Tips for Using Video to Promote Books

It probably isn’t news to you that video is an important tool in your toolbox as a self-publishing author, and a critical part of your ongoing marketing strategy. So what videos should you be making, and how do you put those videos to work to sell more books?

The Outskirts Press Book Marketing Resource Center offers the answers to these questions (and more) by way of a new flip book titled Using Video to Promote Books. This is just one of the many eBooks addressing aspects of book marketing in the Book Marketing Resource Center and this library of eBooks is FREE for all authors who publish with Outskirts Press.

Here are three tips for getting started with video promotions, inspired by this new flip book:

1. Different audiences call for different videos.

When people put “book” and “video” in the same paragraph, the kind of video they’re usually talking about is a book trailer. And yes, a book trailer is fantastic for helping to generate buzz in the lead up to a book’s publication. It is not, however, the only kind of video worth making! Fans and followers gravitate to “how-to” and “behind-the-scenes” clips as well, and as safe distancing becomes a part of daily life, short clips of you reading excerpts from your book can help you connect with readers in lieu of a live and in-person reading. The key is to ask for each of your social media platforms: What kind of video would have the most effect right here and right now?

2. Upload your video

Creating a YouTube channel is free, and it happens to come along with a bundle of customizations. It’s easy to look up templates and tutorials using YouTube’s own search function. Making your YouTube channel beautiful is secondary to making people aware that you have one, so make sure you not only upload your video, but that you promote it too.

3. Get social

Fans accessing links to online videos from Twitter and Facebook tend to finish videos more frequently than those who stumble across your book trailer via a search engine due to the simple fact that social context means everything to readers. After uploading your book trailer to YouTube and your personal website, tweet about it! Post it to Facebook! Most importantly, ask people to like and share your video. Spread the word across all of your social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Tumblr, and everywhere else you have a digital presence (even TikTok!). This will serve as part of your promotional strategy for raising awareness about your book video trailer, but it also will serve as a boost to your overall digital footprint.

When you are ready to write, publish, and market your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively, visit OutskirtsPress.com. And if you have already published with us, make sure to check out this and all of the other fabulous flip books available through your FREE Book Marketing Resource Center.

 

Book Marketing Series 3 (out of 3): Implement

Over the last two days, we’ve discussed book marketing phases that all published authors (self-published or otherwise) would be wise to heed. Phase 1 involves planning, and includes 5 questions, which are:

1. What are your goals with this book?
2. What is your competition?
3. How will you and your book stand-out?
4. What is your “platform?”
5. What are your strengths and weakness?

Phase 2 involves answering those questions, assembling resources available to address them, and identifying holes that require professional 3rd party help.

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Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

That brings us to the 3rd phase: Implementation.

This is where the rubber meets the road, both literally and along the digital highway. It is important to realize that marketing a book is a two-lane street, as in, it’s a physical and virtual one. Not surprisingly, authors tend to gravitate to one side of the road or the other (and no, it doesn’t matter whether they live in the US or the UK). It depends upon the “type” (no pun intended) of person they are!

Very generally speaking, extroverted authors tend to like physical in-person marketing venues better. Think book signings, author events, in-studio interviews, book launch parties, physical book tours, bookstore appearances, book expos (BEA, Frankfurt, London, et al), library readings, etc.

On the other side of the road, introverted authors prefer digital and virtual marketing tactics. Think book video trailers on YouTube, virtual book tours throughout the blogosphere, Facebook Groups, Goodreads Communities, lots of Amazon book reviews, lots of book award contests, Zoom book parties/readings/launches, affiliate & joint venture marketing, etc.

As you can see, regardless of what side of the road you prefer to drive on, you have the right-of-way.  But you need to drive down both sides if you want your book to succeed!  Half of it is going to be easy and fun for you (and you can hire another “driver” for the challenging parts of the drive that you are not comfortable with). Simply put, all you have to do is start your engines and realize that publishing a book isn’t the finish line—it’s the starting line! Marketing a book is like driving on the autobahn. Sure, there may be some bumps in the road, a few twists and turns along the way, but nothing blows your hair back quite like the feeling of knowing that there are people out there reading the words that came from your mind.  Now, that’s a goal every writer can relate to, and strategically marketing your book as early as possible is the best way to feel the roar of that particular engine.  Hint: It is NEVER too late to start marketing a book you have published.  Even if you published your book 5-10 years ago, if no one has heard of it, EVERYTHING you do will seem new to everyone else.  Don’t let the year of your book prevent you from revving its engine.

