Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Marketing Your Published Book

Last week we focused on the Production phase of the pipeline. In my final segment, I’d like to focus on what happens once you’ve self-published your book—and how to market it to retailers, book buyers, and other possible distributors across the country.

Once your book has been made orderable, it will begin to earn a profit—or royalty—from each sale. Royalties are the money that’s left for the author after a book is sold and all the associated costs of things such as printing, shipping, etc., have been subtracted from the retail price. With a traditional publisher, that profit gets shared between the author and the publisher with the publisher keeping the majority of the profits. But with a self-publisher such as Xulon Press, royalty rates are much more hefty—in fact, we are one of very few publishers who pay 100% of the net profits on all books sold through a third party distributor (such as Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com).

How it works is this: We get reports from all the distributors, bookstores, websites, and other retailers that are carrying your book. As an author, you’ll receive an easy-to-read statement that shows exactly how many copies sold, when they sold, and what your net profit is. We also offer online monthly statements and quarterly payments so you can keep track of what’s happening with your book and how much you’re earning.

Be advised that the royalties you accrue are directly proportionate to the amount of marketing you invest in your book. Without marketing, people won’t know your book is out there—and they won’t be aware it’s available to order unless you specifically tell them to order it from the places where it is distributed.

So what can you do as a self-published author to get the word out about your new release? The first step is to invest in some marketing tools. Marketing tools include a press release, bookmarks, business cards, postcards, posters, flyers, and anything that can be used to promote your book.

Traditionally, a press release has been the go-to tool for authors seeking to make an impact on the media—and quickly! It is a piece of marketing material that is written to appeal to potential customers and inform others about your news item. Strong copy filled with action words, concrete images, and basic facts may even snag you an interview with your favorite TV station or news publication! Additionally, when a press release is optimized for keywords or phrases, it can gain you visibility by ranking high on search engines such as Google and Yahoo.

Once a press release has been sent out to announce your book to all the local newspapers and publications, it is then time to begin scheduling events to gain you recognition. Try approaching local bookstores with a copy of your press release and asking them to host a book signing for you. Traditionally, bookstores are more willing to hold a book signing for an author if they have taken steps to promote it by sending out a press release to local media, getting book reviews, and promoting it in other local venues. These are all good ways to attract attendees to the book signing, and bookstores will be more amenable to the suggestion if they see the author is proactive about it.

If you are a Xulon Press author, your Publishing Consultant can equip you with marketing ideas and possible discounts when you first purchase your publishing program. By telling them exactly what you are looking for, they can customize a program that works for you from start to finish.

I hope this information has been useful to you, and good luck in your publishing endeavors!

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