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The Philanthropic Publicist
Self-Publishing eBooks and the PR Component
By Heather Wied, Kbuuk
While there is not one single marketing magic silver bullet that best solves the issue of marketing self-published ebooks, it comes in handy as a self-publisher to have a comprehensive and integrated marketing plan that includes professional press releases and solid ebook marketing ideas.
The ebook market is highly competitive in that not only are self-published authors competing with a seemingly endless sea of other reading options like traditionally published books, books in different genres, and magazines, but books in general are also competing with an endless number of permutations and combinations of other entertainment options for consumers such as watching television, listening to music, or participating in a sport. Being in such a highly competitive environment makes it all the more important to set yourself apart from the competition in any way possible. Aside from having a stellar product (think story, formatting, and cover art), self-publishers also need to have a keen understanding of marketing to reach the target readership. Marketing efforts should span across different channels to reach different market segments. You can’t put all of your eggs into the social media basket, nor should you focus the whole budget in a PPC advertising campaign. It is important that you identify the best communication channel for your target ebook market, and one important component of marketing communications that often gets overlooked in online ebook marketing is the public relations component.
Public relations, or PR, is the marketing function that involves communicating your ebook to the public and gaining exposure through media outlets. Sending out press releases to announce newsworthy stories related to your work are a great way to reach different market segments and potential readers, and to gain more exposure for your recent titles and you, the author, as a brand. Gaining media coverage could range anywhere from traditional national and local media outlets to bloggers who have a specific interest in the topics you write about. If you think of your self-publishing endeavor as a business, and you should, press releases play a crucial role in your overall marketing plan.
Companies like Kbuuk have partnered with PR Newswire to provide easy access for the self-publishing author to get their press releases distributed to the same national and local news outlets that the professionals use. Self-published authors can leverage the experience and brand equity of a professional newswire that distributes their content to thousands of websites including some of the most visited in the world such as Yahoo!, AOL News, and MSNBC. Having a reputable organization behind you validates your credibility as a legitimate source, improves the likelihood of your work and name being found in the event of online search, and increases the likelihood of being noticed by the industry influencers who are seeking material to write about and share with their audiences the next great American author they’ve discovered.
Heather Wied is the Resident Writer and Marketing Director for the Kbuuk self-publishing platform. Follow @Kbuuk on Twitter.
Founded in 2011, Kbuuk's mission is to empower independent authors to publish ebooks quickly and conveniently. Equipped with a suite of powerful and intuitive tools, authors can also engage readers and track sales to refine products and strategy. Anyone can create a Kbuuk account and access services once reserved for writers who could get past the gatekeepers of the publishing industry. Kbuuk is a privately held company headquartered in Houston, TX.
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