So, put your pedal to the metal (book award medals, that is) and tackle these three ways to market your book before, during, and after publishing it.  The only thing you’ll be found guilty of is a passion for writing, reading, and life.  What a way to live, and live-on, in infamy!

 

 

Book Marketing Series 2 (out of 3): Assemble

Yesterday, we discussed one of the first phases of book marketing on this blog: Planning. After all, for many writers, the idea of publishing a book they’ve written is exciting but rarely does the idea of marketing their book hold the same appeal. Many think it will just fly off the shelves on it’s own.

That is rarely the case. So yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we are discussing three different phases of successful book marketing.

Let’s continue with PHASE TWO: ASSEMBLING.

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Photo by Juhasz Imre on Pexels.com

Yesterday’s post discussed planning, and introduced 5 important questions, which, as a reminder, are:

  1. What are your goals with this book?
  2. What is your competition?
  3. How will you and your book stand-out?
  4. What is your “platform?”
  5. What are your strengths and weakness?

Once you have your answers to those five questions, you can begin to assemble information, resources, and “advantages” that already lay at your fingertips. You can also begin to identify “holes” in your plan that need to be filled in, either through time/effort on your part, or by 3rd-party assistance that you will need to budget for.

1. If your goal is to leave your legacy, what will you need to reach that goal? What materials need to be in the book to satisfy that goal? Pictures? Personal stories from loved ones? What does marketing to friends and family look like? Social media will probably be involved, so what is your comfort level with it? If your goal is to make gobs of money, how realistically does your book fit with that goal? What does marketing and promoting a bestseller look like? Do you have the time and resources to do that, or will you need book marketing assistance from someone who does that for a living?

2. How much do you know about your competition? Investigate your core competitors as thoroughly as possible. Check out their Amazon listing. “Stalk” them on social media. Learn as much as you can about how they market their book and themselves as writers. Read books that are in competition with yours.

3. What resources or accolades do you have to help yourself stand-out from the competition? For example, do you need to receive some book reviews and/or book awards to stand-out? If so, now you know where to start your marketing efforts, and you can even begin those efforts before the book is published. For example, once you have your proof copy from your publisher, you can email some ARCs (advanced review copies) to reviewers. Who knows? You might even get a blurb worth adding to your cover in advance of initial publication. Do you have a “hook” that identifies your USP (unique selling position)?

4. How are you going to establish your platform once you have envisioned it in your mind? Will your promotion efforts focus largely on the local stage, or be more focused nationally, globally, or universally?

5. What marketing strenghths and weakness do you have? Are you an accomplished copy editor, or would a professional set of eyes help you avoid post-publication embarrassment? Are you a Facebook fanatic, proficient with Pinterest, and twitterpated with Twitter? Those strengths are going to be invaluable when it comes time to market your book. On the other hand, if you don’t know YouTube from MySpace, you’re going to need marketing assistance. Find experts and solicit their help.

Stay tuned for part three tomorrow as we continue to discuss book marketing…

Book Marketing Series 1 (out of 3): Plan

For many authors, the idea of writing and publishing a book is an exciting prospect but rarely does the idea of marketing a book hold the same appeal. Well, it’s time to get excited! Over the next three days, Self-Publishing News is going to discuss three different phases of successful book marketing that you can explore before, during, or after your publication is complete.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Let’s begin with PHASE ONE: PLANNING.

Regardless of where you are in the publication process, it’s not a bad idea to make a plan, and then to revisit and (if necessary) fine-tune it multiple times throughout the process. In fact, it is not a bad idea to have a planning session with yourself while (or before, even!) writing the book. Yes, writing a book is exciting, fulfilling, and life-affirming (and sometimes life-changing), but doing it well (i.e., successfully) also requires viewing it like a business. And what do all successful business begin with? A business plan.

