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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Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman

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 co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors.

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. She also has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (March 2018).

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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9 Comments on "Long-Term Marketing Models for Self-Published Authors"

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[…] Too many authors focus on short-term fixes for book marketing, when they need to identify a long-term approach that will work over many months and years.  […]

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[…] Long-Term Marketing Models for Self-Published Authors | Jane Friedman […]

Ron Yarosh
Great article, Jane. I finally woke up to the idea of having more than one book published. My original thought was to write another when the first one got a good number of sales. My one and only book on Amazon (a teen sci-fi novel) has done virtually nothing since it’s been on line. I’m now editing two adult mystery novels as part of a series. I’ll keep putting them out rather than wait for things to happen.I also have a short term goal of establishing a web site as part of a overall marketing strategy I will pursue this… Read more »
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[…] Awesome post: Long-Term Marketing Models for Self-Published Authors […]

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[…] Long-Term Marketing Models for Self-Published Authors | Jane Friedman […]

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[…] Marketing Models for Self Published Authors,’ by Jane guest posting over on Publishers Weekly: https://janefriedman.com/long-term-marketing-models-for-self-published-authors/  (Thanks to friend and critique partner, Robyn Campbell, who sent it […]

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[…] Long-Term Marketing Models for Self-Published Authors  by Jane Friedman  (January 20, 2016): https://janefriedman.com/long-term-marketing-models-for-self-published-authors/  […]

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