If you’ve gone down the print on demand (POD) route to publish your first book, the next step is to build a profile and, hopefully, generate interest that translates to sales.

Simple, right?

After writing your book, building awareness that generates sales for your book is the hardest part of the publishing process. E-newsletters and social media can be a good place to start, especially if your email database and followers already include existing customers.

Even if you haven’t set up an e-newsetter before, there are some simple (and free) options available online to get you started. MailChimp, for example, allows you to send up to 12,000 emails a month (up to 2,000 each newsletter) for free, and has pretty simple layout and editing options, with design-your-own or pre-designed templates to choose from. You also get reports about how many people opened and clicked on your email. If you are new to e-news or only have a small database (and zero budget) this is a good starting point. You simply sign up, fill out your template and send away. If you’re expecting to be sending a larger number of emails each month, other providers, such as Campaign Monitor, are worth a look.

Using social media to generate awareness and interest in your book will also help drive sales. Whether it’s to announce the launch or to send out quotes or visuals from your book to stir interest, tapping into your existing followers on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube or even LinkedIn will help build your potential readership. Remember, use plenty of keywords and relevant hashtags to increases your following.

If your book has an unusual theme or niche audience, look out for existing forums that you can join, or start a blog about your content topic, or perhaps your experiences as a writer, and push the entries through your other social media channels, too. If you’re going this route, be prepared to put in the effort to write regularly or it won’t work—you may even find your next book from your musings!

Drumming up interest

As we’ve written about before, POD offers many advantages to traditional methods of publishing. For starters, without the associated costs of large (or even medium-sized) print runs, your book can be ready to sell before one page has even been printed. And you don’t have to worry about issues like storage or distribution—it’s handled by the POD provider.

But without a publishing house to throw some weight behind a marketing strategy, you’re on your own in terms of drumming up interest. Along with your social media ‘campaign’, there are plenty of tricks to help spark interest in your work:

  1. When your book is ready to go, treat it like a real launch, including sneak-peek cover reveals to generate buzz before you ‘launch’.
  2. Go on a blog tour: this is like a real book tour except you tour other blogs, where the writer of a blog may review your book, record a video or conduct a Q&A, which widens your reach without you leaving your computer. This concept has been around for a while and is becoming more widespread in traditional publishing houses (like a real book tour, a blog tour should have an itinerary—part of the buzz, then, can be in following where you’ll be next ). If your book lends itself to online discussion a blog tour might be a good vehicle to generate buzz.
  3. Put yourself front and centre where your readers are likely to be—writing a children’s book? Visit a library during school holidays for a reading.


Going POD: what books work best

  • out-of-print publications you’d like to keep in circulation, without the cost of sizeable print run
  • compilations: if you produce short articles, stories or information for clients, POD is an attractive way to repackage your information—and readers will appreciate having it all in one publication
  • niche work that may only have a small audience
  • books that you’d like to get into circulation but not necessarily want (expect) to make significant profits.

For more, check out the titles in our POD bookshop—they include both new and reprinted titles, sold through lulu.com

Looking to go the POD route? Get in touch with us today.



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