Begin by asking yourself the following questions before, during, and/or after the writing/publishing/marketing process:

a) What do you want to accomplish by writing and publishing your book? Are you writing an autobiography to leave your legacy for your children and your family? Or are you writing an autobiography to make gobs and gobs of money? Depending upon your goals, your marketing efforts (and your expectations) will be drastically different. Clearly identify all your goals as early into the process as you can.

b) What is your competition? Every business plan includes a section about the competition. If you are writing a non-fiction book, research how saturated your niche is. If you are writing a fiction book, become familiar with other authors in that genre, how successful they are, and what THEY do to market their books.

c) How will you and your book stand-out? Once you identify your competition, you can identify your own USP (unique selling proposition). In other words, why would a potential reader choose your book over your competition?  Does your background offer an exclusive level of insight? Is your book going to be less expensive, more award-winning, more entertaining, humorous, or educational?

d) What is your “platform?” Companies often call this concept their “brand,” which is an accurate term when discussing authors, too. Nike is a brand. Stephen King is a brand. Gucci is a brand. Tony Robbins is a brand. What do all these businesses/authors/speakers have in common? They have identified their unique platform, and everything they do builds upon that platform. What is your platform? How will you build upon it?

e) What are your strengths and weakness? Focus your energy and effort into your strengths and plan on seeking professional help where your weaknesses may hinder you. Nike, Stephen, Gucci, and Tony all have professional help in the areas where they are “weak.” You don’t think they got to where they are by themselves, do you? Everyone needs and deserves professional help.

Stay tuned for part two tomorrow where we continue to discuss book marketing…

 

Virtual Book Marketing in a Self-Isolated World

Even though Covid-19 may have brought the majority of the world to a virtual standstill (figuratively speaking) that doesn’t mean your virtual book marketing has to stop (literally speaking). In fact, with many of us finding ourselves with a bit more time on our hands, right now is the perfect time to double-down on book marketing tactics that replace the physical world with the digital age.

Here are 5 ideas to get you started right now (from the safety of your home, of course).

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Photo by Edward Jenner on Pexels.com

1. Throw a Zoom Launch Party

Zoom is certainly in the news a lot nowadays. Even though the video conferencing app has been around for a while, the recently imposed “stay-in-place/work-from-home” mandate affecting millions has created unprecedented demand for the digital platform. Its user base has soared, and with it, a new phenomenon known as “Zoom Bombing” in which nefarious individuals drop into pre-scheduled video conferences unannounced to wreak havoc. But such shenanigans shouldn’t prevent you from taking advantage of this new shift in marketing philosophy.  A Zoom Launch Party is easier and less expensive to launch than a physical party and has the potential to reach more people more efficiently. Plus, with the ability to widely distribute a link to your webpage or Amazon sales page, a Zoom Launch Party could very-well be more successful, too. In fact, it may be your go-to book launch platform even when things return to normal — er, make that Zormal?  For more about this app, visit their website.

2. Hold a Social Media Contest

One of the best ways to increase reader engagement on any of your social media platforms is by holding a contest. What’s the prize for the winner? An autographed copy of your book, of course! What sort of contests can you run? What sort of third-party applications handle contests for you? How do you even create a social media contest?  You’re in luck! Google has all those answers, and more, when you simply type “social media contests” into their search engine.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

3. Take Part in Facebook Groups or Start Your Own

Facebook Groups are Subject- or Geographic-Based Communities on the world’s largest social media platform. That means there are usually (or potentially) lots of participants, regardless of how niche your subject matter seems or how isolated you feel nowadays. And the best news is, if you cannot find a group for you, you can simply create your own. Visit Facebook Groups to get started.

4. Guest Post on Other Blogs

More people are reading more blogs during self-isolation because they’ve got to stop reading about coronavirus sometimes, right? And that means more bloggers are getting more followers than ever before. But with more eyeballs comes an even heavier responsibility to create more content. What is a blogger on the verge of going viral (in a good way) to do? Solicit help! And that’s where you come in. Conduct a Google search to find blogs on your book’s subject matter and then reach out to those bloggers with offers to write guest posts for their blogs. You’ll be surprised at how often they are grateful for the help — and you get to plug your book to their entire readership in your “Byline Box.” It’s win-win. Here’s a marketing tip sheet to help you with the steps.

5. Learn Everything There is to Know About Book Marketing on Amazon

Tired of Netflix bingeing and Covid-19 news briefings? Enjoy this 60-minute “Blast from the Past”  webinar interview with Outskirts Press president Brent Sampson. Watch as the the award-winning author of the Amazon bestseller, Sell Your Book on Amazon, shares everything there is to know about marketing your book on Amazon. It may be nearly a decade old, and some of the information is outdated, but many of the strategies are just as effective today as they were when this interview was recorded in 2011. Enjoy. And stay safe out there!

