Marketing for Print on Demand

Many successful authors publish exclusively in digital format and wouldn’t ever contemplate bringing out a physical book, believing there to be so little profit margin, it is hardly worth bothering about.  And when we first published Revolution Earth as an ebook, I was convinced that digital was the future.  So it came as rather a shock when a number of friends and family confessed that they not only didn’t own an ereader, but felt that the price was still too high for them to bother to buy one. And when was our novel coming out as a ‘real’ book?

Promote your work at a local independent bookshop and to the local library   Despite the increasing market share of digital versus paper books, I still think that writers are missing a trick if they don’t offer their readers the choice.  If you are lucky enough to live in a town that still has a thriving independent bookshop that likes to promote local authors, why not talk to them to see if there is the opportunity to host a book signing session. And if you invite representatives from your local library (that is, of course, if you still have one) and they are prepared to buy a few copies, who they might consider running a promotion for you as well.

Goodreads Giveaways As well as the chance to promote your work to your local community, you can also offer up pre-release copies of your books as giveways on Goodreads.  Readers put their name down for a free book and if you are lucky the giveaway will be oversubscribed.  Even if you offer, say, six books to lucky readers, you could have at least a couple of hundred others who may have missed out, but who will be generating some buzz by talking about your book. Goodreads take away the hassle of running the giveaway, inviting readers to enter and then selecting winners randomly.  Winners not only get a free book but it is posted to them free of charge. So the only downside for the author is that you have to agree to ship the books to the winners and pay for postage and packaging.

Use up some of your free days on Amazon KDP Select If you publish on KDP Select, you should really think about taking advantage of those free days in a cross promotion, perhaps highlighting the fact about the paperback release on Twitter and Facebook.  If you can get a temporary boost in the rankings for the ebook then that ‘s another way of drawing attention to the newly released paperback version.

Don’t price yourself out of the market What price to charge for the print version on two factors: firstly, whether or not you can cover your costs and secondly, what your competitors in the same genre are charging.  As part of my market research I noted that a fellow thriller author has a paperback version of her book coming out next month in the US and although the list price is $14.95, already there is a line through the higher price and a 40% discount is advertised for those readers who pre-order. That brings the paperback version down to $7.98.

Although that particular book isn’t advertised yet in paperback in the UK, I did a quick calculation, using today’s mid-market exchange rate, that would work out roughly around UK £5.00 per copy.

As you can see, while bringing out a physical copy of your book might not make you rich, it is still a valuable way of promoting your work.  And there is nothing quite like seeing the tangible, physical book and being able to turn it over in your hands and being able to say,  “I made that!”.

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