Publish and Market a Book Online – Step-by-Step Guide for Aspiring Writers

With the ever-increasing popularity of digital media, there really is no better time for aspiring writers to publish and sell a book online.

Although electronic books are probably easier to market in this manner, printed books are also widely sought after.

Following these steps will help to ensure author success, even when you’ve never been published before.

Research and Know Your Target Market
Many successful authors will tell you that the most important step to book selling is to research and know your target market. If you don’t understand your audience, you may be doomed from the beginning.

Before you actually start to write your book, research the niche thoroughly. Yes, it can be a bit time consuming, but totally worth it in the long run.
Spend time on sites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Look and see what’s selling in your category. Choose several best-sellers. Skim the table of contents and first few pages of each title, if possible. This will give you a good idea, in regard to the type of information readers are looking for.

Join online forums that relate to your topic in question. Take the time to read… read… READ!
Pay close attention to questions other members are asking, especially if the same ones come up repeatedly. The answers to these questions are definitely topics worth covering in your book.

If it’s allowed, without being too pushy, post a short note telling everyone that you’re writing a book. Ask them what kind of information they would like to see included.

Join writing forums, especially those geared toward authors. Again, read and ask questions.
Take plenty of notes. At this stage, there’s no such thing as too many notes. Pay close attention to author success stories. By duplicating some of the same methods, you have a better chance of success yourself.

market a book online
Photo Credit: AMagill

Creating a Book with a Self-Publishing Service
There are many excellent options for creating and publishing a book using a self-publishing service (the services people usually use for publishing photo books, portfolio books, or cookbooks). Whether you decide to do it completely on your own or request assistance, the process isn’t difficult at all. Many self-publishing companies offer services, which are available individually or as a bundle. These services include options like:

  • Editing
  • Print-on-demand Services
  • Cover Design
  • Formatting
  • Promotional Materials
  • and more…

If you’re interested in publishing for Kindle, Amazon’s Direct Publishing program offers a wide variety of free tools and tutorials to guide you from start to finish. Print-on-demand services such as and allow you to create books on their platform and print them out as needed. Both of these sites provide excellent instructions, detailing exactly to accomplish the task.

Marketing via Social Media and Social Networks
It’s no secret that social media marketing is here to stay. It works well for a variety of promotional purposes including selling your books. The key to success is patience and due diligence, WITHOUT coming off as pushy or overly commercial. In fact, the latter will only alienate you and possibly get you banned from the networks.

One of the first things many aspiring authors should do is to set-up a Facebook profile, as well as a Twitter account. It should be noted that this won’t bring in sales overnight. It takes time to build a following and instill trust. But eventually, by being friendly and sharing information, the chances are good that you’ll begin to see sales.

More and more authors are using book trailers as a means to promote their titles. The finished trailers are uploaded to video sites such as YouTube. It really is a wonderful way to get exposure. Should you decide to do this, you’re only limited by your own creativity. For example, you might read the first few pages or chapter of your book. You could talk about how the book came to be or give more insight into the lives of your characters. Readers love to be privy to this kind of information.

If you don’t want to take the time to make the trailer yourself, hiring someone to do it is quite affordable. Try doing a simple Google search, which should point you in the right direction.

This serves as a basic outline, to help you publish and sell a book online. It is by no means complete, but there is enough here to get you started. As with almost everything in life, knowledge is power. Taking the time to learn as much as you can about self-publishing will go a long way in ensuring your success!

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