When you are ready to write, publish, and market your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively, visit OutskirtsPress.com.

 

 

5 Ways Social Media Can Help Self-Publishing Authors With Book Marketing

With the exploding popularity of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest, it’s easier than ever to connect with people all around the world. But, if you’re not sure how to get started or are unsure about how to make connections with your target audience, don’t worry! Here are 5 easy tips to help you!

1. Determine what your goals are.

  • Increase awareness? The average person spends nearly two hours on social media every day, and therefore social media is one of the best places to grab a reader’s attention.
  • Drive traffic to your book? Drive visitors to your author webpage or to your listing on Amazon.
  • Generate new leads? These are people who have indicated interest in your book in some way, shape, or form, but haven’t yet purchased it.
  • Build your royalties? You can use social media to turn your audience into paying customers.

2. How often should you post?

  • Facebook – Two or three times per day
  • Instagram – Once or twice per day
  • Instagram Stories – Eight to 16 Stories, twice per week
  • Twitter – Three to ten times per day
  • LinkedIn – Once or twice per day
  • Pinterest – Five to ten times per day

3. When should you post?

  • Twitter – 1-3pm weekdays
  • Facebook – 1-4pm weekdays
  • LinkedIn – 7-8:30am and 5-6pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
  • Instagram – 5-6pm weekdays and 8pm on Mondays
  • Pinterest – 2-4pm and 8-11pm weekdays with weekends being the best
  • Google+ – 9-11am weekdays

4. What should you post?

  • Facebook – Post videos about your book, live videos of you talking about your book or at book events, photos of you and your book, blog posts and curated content.
  • No matter what type of post you’re sharing on Facebook, the copy you add alongside your content can be key in how it performs.
  • Instagram – Post hi-res photos (your cover, your author photo, any images or illustrations within your book), behind-the-scenes photos of your book events, quotes, user-generated content (sharing other photos, such as attendees at a book signing) but give credit to the original creator (known as a re-post), and Instagram stories. Captions are limited to 2,200 characters, and after three lines of text, they become shortened with an ellipsis (those 3 dots you see on posts). You want to grab the readers’ attention with your opening line or two.
  • Twitter – Post news about your book, blog posts, photos of you and your book at events, curated content and images. The type of copy in your tweets can drive huge improvements in your results.
  • Pinterest – Images are the best thing to post on Pinterest. Post hi-res photos of your book, the cover, book events, step-by-step photo guides and infographics.
  • LinkedIn – Post professional information about your career as a writer. Since LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, the most suitable content will revolve around you as an author. Share news about your book and milestones on your LinkedIn page, particularly if the book involves career advice.

5. Automate, engage, and listen

  • Automate posting of your social media content. A tool like Buffer is great for automation. It allows you to create all the content that you want to, all at once, and then place everything into a queue to be sent out according to whatever schedule you choose.
  • Social media requires engagement. When people talk to you, talk back. Set aside time during your day to follow up with conversations that are happening on social media. These are conversations with potential customers, references, friends, and colleagues.
  • Don’t forget, the ultimate purpose is to sell copies of your book. So always be polite, helpful, and generous. Book sales will follow.

For more information on marketing your book, log into your Publishing Center for a complete list of marketing options and to access the free Book Marketing Resource Center.

 

Resolutions Every Author Should Have for the New Year!

Structured and manageable goals are important to those of us who consider ourselves works in progress. Well, it’s that time of year when we all start thinking about those goals — in this case, New Year’s resolutions. They’re especially necessary to moving a book from an unknown publication to a chart-topper. It’s a big project!

But, whether you’re just starting to figure out marketing or already a best-selling author, there are simple things you can resolve to do in 2020 that will make you an even better at selling … or simply a better you. Here are resolutions for published authors or anyone bent on self-improvement.

