If you want to achieve the dream of living off the income from your self-published books, you need to sell a lot of copies. Fortunately for us, we have free, first-hand access to the largest book market ever invented: Amazon. (That’s if you aren’t bothered about giving them even more money, anyway.)
However, there are loads of books on Amazon. Like, well over a million. And Amazon doesn’t recommend other books in the ‘things you might also like’ section as much as it used to these days. So while dropping your book on Amazon and waiting might get you a few sales – if you have a good description, accurate keywords and a nice cover – you won’t get very far unless you take matters into your own hands and actually come up with a marketing plan.
Don’t worry, it’s not a scary as it sounds. Any amount of marketing planning will make your book much more likely to get noticed. You don’t need a marketing degree to make your book a success.
However, some advice from someone with a marketing degree wouldn’t go amiss. Which is why I really recommend you watch Hannah Lee Kidder’s video on how to market your book. I’m not being paid to say this, I just think she has some great advice on how to get started tackling this subject. And, like, her book’s doing pretty well. Which is crazy, because short story collections are notoriously hard to sell.
Once you’re done with that, you should check out Reedsy. They’re new to the game, but their main goal is to help self-publishing writers to navigate the many obstacles we face. In particular, I’d like to recommend their blog post on marketing a self-published book – but you should have a quick look around the rest of the website, because they have a lot of great advice. Again, this isn’t a paid endorsement, but I’ve learned a lot from them and I think you could, too.
This has been my first ‘Honour Roll’ post, where I find resources I think are useful to writers and broadcast them – so more people in our community see them. I hope you found it useful!