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Secrets of Marketing Self-Published Books

When an author’s book is released by a traditional book publisher, the publisher -- in most cases -- engages in some degree of marketing for the book. But what about authors of self-published books who don’t have an in-house book marketing team?

Yes, the writer can go it alone and build a website and try to get a few press releases accepted. Some authors do a good job on their own of getting their self-published books into the hands of the right media contacts. But it is a difficult, time-consuming process, and most authors “know enough to know what they don’t know” about book marketing and hire a publicist.

Authors are (or should be) very well-versed in their area(s) of expertise, i.e., they should know in detail the topic of the self- published books they write. But many writers do not understand the book publicity industry and the marketing tactics necessary to spark book sales.

Smith Publicity has promoted self-published books since 1997; including print, e-books and audio books. Our expertise has helped over 1500 of self-published writers break into a very, very crowded market. Here are some of the things we typically do for independent writers:

In today’s digital world, virtually no product can succeed on a substantial scale without a website. We help steer writers in the right direction by suggesting a site that strongly – and appropriately -- promotes their book. So, they have an online presence, but what’s next?

In most cases a blog should be associated with, and linked from the website. Blogging is a great way to generate search traffic because blogs are constantly updated with new content, while websites, once fully developed, are generally static. Search engines index new content, resulting in more people coming to the blog where they can buy the book.

After the blog is in place, authors of self-published books still need additional marketing. Smith Publicity helps in this task by creating professional, compelling news releases that we pitch to all appropriate media including newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television shows, Internet sites and anywhere else self-published books would benefit from being mentioned, reviewed, or featured, and/or the author interviewed.

Crafting an effective news release and accompanying pitch is a critical and difficult component of book marketing, because most media outlets are inundated with pitches, press releases and books. The trick is in knowing exactly what producers, editors, and program managers want, and to pitch and deliver this information in a professional, compelling and persuasive manner.

There are many ways to effectively market self-published books. If you’re a writer who has chosen to forego traditional publishing and have ventured out on your own, we’d love to tell you more about our proven methods of getting media attention that moves books. You can reach Smith Publicity at (856) 489-8654, or contact us through our website.

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