  1. Set goals. “Wait, I thought a resolution was a goal!” Well, yes, it is, in a sense. Ideally, your New Year’s resolution is the culmination of your goals throughout the year. It’s important — and ultimately more productive — to make goal-setting a habit, not just a tradition we do once a year and promptly forget. So set lots of small, attainable goals rather than one insurmountable to-do you never actually do. For example, if your resolution is to sell 2,000 copies, break it down into smaller goals. Resolve to promote one giveaway in January, schedule a book-signing in February, then a book fair in March and so on for the entire year. Or, set a goal to schedule 20 book-signings next year and average 10 sales per event. Way less intimidating, right?
  2. Facilitate goals. If you’ve resolved to sell big in the new year without so much as a marketing calendar in the house, you’ve not facilitated your goals or your year’s resolution. Remove barriers to progress and instate conditions that help you achieve. Buy an entry-level PC for getting on social media to promote or gather a list of bookstores you can call to set up events. Then, resolve to reach out until you get the bookings you need to fulfill your resolution.
  3. Make marketing a priority. Once you’ve divided your marketing resolutions into smaller goals, it’s much easier to give them top priority. Knock out those little to-do’s first thing in the morning!
  4. Read, read, read. Top-notch authors are always top-notch readers. Get to know your genre not just by practicing it but by being an avid consumer of it. That way, you’ll get to know your audience and what appeals to them.
  5. Master the basics of social media. No matter what your stripe, there’s are many others with similar interests on social media. Facebook “friend” other authors and readers, and learn from them. Follow publishers. Rub elbows with book clubs. You’ll find kindred spirits in the virtual world who can enlighten you with real wisdom. Use that wisdom to refine how you communicate with potential readers.
  6. Try something new. Make 2020 the year you branch out. Start a blog. Meet new people with similar interests. These new experiences will all enrich and inform so many other aspects of your life. At the very least, you’ll be a more social and well-rounded person. Hey, you might even discover a whole new audience for your book!
  7. Just do you. Yes, you should be reading a lot, meeting people and making connections that pay off in sales. Ultimately, you’ll assimilate all these influences into a voice that is uniquely yours, and you’ll find your true audience. Don’t fight it — feed it.
  8. Consider “cheating” a little. Many of us are afraid to ask for help. It feels lazy, like we’re cutting corners. Let us put your mind at ease: It’s not cheating to ask for help reaching your marketing goals! In fact, it’s pretty smart, if you ask us. And, if you’ve tried new things, delved into social media and checked off other goals, you likely have crossed paths with new people who may be able to help you get past the hump. Reach out to friends and family to help you get the word out or purchase inexpensive marketing service options to help you reach the goals you set on the road to your resolution. (Even full-time professionals parse out their duties from time to time.)

Whatever your resolution, the important thing is to keep moving, to take whatever steps necessary to move you toward fulfilling the great things you planned for your life.

Need help moving toward your New Year’s resolution? Consider hiring a Book Marketing Specialist for 5 hours of expertise and a Custom Marketing Plan. You can log into your Publishing Center to see what book marketing options are available to you or chat with us using the live chat option on our website (www.outskirtspress.com).

 

Local Media Outreach For Self-Publishing Authors: Go Big and Go Home (to your hometown, that is!)

If you’ve done any sort of media outreach yourself, you know it is often easier said than done. Success typically comes down to perseverance. But success also depends upon contacting the right people at the right time.

Every city has its share of radio stations, and each of those radio stations have on-air personalities for designated blocks of time. Some radio programs are geared exclusively to music. Others, exclusively to news. And still others exclusively to a mash-up of music, entertainment, and listener engagement. Media Outreach involves identifying the appropriate people to contact and making those in-roads. That typically involves having a media kit.

Since you’re a local author in THEIR area, they’re exponentially more likely to be interested than if you sent an unsolicited pitch to a national or global program like, say, Howard Stern, or NPR.

But Media Outreach doesn’t begin and end with radio. Every major city also has its fair share of local newscasts and entertainment programs on television. These program producers are constantly on the prowl for unique, original programming featuring someone, or something, of local interest. In much the same manner you located and pitched the radio stations, you’ll identify and pitch the television producers, too.

Do you want more than radio and television exposure? How about city-wide newspapers and/or community leaflets or fliers. Almost all commercial areas from the suburbs to the major cities harbor newsletters, newspapers, coupon periodicals, and the like. And what do you think the chances are that your local community newspaper will write an article about a local author with a published book? We’re betting pretty good! In fact, your local community newspapers should also be one of your very first steps on the road to marketing, since the success rate is so high.

