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When we have helped an author self-publish a book for commercial sale, the question they usually ask as soon as the print run arrives is how to sell their book. ‘Can you help me get my book on Amazon’, is the usual question, which of course is answered by our fantastic print-on-demand service ( see our last blog post).
But further than that, what do you do?
People often make the mistake of thinking that they need to reach large scale distributors and sell their book nationally in order to be successful. But in our view, that’s not the best model for self-published works. Just as local business concentrate on their immediate area before expanding their reach, this is often the best idea for a self-published author. Don’t forget your local connections!
Firstly, make yourself heard! Your local newspaper or magazine is far more likely to run an article about you and your book, or publicise your book launch than a national newspaper, but you can still get some excellent publicity this way. Be proactive! Call the local radio station and tell them about your book, stick up posters in town, arrange to do a reading in the library or local bookshop. If it’s your scene, then get on Facebook and Twitter and call in all the favours you’re owed and all the friends you can find.
Secondly, get used to asking shops to stock your book. And don’t limit yourself to book shops. The farm shop near me does a great trade in local books, as do other gift shops and corner shops in the area. Think about your book. If it’s about dogs, ask the pet shop to sell it, if it mentions local places, take it to a tourist information shop, if your hero takes to the seas, try the sailing club…
There really are no rules about how and where you sell your book, so think big, but try thinking local! In our experience, it usually pays off.
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