event in a public space such as the local library, gallery or bookstore you lend your project greater credibility. A reading by selected friends will also enhance the occasion, as will singing copies purchased.

· Refreshments : serving refreshments such as food and wine will help to create a more convivial atmosphere and encourage people to stay a little longer.

Create a Website

Creating a website for your book can add greater credential to your project and be a cost effective means for promoting your title. Apart from looking good on screen, your website needs to clearly articulate the contents of your book, contain key search times that will assist potential customers in searching for your book, and be compatible with a range of devices including smartphones and tablets. Finally your site should provide a means to purchase your book directly or direct potential customers to another site with ‘shopping cart’ capabilities.

Social Media

The ubiquity of social media offers a free and easy to navigate resource for advertising your title. You might consider making a Facebook page for your book, encouraging your friends to ‘like’ and ‘share’ your book and information regarding

your publication such as book launches or reviews. You may also consider creating a Twitter account for your title, allowing you to ‘tweet’ information to potential customers. Through social media you can also provide links to your website or other websites through which customers can purchase your book.

Community Radio and Newspapers

Generally speaking, community radio and newspaper groups are eager to showcase local identities and stories. By creating and submitting your own ‘press release’ along with a copy of your book can often result in gaining airtime interviews or written reviews. This will help to expose your title to a far wider audience

Readings/Book Signings

Particularly in the case of children’s books, readings can be organised through local schools and libraries resulting in consistent sales. Often a simple approach to the principal of the local school will yield positive results. Similarly, many community organisations are open to guest speakers attending their monthly meetings. A bit of after dinner public speaking (though nerve-wracking for some) is usually well received, regardless of the content of your title.

Local Coffee Shops/Book Stores

Although it can be difficult to have a self-published book sold through an established bookstore without using the services of a wholesale book distributor, a direct approach from a budding author may result in the shop proprietor allowing access to their shelves. Similarly, with the correct presentation and display materials some local business owners, such as coffee shops, may provide some advertising space (particularly if you are advertising your website as a mean of completing the transaction).

It is important to realise that whatever course you take, the results will be directly related to your input. No one will be as passionate and committed to selling your book as you.

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