How To Create a Bestseller – Part 2

Learn sensible marketing strategies straight from the expert. Ryan Holiday reveals more of his book promotion advice here on the sequel of the Xlibris Author Advice.

Hire a professional editor

Ryan stresses that self-pubbed authors need to establish their credibility by writing something well. A professional edit is essential as it separates the professionals from the amateurs.

Take it from the pros: “Without strong editors, writers are like cars with accelerators but no brakes.” The distinction in the publishing industry today isn’t published vs. self-published, it’s professional publishing vs. unprofessional publishing. 

Create a catchy title and invest in a good book cover design

He emphasizes the importance of design and execution. You should have a book design attractive enough even as an Amazon thumbnail and a title that grips the readers.

In addition to a book’s cover, the title is an essential aspect of book marketing. Bestselling authors like Tim Ferriss and Eric Ries relentlessly test the titles and subtitles of their books to ensure that their audience will respond to it once it’s on the shelves. 

Experiment with other distribution platforms

Search for other distribution platforms that could expose your book to other audience and stand a chance of going viral. Aside from Amazon, Ryan cites peer-to-peer file sharing program BitTorrent as an example.

In today’s digital marketplace you have to get your book in multiple channels to generate sales.

He used BitTorrent to launch Tim Ferriss’ book 4-Hour Chef resulting in:

1,261,152 page visits

880,009 Amazon impressions

327,555 Tim Ferriss website impressions

293,936 book trailer impressions

Don’t cut corners

Mediocrity may give you success but only fleeting.

The question you have to ask yourself before starting a book project is: for what purpose am I writing this book? Is to grab some quick book sales with a subpar book, or to build a brand or business around it? I’d choose the latter.

Use other metrics to measure success

Don’t just settle for a good Amazon rating.

Authors should measure success by the assets they’ve accumulated via the platform they’ve built. This means emails collected, partnerships made with influencers in your space, speaking gigs, evergreen content placements on blogs, etc.

Create your own branding

Start with your bio, your personal website, or your Amazon page.

Your bio and your Amazon page are like business cards. Brand yourself, reinvent yourself, whatever. Just don’t waste the opportunity. You will be shocked at how often these self-descriptions are borrowed and repeated in the media until they become true.

So how do you differentiate yourself from the crowd? With social proof. One way to do this is with blurbs from established, respected individuals. Blurbs say: someone who’s time is valuable read this book before you and liked it. 

Self market even after signing with a traditional publisher

When an author signs with a traditional publisher, they think that their publisher will handle the marketing for them. Bad news: that’s still on you. Even if you hire a publicist, the creative part of the marketing efforts is your responsibility.

Read the full article here.

Read the prequel of this Xlibris Author Advice.

Get tips from Xlibris authors featured on the Xlibris Blog and the Xlibris Indie Authors Roundup. More writing, editing, and book marketing tips are available on the Xlibris Writer’s Workshop.