Clever marketing of self-published books can have a big impact on sales, especially if the target readership is well-defined.
Think carefully about your prospective readership and focus the marketing effort where it will be most effective.
We counsel realism – most titles published by big publishing houses only sell in the low thousands, even with their
giant publishing machines.
For best results, we offer expert advice at the start of our collaboration with you.
Certain decisions, for instance choice of title and book design, will become significant later when marketing the book and should be carefully considered early in the publishing process.
Points to Consider
1. Title and Subtitle
Title and subtitle are searchable on Amazon and other databases. It is important to make good use of them, also key words and search terms.
2. Book Design and Pricing
Book design and format should be chosen with your target readership in mind. The cost of production and subsequent retail price can be effected by decisions taken at the editorial stage of a book’s genesis.
3. ISBN registration
We provide an ISBN with barcode and register the details of your book on our Nielsen account as standard and this information is shared with Bowkers, Nielsen’s equivalent in the USA. Information on your title is then available to leading Internet retailers in both the UK and the USA, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Waterstones, and also acquisition librarians all over the world who use the service every day.
4. Print-On-Demand retail channels
We register you with our Print-on-Demand international retail channel so that third-party on-line book-sellers such as the UKPaperbackshop can sell your book on a print-on-demand basis.
5. Publish on Amazon
In addition to a standard, quality print-on-demand printer, we upload your title to CreateSpace, Amazon’s own self-publishing platform. There are several disadvantages to this service if used in isolation, but for the purpose of Amazon sales, it means that Amazon fast-track your title for availability on their site.
6. Kindle e-Books
We reformat your title as an e-Book and make it available on Amazon Kindle. This increases the profile of the title since e-Books are sold more cheaply but readers’ reviews for the e-version appear alongside reviews for the print version on Amazon.
7. Advance Information (AI) Sheets
We produce Advance Information sheets, with synopsis, key selling points, and publication and contact details, as an optional extra. AI sheets can be either emailed or posted to wholesalers, bookshops and libraries.
8. Author Webpage
We provide a webpage devoted to your title on our site. This gives a description of the book, a short biographical account of the author and has space for reviews as they come in. We link to your titles on Amazon and also offer your book direct from YouCaxton.
9. Author website
If your book is one aspect of a larger project, you may wish to set up your own website so that you can present the book alongside other material for instance, other products, advice, dates or news. We can create a bespoke website and registering the site name (www.yoursitename.com) and hosting the site on one of the best internet servers in the UK. A typical website might include the Home page, About the author, News or Blog, Events, Other books or activities, Specialist information and Links to other sites. We typically charge £300 for a basic site but if you need a more substantial website, we are happy to work with you to design the specification and estimate the cost.
10. Printed Marketing material
We can print flyers, posters and information cards. If you plan to have a book launch, these items can be useful in publicising the event and encouraging people to attend.
11. Social Networking
Social media can be very useful in spreading the word but not in all cases. If you are marketing to older readers it is unlikely to be effective. We offer general advice on how to make use of social media but unless you are already active in this field and already have ‘friends’ on facebook for instance, it is unlikely it will be of much use to you. Beware social-networking organizations making unrealistic proposals.
12. Press release
If you are going to circulate a press release, it is essential to do it at the right time. Remember that the press receive hundreds of press releases every week and they are looking for something of particular interest or newsworthy. You need to target specific newspapers, magazines and blogs. We can help you to do a mailing.
13. Local Sales Reps and wholesalers (Commission based)
For any new book, authors are more likely to sell their books locally than nationally. Some (but not all) areas have independent reps who represent local authors in local bookshops. Look for local sales reps as a preliminary towards national representation. Alternatively, if your book fits into an obvious special interest category look for distributors that specialize in your type of book.
14. Full publicity Campaigns
There are lots of companies that offer Full Publicity Campaigns for Authors. Be very careful if you choose to go down this route as many will just involve a blanket mailing with little real understanding of the market for your book. You should ask to see details of the campaign and hard evidence of their success rate. In general, we do not undertake this, nor do we recommend outsourcing this task because results are unlikely to justify the cost.
You are likely to be your own best publicity campaigner because you know your subject and can focus on specific target audiences.