Congrats! The final edits are done and you’re ready to self-publish your legacy: your own book! 

But who else cares? Will it sell? Who’s going to buy it? The bookselling landscape has changed and in order to be a success, you must adapt as well. Before you dash off to your local pharmacy, there are some pain-free (or nearly pain-free) book marketing tips you can incorporate into your publishing strategy.

What’s Changed?

Unlike the past, where unknown authors had to beg bookstores to carry their books and allow them to have a book signing, an entire galaxy of possibilities now awaits. As Captain Kirk said on Star Trek, ”to boldly go where no man has gone before.”  What used to be a pond of opportunity is now an enormous ocean. Ride the waves of pain-free book marketing!

Pain-Free Case History

In the mid-1980s, a young man began teaching a karaoke course at Kapiolani Community College in Honolulu. It quickly became so popular that he was invited to move to a larger space, an auditorium at the University of Hawaii where he taught the noncredit course for 12 years.

It was at this time that he decided to write a book on the subject. He suddenly realized that there would be no appeal if the title contained anything about how to sing, so he titled it “Karaoke: Sing Along Guide to Fun & Confidence” even though the contents were instructional.

Tip 1: Choose a Title With Universal Appeal

While seeking a book publisher, he also happened to meet the president of a company that manufactured karaoke hardware and software. The CEO bought 5,000 copies in advance at retail and the publisher issue became a moot point.

The book was self-published but the challenge of marketing it now loomed ahead. 

The author and his editor (who later became his wife) realized that store book signings were just one avenue to attract interest and sales. 

They discovered Crook & Chase, a popular TV show based in Nashville and made a pitch. For the show, the twist was that a clip of the female co-host trying to sing would first be shown. The author would then take the stage, give her tips and join her singing.

 TIP 2:  Find hooks!

Coffee shops and restaurants that featured entertainment were also booked. The author would sing a few songs and then pitch his book. Local TV and radio stations aired some of these stories as well. Even the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles hosted a demonstration and book signing.    

TIP 3: Consider your Audience and The Platforms They Use

The book became a best-seller in large part because of the diverse marketing strategy. With social media being so vast, consider that as an option as well. There are numerous special interest groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. Build up interest by asking questions in these groups that can later result in supporters and sales. You may not be able to pitch your book directly but can still benefit from the relationships.

TIP 4: Leverage Every Potential Media and Source

If your book is non-fiction, you will be viewed as an expert on the subject matter by the media and others. Keep things pain-free by keeping that in mind when speaking to the media and those with whom you’re scheduling book signings.

TIP 5: The author of this article is also the author of the karaoke book which went on two national book tours and became a best-seller. Any other questions? Ask him.