How to extend your book’s shelf life
By Sinekhaya Fikeni

There are four ways to promote your book for more sales

The process of marketing a book doesn’t simply end with identifying your target market; it’s a continuous promotion to ensure that your product remains sustainable. Promotion is another aspect of marketing. A book is a product, and therefore, your product must always be seen and understood by the market. A self-published author needs to develop a promotion strategy for its target audience to ensure that the promotion leads to actual sales. The lack of a publisher means that you’ll need to brace yourself for the idea of functioning as both the author and publisher. There are four steps to creating a promotion strategy, and this article will provide you with all the steps that you can apply to your book.

1. Set promotional objectives:

A promotional strategy is made up of four overall components that help the target audience understand the message that the self-publisher is trying to convey about the book. The first component is setting promotional objectives. This is basically setting goals for your book’s promotion strategy that will help inform, persuade, and remind your audience about the book through promotion.

The information aspect essentially helps the targeted readers know more about the book, where it can be bought, and how much it costs. If the book has special features, you would also inform your readers about the best way to read the book. This information contributes to the persuasion aspect of the promotional objectives, as you are trying to get more readers to buy your book. To your existing readers, you are simply reminding them about your book, and they would essentially recommend it to their friends. If there are specific trends going around, you could also realistically remind them that your book could fit that need.

These objectives help complete specific goals like attracting more readers and stabilising sales, which is beneficial if you have any remaining copies of your book.

2. Consider product variables:

There are many things you need to consider regarding your product and its market factors. These will contribute to the impact that your promotional campaign will have on your specific book.

  • The nature of the product: the self-publisher must know their book very well to ensure that they can promote their book accurately.
  • Price: The amount of money that you charge for your book will determine which strategy you’ll use for your book.

3. Decide on the optimal market approach:

What market approach will work best with your book and its primary target market? This ensures that the marketing aspect that you choose works with sales in mind, as your target will be at the forefront of the market approach.

4. The promotional mix:

The prior concepts basically help you ultimately choose which approach in the market mix will help you work with your target market. The importance of the promotional mix is that it’s the best for your customers and that you work within your means. Marketers use a mix of four communication activities that would work efficiently for self-publishers.

  • Personal selling is person-to-person contact for the purpose of making sales on a small scale. This activity can be done face-to-face, by phone, by e-mail, or by customised websites.
  • Direct marketing is paying to sell or promote directly to customers on a targeted scale without the intervention of an intermediary.
  • Sales promotion: this is a wide range of paid-for events and activities designed to stimulate immediate, usually short-term, interest in a product and to encourage the purchase of the product. This is done using book launches.
  • Social media invites the general public to participate through electronic media.

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