Not only was the process much more cumbersome than it is today, there was no such thing as Kindle, Nook or Apple iBooks.
An author was limited to publishing physical books. Add to that minimum purchase requirements of thousands of books with offset printing, and often it was a recipe for disaster for many aspiring authors. It usually meant the author’s spare room or garage was filled with boxes of books that were destined to remain there for years because most authors had no plan for marketing and sales.
One of the greatest opportunities happened when digital printing came on the horizon. Digital printing initially meant professional printing where an author could do small runs of their books. There was a higher cost per page compared to offset printing, but for authors on a limited budget, it was a great way to go. This still required an author to store the books.
New Resources Make Indie Publishing Attractive
In the late nineties, we didn’t have the resources we do today, such as POD (print on demand) and ebooks. One of the most revolutionary changes happened when print-on-demand options, such as Amazon’s CreateSpace came on the scene.
POD became available about a decade and a half ago, and Amazon.com released the first Kindle reader on November 19, 2007. There is no storage whatsoever required if an author sells his or her books digitally or through online bookstores like Amazon.
You Still Need to Sell Books
With these new technologies came lots of opportunities for authors from every genre. Yet, one huge challenge still existed—selling books.
Countless authors have not understood nor have they been willing to take responsibility for sales of their books. Many still believe all they need to do is get a book to market and somehow readers will find it. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As with physical books, it is necessary for authors to take control of marketing their books, regardless of the chosen format.
In the past few years, online book launches have become very popular. In the late nineties a few progressive marketers gathered together dozens (even hundreds) of joint-venture partners, who would help spread the word about the author’s book.
In trade for promoting the book, the partners would offer an ethical bribe in hopes of getting lots of opt-in subscribers. Launches came and went in one day. There was a big hurrah for 24 hours but then things fizzled out.
Although an author could feasibly sell hundreds, even thousands, of books with a one-day launch, most had no plan for what came next.
Additionally, most book buyers are no longer interested in a bunch of useless bonus gifts they will never use. Today’s reader would much rather get a quality book. Bonuses can still work, but fewer are better, and they absolutely need to be a high complement to the topic of the book.
How to Market a Book Today
Today, more than ever, an author needs a more sophisticated approach to a book launch. Not only does the author need to plan for what I refer to as a rolling launch, but to get the greatest result, the launch needs to begin as much as 6-12 months before the book-release date.
A rolling launch simply means it is ongoing and has more benefit than simply being able to say the book hit bestseller on Amazon.com and BN.com for a day.
Fortunately, many authors are finally realizing that to have a successful book launch they need a long- term view for the success of their book. Below are a few considerations for your own book launch.
To get the most out of your book promotions it is best to have a three-pronged approach.
- Post Launch
Your prelaunch efforts should be to build a community of potential buyers. You can do this by being highly visible on social networks, building your opt-in subscriber list, submitting articles to various online article directories, guest blogging and being interviewed.
Your launch will include many of the same aspects as a prelaunch, but now you are driving traffic to either an online bookstore or your own website.
Post launch is where you create other opportunities for readers to invest in other products and services you offer. To get the most out of your efforts you need to identify your ideal readers.
- Who are they?
- Where do they hang out?
- Social networks
- Radio programs
You should also prepare as much of the following as possible:
- Media releases
- Interviews opportunities
- Blog posts for your blog and guest blogging opportunities
- Articles for your ezine
- Book video trailer
- Affiliate partners who will promote your book with an up sell opportunity on the back end.
- Images, videos, presentations to be dripped out during launch
- Prepare images for Pinterest
- YouTube videos
- Develop a series of videos with tips that tie into your book.
- Slideshare can be huge for a book launch.
- Optimize your profile on all your social-media platforms.
If your goal is simply to write a book and get it listed on Amazon then you need not do much else other than write and publish the book. However, if your goal is to make money from your writing and generate multiple streams of revenue then you absolutely must have an extremely strategic approach to all you do.
About the Author
As an early adopter of online marketing, Kathleen Gage is known for cutting through the fluff and helping people leave their sob stories behind so they can stop focusing on the past and start looking towards the future. She speaks and teaches about what she believes are the core elements of a successful life: accountability, integrity, honesty, and living with passion and hope. Although Kathleen Gage is best known for her no nonsense approach to life and business, when she’s not working with clients, creating information products, writing books or speaking on the platform, Kathleen can be found training for a marathon, walking her dogs, working in her many flower gardens, feeding her horses or playing a fierce game of cards.
Kathleen is the author of Power Up for Profits: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Online Marketing. Visit her website at www.powerupforprofits.com.