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How Self-publishing Works


Initial Marketing
Walter Roark created these simple counter displays to help sell his books in USA Baby stores.
Walter Roark created these simple counter displays to help sell his books in USA Baby stores.
Photo courtesy Clearing Skies

Before your book's publish date, you'll need to bring the work to some prominent reviewers' attention. There are a few major marketing steps that are nearly essential:

  • Fill out an Advance Book Information (ABI) form at BowkerLink.com before your book goes to press. Submit the form, and Bowker will include you in their directory "Forthcoming Books in Print." When your publish date hits, your book will be automatically included in "Books in Print," a directory that reaches just about every major book buyer, and many reviewers.
  • Send advance information and copies of your book to Publisher's Weekly and Library Journal. These publications also reach a huge audience of book buyers. If you send advance information about your book, you may get a mention. If you send your book or a galley in advance of the publish date, you may even get a review.
  • Pick other suitable publications and send them books for review. It's important to send books out in advance, because many magazines aren't interested in reviewing books after they've been published.

Marketing will continue as long as you're selling books. Marketing breaks down into two different areas: promoting your book to re-sellers (bookstores, for example) and promoting your books to your actual audience, so they'll order your books and seek them out in stores. There are dozens and dozens of tricks and strategies for marketing in both veins. You can find tons of ideas in the books and links on the Lots More Information page at the end of this article.


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