For your own free Publishing Kit filled with valuable resources, including “7 Tips to Self-Publish Like a Pro”, visit https://outskirtspress.com/book-publishing.html#ebooks

 

20 Fantastic Tips for Self-Publishing Writers to Welcome in 2020!

Whether you are already published and want 2020 to be the year your book breaks out, or you are a writer with a manuscript ready for publication, here are 20 fantastic tips for self-publishing writers to welcome in 2020!

1. Read — Let’s keep reading off of the endangered species list! With a million books published last year alone, we can all find something new to read. Writers are readers.

2. Research — It’s impossible to be a successful self-publishing writer without conducting some degree of research. Learn about the publishing industry, familiarize yourself with book trends, and master recommended marketing tactics.

3. Renovate — Stepout of your comfort zone in 2020! Don’t have a blog? Start one. Are you an introvert? Network with other writers or industry professionals. Research local meet-ups, associations, organizations, clubs, and writing groups.

4. Retool — When book sales slow, tinker with temporary discounts or even your book itself. Revise your book for 2020 by addressing recommendations you’ve received. Often, releasing a brand new edition with bonus material can make all the difference.

5. Realize goals — Ideally, your New Years Resolutions are the culmination of your goals throughout the year. Make goal-setting a habit by setting lots of small, attainable goals rather than a single insurmountable one. If your resolution is to sell a thousand copies, break that down into chunks: promote one giveaway in January, schedule a book-signing in February, attend book fair in March, and so on.

6. Solicit reviews — We all know that securing online reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble is a worthwhile exercise. But did you know there are also tons of review sites out there? Research them and submit your book to them for more reviews.

7. Prioritize publishing — If you’ve been sitting on a finished manuscript, 2020 is the year you do it. Rather than tweaking that scene again, research self-publishing options and make this specific book-dream a reality. Nothing happens unless you do it.

8. Prioritize marketing — Once you publish a book, it’s time to focus on promoting it … which takes time and energy. And when the going gets tough, the tough ask for help! Five hours with a Book Marketing Strategist might be all you need put your book on the path to promotional success.

Click here to save 10% instantly when you reserve 5 hours of time with a Book Marketing Strategist/Personal Marketing Assistant with Outskirts Press. Just use promo code: tenoffpma

9. Polish by proofreading — This year, resolve to refine your technical skills. Having a second or third set of eyes can also help you avoid revisions after initial publication. If you’re having trouble catching typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors in your writing, consider hiring a professional editor.

10. Master social media — Keep an eye open for marketing opportunities presented by sites you already enjoy, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or YouTube. When you make use of sites you’re visiting anyway, promotion feels less like work.

11. Ask for help — It’s not cheating to ask for help in reaching your marketing goals! If you’ve already tried new things by delving into social media and checking off other goals, you’ve likely crossed paths with new people (including friends, family, and fellow authors) or inexpensive marketing options to help you reach your resolution goals.

12. Take advantage of ebooksPublishing an ebook is easy! The ability to offer easy-to-order ebooks has opened up a massive sales channel for indie authors. As readers embrace ebooks, offering an ebook edition equates to priceless exposure.

13. Take advantage of audiobooks — The Internet never sits still, and there has been a tsunami of interest in audiobooks as we enter the third decade of this new millennium. Between iTunes and Amazon, finding and listening to audiobooks has never been easier, and publishing one is just as simple.

14. Find your voice — When you’re meeting new people and making new connections, that effort will ultimately affect sales. Assimilating all of these influences into a voice that is uniquely yours will help you identify and reach your unique readers, too.

15. Put the press to work — A press release distribution service can reach thousands of relevant news organizations worldwide in an instant these days. Authors, too, can use the Internet to research specific publications and reach targeted media contacts.

16. Be a mentor — It is often said that students are the best teachers, and building relationships is key to expanding one’s audience. As a published author, why not help newcomers out as they negotiate the writing and publishing processes? Writing groups and publishing associations are great places to meet people in search of assistance.

17. Join a writer’s group or association — If you’re serious about becoming a successful author, it’s crucial to continually hone your craft. A writer’s group not only provides support; you can get tips and feedback and like-minded writers to help with promotion.

18. Work the (digital) red carpet — Video remains the fastest growing slice of the Internet. Not only is YouTube a great platform for book promotion, it’s a great way to conduct research. Fortunately for self-publishing authors, it’s easier than ever to create a book video and upload it to YouTube to grab the attention of future readers.

