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How to Sell your Published Book!

You thought that all the effort and hours you put into writing your book was half the battle. You may have a terrific book on your hands, but you were wrong. Writing the book was only the beginning. What most writers don’t take into account is that if the right people don’t hear about your book, no one will buy it.

For starters, four factors are extremely important in drawing people to your book: the cover design, the hook paragraph on the back cover, book reviews, and word of mouth. I will expand on these factors in some of my points below.

1) Months before your book is published, you must send out galleys to book reviewers. Find them on the internet. You can also send out galleys to well-known individuals, experts in your field, people you respect, even friends and relatives if you can’t find anyone else. For book reviewers, make sure you send exactly what they ask for. You can put the positive reviews on the back cover of your book, on the first few pages inside the front cover, on fliers or post cards you send out, even on blogs and emails.

2) Invest the time to think of the perfect title and invest the money to acquire a custom-designed book cover. Experts say that the book title and cover design sells a book 80% of the time. Also, work hard on your back cover blurb about the book. It needs to hook the potential reader and make him or her really want to read it!

3) You now need to create a buzz about your book. This is easier said than done, but other authors have done it and you can too. People telling people is a huge secret to selling lots of books. Even the huge commercial publishers will only promote a book for a couple of months before they move on to the next book. If that first push doesn’t create some serious word of mouth sales, the writer is in trouble.

4) Study the internet. Find all the magazines, websites, and ezines that reach your target audience. Then begin publicizing your book to them. Send galley copies to them and ask them for a review or a plug.

5) If you’re a public speaker, you’ve got a huge advantage over the person who doesn’t speak to groups. But your book basically has to relate somehow to your audiences. In other words, you may be a fine speaker, but if you’ve written a literary novel you’ll have more trouble grabbing an audience than if you wrote a book about “how to turn your part-time job into a very profitable enterprise.”

6) If you’re one of those writers who loves writing in various genres and takes pride in just writing from the heart, then this point may not apply to you. However, the sad truth in the book market is that if you don’t write about something people really want to read, you may not earn much income as a writer. Sorry—I don’t like it either. But, if you can, write books that have a long shelf life. In other words, a cookbook will have a much longer shelf life than a book about Obama’s Afghanistan policies. Also, if you write a series of cookbooks, you’ll have a better chance of building a readership than if each book is on a totally different subject.

7) It really helps if your publisher gets your book listed on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Then participate in methods on these sites of letting readers know that your book exists. (Check a book like Brent Sampson’s Sell Your Book on Amazon).

8) Explore the possibility of offering your book as an e-book. Find e-bookstores that will offer your book, and then put out key chapters of your book as ezine articles to attract potential readers. Again, you will have more success with this if your book is a how-to title as opposed to a romance novel.

9) Think big. If you can create enough of a buzz and several thousand copies of your book sell, you may get a larger commercial publisher interested in acquiring the rights to sell your book. Then they will help promote the book and it could really take off.

Above all, don’t give in to discouragement. Okay, so after two years of promoting like crazy, let’s say your book only sells 100 copies. Don’t worry about it. That’s at least 100 people in this world who cared enough about your book to devote precious hours, days, even weeks, to reading a piece of your heart and soul on paper. And that makes you pretty remarkable. Believe it.

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