10 Ways Self-Publishing Authors Can Promote Their Books During National Reading/Small Press Month

March 1 marks the beginning of National Reading and Small Press month. This is the perfect time to revamp your current marketing strategy and try some new things. After all, readers are more inspired to buy books this month. As a self-publishing author, here are the top 10 ways to use this to your advantage:

  1. Come up with a marketing plan for your book. It may be helpful to speak with a professional that can coach you through coming up with a plan and taking action on those items.
  2. Contact your local bookstore to see what their policy is for carrying small press books. You may consider offering your book on consignment.
  3. Contact your local newspaper to remind them that it’s small press month. Write a press release (or have someone write one for you) and send them a copy. Be sure to call them shortly thereafter to make sure they received it.
  4. Contact your local library to suggest they feature small press titles this month, including yours. Make sure to have plenty of free copies to give away.
  5. Send out copies of your book to get reviews.
  6. Make sure your Amazon listing is up to par. You should have a Kindle Edition, Search Inside the Book, and a Book Video Trailer on your book’s Amazon page.
  7. If you haven’t already done so, buy your own domain name and start a blog. Blogging is a great way to reach new readers and possibly increase the sales of your book.
  8. Schedule a free webinar or teleseminar. Everyone has an area of expertise – what’s yours? Share your gift with the world. This will not only help increase your network, but you will be able to gain notoriety as an industry expert.
  9. Take a Virtual Book Tour. This is a cost-effective way to get yourself in front of your audience without leaving the comfort of your own living room.
  10. Offer freebies for people who buy your book. In your book’s description, you can let your potential reader know what they will get for free if they email you a copy of their receipt. eBooks, whitepapers or other virtual gifts are a great option due to their low cost and ease of delivery.

Overall, the most important thing is to have fun marketing your self-published book! Don’t take things too seriously and make sure you make the best use of your time this upcoming month.

DISCUSSION: Which of these strategies (or others) do you plan to take action on this month?

5 Ways that Offering Books on Consignment Helps Self-Published Authors

If you’re like many Outskirts Press self-published authors, you may be seeking creative ways to increase your book sales. You may have tried contacting the big box stores (Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Borders Bookstores, etc.) but haven’t had much luck. You may already be successful at online sales but want to tap additional sources of revenue.

Either way, offering your book on consignment is a great way to achieve your goals. But, let’s take a step back and discuss exactly what consignment is — it is the process of stocking your book in a local (most likely independent) bookstore at no cost to the seller. Once the book sells, you and the store owner split the earnings.

Here are some key benefits to setting up such an arrangement:

  1. You get added exposure in your local community. People you know or with whom you share a personal connection (i.e. same hometown, etc.) will be more willing to try and buy your book than others.
  2. There is no risk for the retailer so they are more willing to display your book. You don’t have to worry about paying extra fees to ensure your book is returnable because the store owner doesn’t have to pay anything upfront to stock your book.
  3. You can usually keep a short trade discount. Of course, this is dependent on your goals for the book. If you’re still planning to approach the big box stores as a part of your book’s overall marketing strategy, you may consider maintaining at least a 50% trade discount. However, consignment arrangements can be setup independently of trade discount amount since the store is paying nothing to acquire your book.
  4. The independent bookstore that is consigning your book will be more open to scheduling a book signing event with you if sales are on target. Book signings mean an opportunity to meet new people that could be interested in buying your book.
  5. The more places your book is being sold, the greater the likelihood for sales.

For this to be most effective, you have to come to an agreement that is fair for both parties. In some cases, this may be a 50/50 split and in others a 70/30 (author advantage) may work. The specific pay plan should be discussed with the store owner in advance.

To locate local bookstores in your area, you can visit: Indie Bound.

If you need assistance with this technique, 5 hours with a Personal Marketing Assistant or a 30-minute Marketing Consultation may benefit you.

Have you ever tried to sell books on consignment? How did this work out for you?

Happy Marketing!