19. Promote yourself — You’re taking all the right marketing steps for your book, but don’t forget to market yourself. Resolve to make authorship and your expertise a visible aspect of your identity. You have the book to prove it (or, you will soon in 2020)!

20. Kickstart your resolutions — Remove barriers to progress and initiate conditions that help you achieve the goals you’ve set by setting up a calendar and reconciling your skills and resources with the task at hand. Strategy is key, and working one-on-one with a Book Marketing Strategist can help 2020 begin with a big book bang!

For more information and help choosing your best self-publishing options, contact an Outskirts Press Publishing Consultant in whatever manner is easiest for you:

 

The Top 10 Reasons to be Thankful for Self-Publishing

As Thanksgiving draws near, it’s time to take stock of everything there is to be thankful for. Family, friends, love, laughter … and being a published author (or the opportunity to be published soon). There’s never been a better time to be a writer. Here are just a few reasons we should all be thankful to be self-publishing in these exciting times:

  1. eBooks. Just having the ability to offer books in an easy-to-order format has opened up a massive sales channel for independent authors. As readers move from hardcopy to electronic books, the ability for anyone to get their book in front of these customers is priceless exposure — and offering an ebook is easy.
  2. Social media. When knocking on doors, making phone calls, buying ads and getting media coverage aren’t on your busy holiday calendar, reaching out to large audiences is still achievable, thanks to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and more. Author pages can be set up quickly, so you can let others know about your book from the comfort of your home.
  3. Author webpages. An author website can be created for free on many drag-and-drop website building platforms and most full-service self-publishing companies, such as Outskirts Press, provide a webpage to every author who publishes with them. You can easily provide this link to prospective readers so they can purchase your paperback, hardback, eBook, or even your audiobook on iTunes.
  4. Blogging platforms. The advantage of being an author is that you can put your writing skills to great use in your marketing. A personal or professional blog is a great way to raise your profile online, interact with readers and make valuable connections with others in the publishing industry. If you don’t have a blog, start one today for free on WordPress.
  5. Power of the press. Book announcements have come a long way in recent years. In an instant, a press release distribution service can get your book announcement to thousands of relevant news organizations worldwide. Plus, with the internet as a valuable research tool, an author can very quickly gather specific publications and broadcast media to target with personal contact.
  6. Goodreads. Self-published authors can easily make use of many selling tools on the Goodreads platform to foster relationships with readers, promote their books and sell more copies.
  7. Support when you need it. Traditional publishing houses typically provide a marketing push upon a book’s release but withdraw support as time goes on — especially if a book falls short of lofty sales goals. This doesn’t mean the window for success has closed; it only means the publisher no longer supports the author. Many of those authors now have the flexibility to pursue self-publishing when their rights revert back to them from the traditional houses. And they’re discovering that when they’re in charge — as all self-publishing authors are — they have the power to tweak their marketing approach, and keep more of the profits at the same time. It’s never too late to self-publish and market your way to success!
  8. AudioBooks. Back in the day (like 4-5 years ago), eBooks were all the rage. But the Internet never sits still, and what was a rising wave for eBooks just a few years ago has turned into a tsunami for AudioBooks as we enter the third decade of this new millennium. And no wonder! Between iTunes and Amazon, finding and listening to Audiobooks has never been easier, and publishing an audiobook is just as simple.
  9. YouTube. Everyone knows the number 1 search engine on the Internet is Google. But Google also laid claim to the number 2 search engine when they purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006 (granted, YouTube wasn’t the juggernaut it is today).  Video is quickly overtaking text as the medium of choice on the Internet, and YouTube is leading the way. Fortunately for self-publishing authors, it’s easier than ever to create a book video and upload it to YouTube to grab some of those viewers (and potential book buyers).
  10.  Amazon. Nowadays, the world’s largest retailer may be more concerned with making money than supporting authors (as revealed in this New York Times article), but there is still something to be said when a self-publishing author can be a #1 bestseller on the world’s largest bookselling website.

As this decade comes to a close, it is clear that self-publishing has changed in positive ways over the past ten years. We live in exciting times, indeed. And as we begin our 18th year of helping writers become published authors, Outskirts Press is thankful to be a growing part of this modern publishing renaissance — and thankful for authors like you who are paving the way!

How would you feel about publishing your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively?

Very Good!