No one ever said that being a self-publisher was easy. The best thing about being one, however (aside from having full control over your books and how they’re published), is the camaraderie.

Ninety-five percent (or more) of all self-published authors are probably going through exactly the same difficulties as you.

We are all struggling to find good editors, great cover designers and most importantly, figure out how to market our books.

There are simply too many books being published every single day. Making yours stand out isn’t easy! You’ve got to not only find your readers but attract them to your book, over the dozens (hundreds, even) of other books in your same genre who are all vying for attention from the very same group of people.

So how do you do this?

Short answer: no one really knows.

Longer answer:

  • Have a great hook

Emotion sells! Don’t just tell people what your book is about, move them into buying it!

  • Have an enticing website

And be sure at least one book is “above the fold” (meaning at the top of the page so a reader doesn’t have to scroll down) complete with buy links.

  • Be active on social media

Choose one or two where you’re really going to spend time, but have at least a presence on every one you can think of. And if you’re on Facebook (and you probably should be at least a bit, no matter how much you might hate it because that’s where a lot of readers are) have your own author page.

  • Publish to said media a lot!

This one tripped me up until I was reminded that most people aren’t shown your posts so if you post often, it’s highly unlikely that one person will see all of your posts. And if they do and you’re posting the same thing, change up your wording a bit and they may not even realize that they’d seen it before.

  • Share other author’s content (they’ll love you for it and it gives you more content to post)
  • Find “out of the box” ways to promote your work such as:

Podcasts, radio shows, product placement (where you tag someone or something that relates to your book. For example: if you say that a character looks like a particular actor, tag that actor).

Just about every author agrees that marketing, and social media, in particular, is an annoying way to have to spend your time. We’d much rather be writing. Hell, some authors would rather be cleaning the bathroom than marketing their work. But the only way your books are going to get any sales at all is to market them.

Happily, you don’t actually have to do this all on your own. There are plenty of virtual assistants, with varying degrees of specialty, who can help you do this. But just like you, these people are trying to make a living. They will charge for their services. The more complicated, time-consuming service, the more. Frequently, they’ll charge by the hour (anywhere from $15-40+), but that doesn’t mean that you have to spend a ton of money because you could either just hire them to do one specific task a month (put together your newsletter) or you could make an arrangement to pay them a set amount per month (for which they’ll work a set number of hours, but it will frequently be a little less expensive).

I’m on the verge of making this leap into hiring someone because I’m going to be having a big book launch soon and it will require a lot of creative marketing. So think about what you need to do and how much time it will take you away from your writing and whether it is worth it to you to spend money so that you can do what you’d rather be doing.

If you’ve ever worked with a virtual assistant, please comment below and tell me how it went. Would you do it again? Are you doing it still? I’d love to hear about!