October 3, 2012

5 Tips to Successfully Market an eBook: A Guest Post

Please welcome to Feed My Need, Samantha Gray!

Samantha Gray was born and raised in Houston, Texas, where she is now a writer for Bachelor Degrees Online. She loves receiving feedback from her readers at samanthagray024@gmail.com.

5 Tips to Successfully Market an E-book 


Play to your audience.

One of the keys to successfully marketing a product is having a product that is designed to sell. Writing fiction that is well-suited for commercialization may mean sacrificing artistry for entertainment – or finding a way to combine the two.

If your goal is to revolutionize the literary world, you’re probably going to need the team of professionals that would come with a major book deal. Those who are considering self-publishing should conduct significant research before beginning their endeavors and align their work to coincide with an opportunity in the market.

Research your target audience to uncover what themes and characters are trending. For YA fiction, supernatural and paranormal elements are popular. However, it is important to include something in your stories that will make you stand out from the competition.

Start something.

Remember that word of mouth is still an extremely powerful tool. Twilight and Shades of Grey – two sides of the same coin – are examples of how books can become conversation pieces. The unraveling of backstories, mounting tension and a fast-paced plot is a recipe for a “good read”, but best sellers often walk the line between socially acceptable and scandalous. Incorporate a plotline that is juicy enough for your audience gossip about, but not so risqué that readers feel uncomfortable discussing it or sharing the content with friends.

Build your empire.

You’re not only a writer, you’re a publisher. That means that you need to take control of your business Begin reaching out to your audience through a Website, a Facebook fan page and a blog. Any promotional materials such as book covers and advertisements will be out-of-pocket expenses.

Although this is about your work, this is also about you. A great photo and biography are two things that will help establish loyalty. Remember to invest your time wisely. You may be tempted to write on your blog daily, but being too accessible or inundating readers with the duller details of writing can completely blow your cover as a mysterious and powerful author.

Your book should also carry a distinct and attractive image. Writers should network with other creative professionals for the best cover art possible. Regardless of the old axiom, readers do judge books by their covers; and even though you’ve written, edited, published and marketed your own book – chances are you aren’t a visual artist. Find someone you trust and hire him (or her). This could prove to be an opportunity for rewarding artistic collaboration.

Lead up to the launch.

Build hype before you launch your book. Send copies of your manuscript to various review sites, ask bloggers to review your book or solicit editors for a review. Create teaser blurbs or turn your Website into a countdown clock. Choose the best passages for excerpts on e-commerce Websites and let all of your Facebook and Twitter fans know that the day is approaching!

Control your output.

Leading e-book author Darcie Chan limited availability of her book to Kindle and kept the price at 99c. This makes advertising easier. By paying for advertising spots on sites and blogs dedicated to Kindle, Chan was able to market directly to her target audience. For more on marketing strategies, consider reading this interview with successful indie publicists Robin Sullivan.

In addition to limiting the availability of your content, you will also need to plan to continue publishing. Maintaining momentum can be extremely exhausting and the income can be variably low; however, publishing multiple books will increase sales, especially if you can successfully tap into your consumer market.

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