3rd January, 2024
7 min read
Maximizing Publishing, Marketing and Sales in 2024: A Guide for Authors
The new year is traditionally a time of new resolutions and fresh starts and can offer the perfect opportunity to give your writing and publishing projects some impetus. So, whether you're a seasoned author or starting, this blog gives some tips for boosting visibility and sales to get ahead with your publishing, marketing and sales in 2024.
Our Top Tips for Published Authors Looking to Boost Sales in 2024
Marketing: Review what worked or did not work for you this year
Review your marketing campaign so far and consider what did or did not work. Plan to do more of what brought pleasure and success and reconsider what marketing you tried that didn’t have the impact you’d hoped. Can you pivot what you were doing to reach a new audience? Do you need a whole new marketing plan? Marketing once a book is published is very different to marketing before publication – once published, you want to proactively seek news angles that can link your book to a news story. Plus it’s a good time to consider more direct approaches to readers through events, social media and newsletters (see below).
Leverage Social Media Platforms
Review your social media presence. Did you gain followers and engage with them, or did you start enthusiastically promoting your book and then trail off as the year went on? Can you re-energise your social media content for the new year? Look at announcing some author news, offering a discount or asking for feedback? Maybe spend some time following others and engaging on their posts to encourage them to do the same for you. Engage authentically and interact with your audience regularly. Share insights about your writing journey, along with behind-the-scenes content, and respond to reader comments. Posts with visuals and videos can have better engagement than plain text, so it is worth investing time or money in getting some striking graphics created for relaunching your social media.
Once your book is published and you’ve been doing some marketing, look to collaborate and partner with fellow authors for some mutual promotion. Building a team of friendly writers around you means you can share the highs and lows, as well as share ideas for widening your collective reach. Troubador’s authors often get together to share the cost of a table at events for selling books, for example, so making connections can boost your confidence as an author.
Attend Writing and Publishing Events
January is a really good time to start looking at what author and publishing events are coming up in the next 12 months and might be worth attending. January often sees some 'early bird' offers on tickets too.
Troubador will be speaking at the Bournemouth Writing Festival in April 2024, attending the London Book Fair in March and running the 2024 Self-Publishing Conference in September (its 10th year) – but numerous events are happening up and down the country to explore.
As well as going to events as a delegate to learn from other authors and self-publishing professionals, how about pitching yourself as a speaker or panellist? This allows you to showcase your expertise and gain visibility. Speaker slots get filled quickly, though, so have a pitch ready and research a list of local and relevant writing events that you are a good fit for.
Harness the Power of Email Marketing
Most self-publishing authors don’t engage in email marketing, but it’s never been easier to do this with tools such as Mailchimp and MooSend. Just make sure you collect contacts to add to your mailing list responsibly and that you are sending relevant and interesting content. If you are looking to publish more than one book and are seeking to build up your brand as an author, then a dedicated mailing list of readers interested in your work is invaluable and allows you to speak directly to them with offers and updates. When building a subscriber list, offer incentives like exclusive content or 'sneak peeks', in exchange for email sign-ups. Share updates, upcoming releases and personal stories to forge a deeper connection with your subscribers. You can read how Troubador author J.D Pullan harnessed email marketing here.
The two single most important things you can do on Amazon are to get reviews associated with your book and sign up for Amazon’s Author Pages. Reviews need to be honest, genuine and posted by readers (not reviews you have paid for). Author Pages add extra authority to your brand – Amazon does like product listings to be complete, and reviews and author pages are part of giving your book that authority. Both of these are free to do on Amazon. Getting readers to leave reviews can be tricky, and often involves encouraging and cajoling readers to leave feedback on Amazon. Learn more about enhancing your listing on Amazon
Tips for Authors Still Writing and Considering Self-Publication in 2024
If you are considering publishing in 2024, then we suggest spending the new year researching the following to maximise the success of your book – below we discuss the areas that will give you a head start if you consider them early enough.
Invest in Professional Editing and Cover Design
Quality matters! Spend the time before publication to ensure your book is well-edited. This might mean paying for editorial services or being extremely thorough in the editing of your work (often harder, as you can be too close to your own words!). Once you have decided which publishing route to take, you can consider if you need to hire a book cover designer too, or if the platform and service you use includes cover design as part of the arrangement. For example, Troubador has a dedicated, in-house cover design team but other platforms don’t. Remember, a polished manuscript and eye-catching cover design are essential for grabbing readers' attention.
Check your Pictures and Copyright
If you are using pictures in your book, make sure that you have permission to use them and leave yourself enough time to get copyright permissions if not. It’s also important to make sure that you have your images at the right size and resolution for your book from the beginning, rather than having to sort this once the book is in production.
Generally, the printer/publisher will need images of at least 300 dpi (dots per inch) resolution. Don’t embed images in your word processing file (the publisher often prefers unembedded photos, so supply them in a separate folder as JPG images), and indicate where each image should go in your manuscript – number them and give them captions. This will speed up the production process and avoid confusion when the page layout point is reached.
You might also need to get copyright clearances for other text, quotes or song lyrics you are using in your manuscript. Consider this while writing and editing your book, rather than at the point you wish to publish, as getting copyright permissions can be slow work.
Research and Choose the Right Publishing Platform
Evaluate options like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Ingram Spark and full-service options like Troubador, based on your goals and distribution preferences – and think about the type of book your readership will expect and where they will expect to buy that book (which will influence how you publish and whether you opt for full-service distribution or print on demand). Part of this research also includes understanding the T+Cs and contract terms, what you will earn per sale and what the book will cost to publish. Don’t rush this stage – it’s exciting to move from writing to publishing, but knowing what you are getting makes the journey so much more relaxing.
Build a Strong Online Presence
Before you publish, start thinking about marketing, start developing an online presence with social media, and a website, so that you can advance promote your book and yourself as a writer, connecting with readers. Too many authors leave marketing as the last thing on the list, but you should be thinking about marketing throughout – including while you are writing the book. Questions like: What is my audience, how do they buy books? What kind of size and format book will my readers expect based on genre?
Self-Publishing Communities and Resources
Join author forums or groups to connect with self-published authors for support, advice and collaboration, and look for events and workshops to attend to learn new skills. Troubador runs a series of self-publishing workshops for authors – most of which are conveniently online.
Whether you're a published author seeking to expand your reach or considering self-publication, taking some time to consider what you want to achieve with your book and writing in the coming year can pay dividends, and enable you to navigate the world of book marketing and sales with greater confidence and effectiveness.