You’re not one to brag, but you’re kind of a big deal. You’re an expert at what you do. Your mom — and, hopefully, your boss — agrees with you. You are meant for bigger things, and you know an eBook would get others on board. The problem? You’re not an expert until others recognize you as one.
So how do you become an expert and market your eBook simultaneously? Follow these steps to kill two birds with one stone:
- Get involved with forums, blogs, and other websites that focus on the topic you’ve written about. If you post guest blogs or offer feedback to others that proves you know what you’re doing, people will naturally seek more input from you. The more traffic the sites receive, the faster your reputation grows. Posting on forums is a great idea for another reason, too: The better your rapport is with the people who share your interests, the more likely they are to help you later.)
- Give your eBook away for FREE! You may be cringing right now, but as an unknown author, you’re not going to sell many books at any price (There are rare exceptions, of course, but let’s err on the side of caution). Making your first book available for free allows you to build a fan base, and it’s also a tool for establishing you as an expert for future eBooks. One writer published her eBook with my company for free, and she garnered over 44,000 downloads in a few months. Comments flooded her listing indicating they can’t wait for her next volume. She will easily be able to sell the highly anticipated second book and ring up bigger sales with it than she would have if she’d tried to sell both books right out of the gate. Many people are invested in her story now after receiving a free sample, so they’ll be return customers. (Check out her success by visiting here.)
- Develop press releases. You can write these yourself and distribute them among your network, in addition to media outlets. Load your press releases with keywords on which search engines will pick up. Add links to directly deliver your potential customers to a site where they can get a copy of your book. In our digital age, you can use press releases to have a conversation with buyers rather than journalists. Write your releases to address the people who will benefit from your work.
- Create excerpts to entice your customers.Your eBook contains strong content, and the best way to get others interested in your book is to give them a sample. Take snippets of your eBook and create articles that highlight some of the best ideas within the book and submit them to high volume article directories or related blogs and websites. You can do the same with videos. For your visual customers, videos will function like a great TV commercial.
- Utilize social media. Your existing Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts will allow you to get the word out about your achievement. This is the type of marketing where your enthusiasm will do the selling for you. If your work sounds interesting and it’s obvious to those in your network how much effort you put forth, they’ll be invested in your success.
- Submit your eBook to as many sites as possible. The more places your book appears, the higher your chances of it being downloaded. Getting placed on busy sites, like Amazon, iBookstore, Smashwords and Free-eBooks.net, will make your eBook incredibly accessible. Think of self-publishing like traditional publishing: Rejection can come in many forms, and being available in many places reduces your chances of being rejected by readers.
- Become known as an expert in the media. Sites like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) or PR LEADS can drum up business for you. These are great repositories of information for media outlets, and these websites match users up with “best-fit” media resources.
Remember that there’s a time and place for blatant self-promotion, as well as a need for subtlety. Avoid the aggressive tactics when utilizing social media, and don’t create articles or videos with this tone. An unnerving marketing campaign will turn off customers before they even have an opportunity to read your book. Cultivate a reputation as a helpful, knowledgeable resource with your book, as well as beyond your book.
Following these steps will increase the buy-in you receive from your potential customers, and it will get people to your book. Once you have a built-in customer base, you’ll be able to sell your books — and that, my friend, confirms you’re an expert.