Whenever anybody asks me this, I know there’s an underlying fear there. And the underlying fear is, “If I self-publish, I don’t know how to sell books. So how will I market my book?”
If you’re self-published, you do everything yourself. The belief is that a traditional publisher will do the marketing for you. There are elements of truth in this. The way a traditional publisher works is they will pay upfront for your editing, graphic design, interior design, typesetting, publishing… they pay for everything. The reason they do that is that they believe they will sell enough copies over a span of three to five years to not only cover their costs for publishing your book, but they will also be able to make a profit. The way they do that is they pay you royalties (usually about 6-10%) and they take the rest of the profits from the book sales.
It’s in a traditional publisher’s interest to sell and market your book because that’s how they’re going to make a profit. Therefore, it’s understandable why people would ask me, “Do self-published books sell?” Because the fear is, if there is no publisher, and you nothing about marketing books, how will you sell your book?
Here’s the truth. Most publishers will not take you on if you don’t already have a following. Most of them will need you to have a following of some sort. It could be a large following on Instagram. You could have a huge Facebook group. You could have a big email list. What they’re looking for are fans. They’re looking for people that already like you and trust you, and are interested in what you have to say.
If you’ve got a memoir, book of poetry or you’ve written fiction, that is a whole other thing that I can’t help you with. You need to actually speak to a specialist when it comes to that, because you need to understand book marketing, and how to get your book out to as many people as possible.
However, if you’re in my tribe, if you’re listening to me, chances are, you’re an entrepreneur of some sort. You’re a coach, a consultant, an expert, etc. And the type of book you’re looking to write is a nonfiction business book, or a nonfiction ‘how to’ book. With those kinds of books, you need to get out of the mindset of trying to get to as many people as possible.
You’ll do far better by just having 100 people read your book who are your ideal clients, than having thousands upon thousands of people reading your book who are not your target clients. It isn’t about getting it out to as many people as possible. It’s about getting it out to the RIGHT people.
You don’t need to worry about the fact that you’re not a book marketer. It doesn’t matter. Because you’re not trying to sell a novel, a book of poetry, a memoir, or anything like that. Your book is there to sell your business, your products and services, and place you as an authority in your field.
You don’t need to sell tons of your books. You’re not trying to be the business version of JK Rowling. You’re trying to get it to your target market. And you’re doing that already! If you’re an entrepreneur in 2021, you’re already doing this. You’re already doing something for lead generation. Perhaps search engine optimization, or social media, or something else? You’re doing some sort of content marketing right now to generate leads and generate clients. All your book is going to be is a very clever sales and marketing tool. So in the same way that you generate leads and interest for your business, right now, you just do the same thing to generate leads and interest for your book.
That’s what I did. When I was marketing my book, The Freedom Master Plan, I didn’t even bother going to a traditional publisher. Because I knew they wouldn’t touch me with a barge pole. I was starting from scratch. I was a ghostwriter. I’d written seven books. So they were written for other people. So I had no followers. Zero. Zilch. So when I wrote my book, I didn’t bother going to a traditional publisher, because I knew they would reject me, no matter how good the book was.
So I started speaking to people who were my target clients. They were coaches, consultants, experts, and speakers. In the same way that I marketed my business to them, I marketed my book to them. I let them know I had a book out written specifically for coaches, consultants, and speakers. It detailed how they could be seen as an authority, and head and shoulders above their competition. Nearly all of them were interested.
So relax! Don’t worry that you’re not a book marketer. This isn’t a new skill you need to learn.
If you’re interested in writing a business book that will generate leads and sales for your business, get a copy of The Freedom Master Plan that will explain everything you need to know about writing and marketing business books.
You can also download a sample chapter here