Long-Term Marketing Models for Self-Published Authors

long term self-publishing

In my latest column at Publishers Weekly, I address the many indie authors who seek short-term solutions to their book marketing challenges. Ultimately, when you study what fuels the success of established self-published authors, it has nothing to do with buying marketing packages or publicity help—rather, such authors adopt a long-term strategy that pays off over time. I write:

There’s no shortage of marketing and publicity services that promise to help self-published authors secure media attention and book reviews and increase sales. For the unschooled, however, it’s hard to know whom to hire, how much to invest, and what type of marketing and publicity will make a difference.

Furthermore, companies that offer self-publishing services—knowing that there’s more demand than ever for such help—will offer package plans that, in the end, may have little or no effect on sales. (I’m thinking primarily of broad advertising in mass market outlets, paid reviews, and social media campaigns that are never seen by the target readership.)

Authors who try to buy attention or publicity would often do better to focus on the bigger picture of building marketing momentum effectively and meaningfully over a span of months—even years. In my experience, there are five strategic models that lead to effective marketing and publicity campaigns for books.

Read my entire column, Five Marketing Models for Self-Publishing Success.

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Posted in Marketing & Promotion.

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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