Selling Books Takes Salesmanship

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There is no doubt about it. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing has changed the publishing world and revolutionized self publishing. Even one of the big old publishing houses, Simon & Schuster is crashing the self publishing party.

Anyone can quickly have their book for sale on Amazon, but unlike Field Of Dreams, just because you publish it, doesn’t they’ll come. They being readers. As an indie author, we must market our books. Even if, your going the old school, traditional publishing route, unless you a big name author, you’re still going to have to learn how to market your work.

There is a common misconception about being published traditionally. It wasn’t something like this: the author sent their manuscript to an overworked and underpaid editor of a publishing company and waited for an acceptance (more often a rejection) letter in the mail.

If the book happened to be chosen and accepted from the slush pile of manuscripts, the author (in reality the agent since old school publishers don’t really like to interact with the actual author) was notified, and small check was sent as an “advance” for what the publisher hoped to at least earn out that advance.

The publisher was in charge of all the marketing efforts, and all the author had to do was sit back and wait for the royalties from sales to start pouring in. If the book proved to be a success, the lucky author might be sent on a promotional tour of the book.

The reality is wether you’re self published or traditionally published, you’re going to do your own marketing. I’ve spoken with many authors who were published traditionally, and their publisher didn’t do much marketing (if any) for their book.

Authors of fiction need to be proactive in the marketing process of their books. They have to create the buzz, get reviews (from readers, bloggers, and other authors), and put in the hard work marketing your book and yourself.

One of the most important things you can do is to make sure you have a well designed book cover. The competition is fierce now, so your book cover is what will get the prospective readers attention. Don’t skimp out on the book cover. I would budget $200-$500 to have a professional graphic artist/book designer to create your book cover. The days of indie authors of making their own covers are pretty much over (unless you’re a talented graphic designer).

The Asset by Alan Petersen

I recommend you check eLance. It’s a website where you can find freelancers like book cover designers. You put out a request for proposals and freelancers will bid for it. That’s where I found my book cover designer (cover shown).

Marketing your fiction can be almost as daunting as a blank computer screen when you first begin to write your book. But the time you invest in promoting it will ultimately determine the outcome of the amount of sales you’ll realize.

Use every source you possibly can to promote your book of fiction, including the media, online web sites and small book stores that welcome an author’s presence at book signings.

Above all, remember that you know your fiction book better than anyone else, so you are the perfect one to market it. You can use unusual methods or tried, and true ones – just so you keep trying and never lose faith that your book will become a success. Don’t be afraid or timid to sell your book. This is tough for writers. We’re introverts, but you can’t be shy now. You’ve written your book. If you’ve had it edited and proofread, now you have to do your part and sell it.

You should follow me on Twitter here.

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