A surprisingly large number of people believe that they have a good idea for a book. In the US, it’s more than 50 percent. Given the advances in technology, online publishing, and self-publishing, it’s a reachable goal these days.
On top of that, despite years of claims that ebooks would supplant print books, print books are doing just fine. In 2021 alone, customers purchased nearly 826 million print books.
Of course, self-publishers do face some unique challenges that traditionally published authors get to sidestep. If you’re wondering how to sell your book online, keep reading for three key steps.
1. Find a Printer
Let’s assume that you already wrote the book, revised it, and got some professional editing feedback on it. You’re ready to showcase your book to the world. Before you can do that, you need actual copies of the book.
For that, you need a printer. While some authors adore hardcovers, most people who go the self-publishing route start with perfect bound paperbacks. This is the industry standard you find in bookstores and online outlets.
Just make sure you read the fine print, as printers often require minimum order quantities. Some will also outsource large batch printing jobs overseas, so shipping times can play a role. If you set a publication date, you’ll must place your order well in advance.
2. Set Up Your Website
E-commerce has come a long way in just the last few years. In fact, it's one of the only upsides of the Covid pandemic.
If you plan to sell directly to customers, you’ll need a website with an e-commerce store.
You can set up the website using a content management system like WordPress. There are a variety of e-commerce plugins that will let you set up a store, and a shopping cart, and integrate a payment gateway.
You can also look for services that specialize in e-commerce websites. These simplify setup but usually require ceding some control over your website.
When it comes to selling a book online, you cannot overlook marketing. Self-publishers must leverage social media, but don’t overdo it.
Pick one or two major social media sites and focus on those. Facebook makes life easier by setting up micro-communities that you can join and interact with on a regular basis.
You’ll also need at least some paid advertising. Most social media sites have some options for paid advertising, but Facebook offers a particularly advanced set of tools for targeting your ads and analyzing results.
Don’t underprice your book. Set a book price similar to other books in your genre.
Self Publishers and Online Selling
Self-publishers must manage a lot more things than a traditionally published author. For example, it’s on you to find your own printer to supply copies.
You must set up your website and online store so it looks professional and processes orders cleanly.
On top of that, all of the marketing duties fall on you. Social media is your best bet for spreading the word, so don’t ignore it.
PRC Book Printing specializes in printing services for self-publishers. For questions or more information, Contact PRC Book Printing today.