So,Â you’veÂ just finished your first masterpiece, have had it professionally edited, proofread and self-published. Your close friends and family have all read it and are full of praise, so you might well feel ready to market it on a much bigger scale.
Before you start on your nationwide marketing campaign, you need to consider who or what your direct competition is. Most of us automatically assume that our main competition is other authors, especially within the genre of our book. However this is not simply the case.
Of course, you will be competing with many other writers, but you are also faced with the challenge of other entertainment options. You want someone to pick up your book instead of watching a movie or having an early night in with a take away and book instead of a meal out.
Books are largely personal and optional purchases with people spending their budgets on a range of different items. Therefore, your sales message has to convince a potential buyer that they would be far more entertained by reading your book than they would be doing something else.
If you have self-published and are selling your book in actual bookstores, you will be facing competition from other authors as well as music, magazines, games and DVDs. Many bookshops are also becoming trendy coffee shops. Therefore, it is really important that you stand out from the crowd; whether it is through a unique and eye-catching cover design, or through self-promoting, readings and signings.
When it comes to online sales, social media, blogs and online reviews will all help you reach your target market. If people donât know your book is out there, they need to stumble across it while looking for something else. Again, you need to convince them that your book is worth the money despite perhaps not being what they were actually looking for.
Your work, unfortunately, is not finished when you type your last word. If you really want your book to be a success then you need to make sure it sells. Selling is all about targeting your competition and standing out. Therefore, itâs really important that you never assume that your competition is just another book in your specific genre. Look outside the box and see what you come up with.