For many readers, Fall marks the perfect time to kick back, slow down, and pick up a new book or two to savor, whether while celebrating the return of pumpkin spice lattes or taking long strolls among the color-changing leaves … or adhering to the same work schedule as always. Book sales in niche genres, including self-help, spike in the Fall, and for good reason! Whether readers are looking for a change of pace or to prepare themselves for the new year lurking just over the horizon, self-help books are the best possible way to launch into pumpkin spice season. They can be, however, difficult books to market. While massive numbers of self-help books are sold each year, those numbers are not, by and large, coming from standard bookstore sales and standard marketing campaigns.
So how do you market your self-help book effectively? Here are six ways to get underway!
1. Identify your ideal reader. This is a critical step for marketing any kind of book, it’s true, but particularly important when it comes to self-help books as this is considered a niche market. If you don’t know who your readers are, you’ll definitely struggle to market your book to them. Once you’ve established who they are, however, and the kind of habits and values they share, you’ll be able to determine if, for example, they’re likely to need visibility-boosting aids like e-book versions and so forth.
2. Consider creating an e-book version. E-books may have been around a while, but current market trends indicate that they’re going nowhere but up in terms of popularity, even as sales for traditional print rise along with them. With their easily resizable fonts and other tweakable view functions, e-books are critical to readers with limited mobility or impaired vision. If you want to render your lifestyle accessible to oft-neglected readerships, you can’t overlook the importance of e-book editions for the Kindle, iPad, and other tablet and smartphone devices!
3. Consider creating an audiobook version. This is a rapidly growing sector of self-publishing that is still in many ways just getting off the ground, but for all its newness it should not be discounted. Just as e-book versions for the Kindle, iPad, and other kinds of tablets render books more accessible for those of limited mobility or impaired vision, an audiobook version makes your book more accessible to those who would love to learn but whose ability to read a traditional visual format is limited.
4. Identify where your ideal readers live, physically. And where they shop, where they eat, and where they slow down. Are they coffee shop aficionados? Are they likely to shop at whole-foods grocery stores? Are they purveyors of Italian restaurants? If your self-help book relates to financial planning, perhaps you can build relationships with local accounting firms to keep bookmarks featuring your book on the counter. Or if your self-help book relates to nutrition, perhaps the local gyms or health-food stores would do the same. Self-help books each have very specific audiences. The most effective marketing strategies all involve targeted in-person advertising, so it’s best to try and find those places your ideal readers would frequent and market there.
5. Identify where your ideal readers live, digitally. Just as every marketing strategy involves in-person advertising, it must also include effective digital marketing. Some of the same rules apply: self-help books appeal to specific kinds of readers, and those readers probably visit very specific websites, whether forums or blogs or Instagram accounts or shopping sites. It’s always worth approaching the owners of these website, or blogs, and asking if they’d be interested in partnering with you in spreading the word about your book. The worst they can say is no, but chances are, if you put together an effective press release and marketing package, someone influential will say yes. And then you have your foot in the door!
6. Be your own best advocate. All of these tips and tricks we’ve shared today are bound together by the one shared concept of self-advocacy. New ways and means of marketing your book will crop up regularly, as the world changes and the Internet evolves and the ways in which people consume their literature also evolves. The key ingredient of every marketing strategy is you, and cultivating a willingness to go out and observe, identify, and make use of these new ways and means of marketing is crucial to your ongoing success. In this way, marketing your self-help book is just like marketing any other kind of self-published book; this is where the streams cross.
Still not sure where to start in marketing your book this Fall? It may be time to lean on an expert! If you’re looking to market your self-help book, there’s never a better time than now to inquire. Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com, where you’ll find countless additional recommendations to suit your marketing needs.
To see our staff picks of amazing self-help books from many of our authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here.