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5 secrets of marketing a self-published book

Updated: May 22

I released Since When Did Single Mean Sad on April 1, 2022, and since then, I have reached over 30 sales in less than a week.

A Christian book about how to date as a christian and be happy single
Since When Did Single Mean Sad

How did I accomplish this? By Marketing.

When you self-publish a book and don’t have a publishing house behind you, you have to do all of your marketing by yourself. Here are some things that you can do to market your book!

1. Utilize Amazon KDP Promotions

  • Find multiple Facebook, LinkedIn, and Reddit groups by searching free books, Free Kindle unlimited, and /r/Freebooks. Write them down.

  • Search a list of free promotion sites and submit your book. I regret finding out about these book promotion sites after my free ebook days. Many of these sites require your book to be free or under $2.99 to submit to the site. When doing these sites, you must submit your book two weeks before you want it to appear on the website because the approval process takes time.

  • On the day of the Kindle promotion, post your free eBook on all the sites. This will take a while, so you may have to carve out a whole day.

The results: After using my five-day Kindle promotion, my book reached #1 in three different categories, and I had over 50 unique downloads. When writing this post, my eBook is still listed as #1 in the Teen Young & Adult Philosophy eBooks.

If I can do it, you can do it too!

2. Utilize Amazon Ads, but know it is slow going

I have only dabbled a little bit in Amazon ads, but there were a few things about them that made them an excellent option for me

1. The amazon ads have a budget for clicks, but unlike the other ad sites, they do not charge for impressions only for clicks.

2. The amazon ads target only amazon for books, where people are more open to buy.

3. Amazon ads can be adjusted over time.

I have not made anything yet from Amazon ads, but I am excited to see the money back from my investment eventually.

3: Utilize social media

With social media, you have to have specific strategies that work. Posting general posts to family and friends will not get you any sales. You will want to choose specific social media sites and use them.

Instagram: Focus on Instagram reels instead of posts and stories

Facebook: Join Facebook groups with people who love to write and put in your commentary. Avoid spamming.

Goodreads: This was one of the best decisions that I made. Amazon does not allow you to post pre-order reviews for paperback books. So, what I did was I posted my amazon reviews on Goodreads and grew a small following of people who read the types of books that I made.

4. Host a giveaway

The giveaway was by far the best thing that I did to sell more books. I did my giveaway using a method modeled by the famous and slightly expensive Goodreads giveaways. There are a few key things to focus on to have a good and successful giveaway.

1. Find out what your goal is- For my giveaway, the goal was building an email list. A study found that people who are a part of an email list are much more likely to purchase a product than those who weren’t. Therefore, I built my contest around people joining my email list for future connections.

2. Make your rules clear- Instagram is very particular about giveaways to the point that they will shut down your account if you are not open about how you are hosting your giveaway .

3. Decide how your entries work-I made it to where people would get one entry for following my email list to do my giveaway. But if you were following me on social media, you would get an extra entry. Extra entries where people connect with you can be a fun way to spice up the giveaway.

4. Have a good prize- For my giveaway, I gave away three free copies of my book Since When Did Single Mean Sad, which I had been promoting for almost a year on my social media platforms. However, some people give away gifts cards, TVs, and sponsored products. The trick to hosting a giveaway is giving away things that your audience is interested in. There is no use in hosting a giveaway if nobody wants to enter.

5. Make the choice of the winner a big deal- On the day that I wanted to release the giveaway winners, I spread the word about it all over social media and tried to drum up excitement.

6. Follow up after the giveaway- No matter what product you end up giving away, it is vital to have a good follow-up. Many of the people who joined your giveaway will unsubscribe from your social media and email list without a follow-up.

7. AVOID MASS promotions

The biggest failure of my whole marketing campaign was doing a mail merge. I had read online about a guy who went from 10 email subscribers to over 100 social media subscribers by making a list of his LinkedIn contacts and sending a blast of emails with just the first name changed. I tried mail merges three times over the month, and not only did people not respond, but I only got one response out of over 100 emails I sent out. I did not know that there was a SECRET to why people were not subscribing.

These are the five marketing tips that I used to gain my skills. Here is a screenshot of my sales over the first nine days of my book being sold.

*A note about this chart. I released the free eBook on March 22, but I did not release anything else until April 01. This chart also shows the paperbacks that have sold. However, there is a lag in amazon that doesn’t show paperback sales until they ship. This chart also does not include my hardcover book sales which have been the majority of my sales over the nine days the book has been live. Gray-paperback and orange-eBook.

If you enjoyed this post check out this one: How to grow an email list organically

Your Penpal Friend,

Gabrielle Denise

I want to take this relationship to the skies! Become a frequent flyer to get emails straight to your inbox so you never miss another post.

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