One crucial aspect of self-publishing a book is probably one you haven’t given much thought to: audience development. Writing can be such a solitary act, and self-publishing lends itself to this feeling, but you must always keep your readers in mind. Your book, once published, belongs to them, too. It’s important to write while keeping audience in mind, and it’s also important to interact with your that audience frequently to both grow and maintain loyal readers. In this blog we’ll discuss how to sell your newly self-published book and how to attract and keep a dedicated reading audience.
How to Sell Your Self-Published Book
There can be no readership until you write, self-publish, and sell your book. A lot of self-publishers, after printing their book, find themselves in unfamiliar territory. Sales are obviously very important and knowing how to sell your self-published book is crucial. There are different ways to sell your book both online and off.
The easiest way to sell your book is through online sites, like Bookblues and Amazon.
When you sell with Bookblues, you keep all of the profits. This isn’t the case elsewhere. Bookblues was created by DiggyPOD because we think that self-publishers should keep 100% of their profits. We don’t take a cut of your sales. You’ll pay a monthly listing fee, but that’s it!
Selling your self-published book on Bookblues isn’t just profitable—it’s easy, too! All you need to do to set up your Bookblues is create a seller account and a PayPal account. Learn more about the advantages of Bookblues.
Amazon offers a few different levels of memberships for sellers. There’s Selling on Amazon, Selling on Amazon + Fulfillment by Amazon, or Amazon Advantage.
Selling on Amazon:
This is the simplest option. You create a Seller Account and manage all of the storage, packaging and shipping. Amazon offers two different Seller Accounts.
- Individual Account: You pay a $0.99 fee per item you sell.
- Professional Account: You’ll pay $39.95/month subscription fee. You won’t pay a fee per item you sell.
Selling on Amazon + Fulfillment by Amazon:
This option is similar to the option above, however Amazon handles the packaging and shipping. For a separate fee, you can store your books in an Amazon warehouse, where Amazon workers will package and ship orders for you. The books will be listed as sold by you, not by Amazon.
Amazon Advantage works like a consignment store: your book will appear as sold by Amazon, not you; Amazon will handle all of the storage, packaging, and shipping (at no extra cost to you); you don’t need a selling account; order can be combined with other Amazon orders, Prime eligible, etc.
There are other ways to sell, such as Barnes & Noble online or in stores, but the above will be the fastest and easiest methods. To learn more about sales and distribution, read this blog series.
Before and after your book goes on sale, you’ll be taking promotional methods to build, develop, and maintain your audience. Let’s discuss what we mean when we say audience development.
What is Audience Development?
What we mean by audience development is this: a cultivation of a relationship between writer and reader as a means to grow the audience. Your audience won’t only purchase your book; they’ll read it, maybe more than once, and tell others about it. They’ll interact with other fans of the book. Your readership will grow because of these interactions, but only if you put time and effort into creating and maintaining a relationship with your readers that extends beyond your book.
Why is Audience Development Important?
While some writers may choose a more hands off approach—no book tours, no signings, no social media—most interface with their fans in some form or another. Obviously the most important part of audience development is to write and publish books that readers want to read more than once, books they can feel passionate about.
After reading your book (and loving it), readers will seek out any more material by you or others who have loved your book as well. If you make audience development a focus of yours, you may be able to build a community around the words you’ve written. There are different ways to do this, and we’ll explore them in this blog series: social media, video content, website forums, blogs, your personal author site, and more.
Creating a community around your work won’t only improve the sales of your current book, but it’ll also create a need for future books.
Ways to Boost Readership
There are tons of ways to boost your sales and gain readers and fans. Traditional marketing, such as advertisements and promotional events, work great. Social media will be a big help, whether this in the form of paid social media advertisements or free posts and official author profiles. Blogging, writing forums, and interacting with a writing community, whether online or in person, will spread your words and lead others to discovering your book.
Audience development will foster a relationship between author, book, and reader. An audience that feels close to or that they share a bond with a particular writer is more likely to purchase their book (and their next book, and next book, and so on…). If you focus on audience development, you’ll see the benefit in your sales.
This blog series will explore each of these means of audience development a little more in-depth.