How do you market a self-published book into a best-seller? Start with the absolute best book you can produce. This isn’t really a new idea–marketing experts have long been touting the importance of having a good cover design, professional editing, and excellent back copy–but it doesn’t end there. Author Derek Murphy starts out Book Marketing Is Dead by covering some of the basics, and then adds a number of things an indie author should do before a book launch.
A lot of book marketing experts tell you how important author platform is and emphasize the importance of building an email list. That’s great–for nonfiction writers. For fiction writers like me, a little more advice is needed. After all, how do you build a platform to prove you tell good stories? Thankfully, this book tries to fill this void in the book-marketing world. Derek Murphy acknowledges that platform-building can be difficult for fiction writers, and then offers tips. He talks about how the best way to build an email subscription base is to have a free product to offer readers in exchange for their signing up for the newsletter–and how difficult that can be for fiction writers. But he doesn’t stop with acknowledging the problem. He offers practical solutions.
Murphy also offers tips on how to get reviews of your book and create relationships on social media. He offers guidelines but doesn’t shy away from admitting when he’s not following his own suggestions, or discussing other successful indie authors who have done things differently.
I read the Kindle version of this book, and I was at 68% complete when I actually got to “Stage Three: Marketing.” Murphy admits it seems odd to go two-thirds of the way into the book before discussing marketing, but he correctly points out that marketing without a good product or platform is worthless. Once I got to Stage Three, I found some valuable examples and suggestions on how to put your online relationships to work for you in an organic sort of way. Murphy discusses guest posting on blogs, press releases and why they don’t work, and the uncomfortable fact that more visibility may only make your book fail faster if it isn’t ready for public consumption.
Other topics include: advertising, book launches, crowd-sourcing, Pinterest, getting into bookstores, indie bookstores, book fairs, events, and contests.
All in all, I enjoyed the book and gleaned several great ideas from it. Some of the things Murphy mentions are things I’ve read before, either on blogs or other marketing books (a portion of my day job is social media, so I’ve read this stuff about social media being about relationships, not advertising, many times). But Murphy’s friendly tone and the large number of links and resources included give this book added value.
I read Murphy’s blog and am an email subscriber. I got this book free. But as he points out in his book, Amazon reviews are important for marketing, and I make a point to post reviews for all the indie authors I read. :)
Have you read this book? What did you think of it?
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