If you want people to buy your book, you have to let them know of its existence, and where to order it. To do this, you need to know who they are, and where to reach them. And much to the surprise of many new authors, this is not only the case for self-publishers; it’s true for authors whose works are published by major publishers, too.
Most major publishers put promotion dollars behind winners, not newbies. So if promotion was a reason for you to seek a publisher rather than publishing yourself, strike it off the list.
For most non-fiction authors, the very best way to sell your books is through speaking engagements. For corporate gigs, you can often offer your book at a discounted price to the client, so that they can buy a copy for each attendee. I’ve sold thousands of books this way, and so have many other speakers.
In other speaking environments, you can sell them in the back of the room after your talk, if the venue allows it. (Although I would suggest having a higher-priced product at the back of the room, such as a CD series, a DVD series, or a course, and throw in the book as a free bonus. But if you do this, do not offer the book for sale as well; most people will just buy the book.)
One of the best investments an author can make is to buy “1001 Ways to Market Your Books,” by John Kremer. Then read it, and start implementing just a few of the hundreds of excellent ideas in its 700+ pages.
- Find out what your most important keywords are. Search on “keyword research” to learn this important skill. Then begin to identify your book’s audience with precision, and the words that they would enter into search engines that ought to lead them to your book.
- Find blogs read by your reading audience, and find a way to participate in them. Offer to write guest articles. Comment on the entries. Include your book’s website (you have one, right?) in your signature.
- Create a Facebook page around your book and its topic.
- Blog about your topic and your book on your own blog, at least 3 times a week.
- Find out how to get on radio talk shows. They need people to interview, and will allow you to promote your book. Make a special offer–a low price or bonus if they mention the radio show. (Search for Alex Carroll; he offers help along this line.)