Self-Publishing



  • I just finished helping my mom publish her children's book via Amazon/Kindle. I helped her edit, and publish, but we're both pretty useless when it comes to promoting. This experience has definitely made me want to pursue traditional publishing once my own book is almost ready for print. I was wondering if anyone has any advice for her now that the book is published, but not getting any eyes on it or any sales. We didn't use kickstarter and she hasn't done anything else for promotion. Does anyone have any advice for how we can gain traction post publishing or is her book just dead on arrival since we didn't do any promotional activities pre-publishing?

    Also I wanted to just create a new topic for Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing since the previous topics are quite old. I think a video on this topic would be so helpful.


  • SVS OG

    @Zavellart unfortnately, marketing is not my forte. Though, I've read self-publishers on facebook groups mention about getting reviews to boost your book ranking on amazon. Some authors offer their ebooks free for a day or so so that readers can leave reviews.

    You can also try ads.



  • I am not experienced with self-promotion, marketing either. But I kept an eye on people around who are good at doing self-promotion.

    What I noticed is that self-promotion needs to start long before the product hits the market, for example, building an audience group with your writing/art long before your book is ready for sale.

    As for your situation in which the book is already out there, maybe it would be interesting to tap into a specific interest group? Depending on what your mom's book is about, find the online forum/facebook group people are chatting about similar topic/theme, and promote the book in that context. You can probably also find physical locations to promote the book in your city. I remember Jake talked about one of his friends self-published a book about a baby and a shark. He got the zoo selling his book in the giftshop for example.

    Hope this spark some ideas. Keep us posted on your book promotion experience. I am very interested in learning more. I am working with traditonal publishers now, but I am always interested in self-publishing as I believe it gives artists different kind of freedom to explore book as an art form.



  • I made a slideshare presentation years ago of the tactics I used to promote my book across social networks once I published. My plan was to not be annoying by constantly posting “buy my book buy my book”. I wanted to entice people to share or talk about my book. Though I talk heavily about social media, what worked for me the best was meeting people face-to-face/one-on-on. They got to know me and told their friends about my book.

    I don’t know if any of my tactics will work for a children’s book but I’m hoping they can spark some ideas. These episodes of the Three Point Perspective podcast may also help - How to Launch a Book, Websites and Online Portfolios, and Starting an Online Shop.

    I hope this helps. Congrats to your mother on the new book!


  • Pro

    @Zavellart I don't have experience in selling books, but I do in selling other products. The essence of marketing is finding the group of people that want your product, that your product is made for, and reaching them to offer them your product in a language that addresses what your product will do for them. So in this case the target audience is children, yes, but children aren't buying it - parents are! So where are parents hanging out online? Maybe parenting Facebook groups? Mommy blogs? I bet Pinterest is a big one! Next think of how to you get in front of them using in these places, what's the best way. A blog feature, and ad, maybe pinning on group boards? Finally, think about what they're getting from your product, from their perspective, what problem is it solving for them. Is it an entertaining bedtime read that will capture their child's imagination? Is it a great conversation starter on bullying or depression?

    Here's a bad example and a good example.

    Bad: Make a post in an artist Facebook group with an Amazon link and the caption "My first book is out, go buy it!"

    Good: Make a post in a parenting Facebook group with an Amazon link and a caption: "It can be really tricky to start conversations with young children about such a serious and sensitive topic as depression. But sadly, depression is a part of your child's world and those hard conversations are so necessary for your child to understand and learn to navigate it in a productive way. Using my own experience of talking with this with my children, I decided to write a children's book to help parents navigate this topic. The book tackles the subject in a sensitive yet charming way, introducing it to your child at their level to help them understand and naturally start a conversation about depression. The book is available for a limited time at a reduced introductory price of 30% off!"

    The first example is the wrong audience and a wrong message. The second example is the right audience, and a message that is all about THEM and what the book can do for them, not about you. A limited time offer may also push people who are considering it or on the fence, encouraging them to make a purchase now instead of putting it off.

    I hope this helped even a bit!


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