In March 2019 I self-published Anti-Sell, the sales book for freelancers and small business owners who hate sales. You can learn more about its initial origins in this ‘launch’ post and on its dedicated landing page.
I’ve faced a few challenges when promoting the book post-launch. Firstly, despite being an online marketer in my day job, I’ve never promoted a book before, so it’s a brand new territory for me. I also self-published it, so I don’t have a fancy-pants publishing company to back me up and do the marketing for me.
The biggest challenge however? Well, it’s… a book about not selling. Or at least not hard-selling. So I’ve tried to be really careful about how I go about promoting it. After all, it’s going to go against the ethos and core message of the book if I ‘over’-sell it and end up ramming it down people’s throats (so to speak).
A few months on, here’s what I’ve done to try and promote it.
First: the numbers
Ok, so first of all: am I even qualified to give this advice? Like I say, I’ve never promoted a book before, so why should you even listen to me and read what I say? Well, I’ll be open with you with its performance to date…
So far I’ve sold a few hundred copies – bearing in mind that’s across all formats: paperback (which can be bought via Amazon or bought from me in person), Kindle eBook, PDF eBook and self-narrated audiobook. But it doesn’t include the free copies I’ve given away, especially in PDF format (more on that below).
A few hundred copies feels like a lot and barely any – all at the same time. I’m amazed that a few hundred people actually want to read something I’ve written (and have paid actual money to do so!), and yet it might be a laughably pitiful amount compared to other more well-known authors. I’m happy with it though – I told myself going into this that I didn’t know if I’d sell 50 or 50,000 copies, and while I’m light years away from the latter, I’ve jumped way past the former. So there’s that at least. I haven’t yet broken-even on my initial costs, but I’m getting there…
It’s also starting to feel like everyone I know who said they’d buy a copy has now bought a copy. While sales haven’t exactly slowed down just yet (August 2019 – five months after the book’s release – has been the 2nd best month to date), it does feel like it’s more (and harder) work to try and shift copies now.
How I’ve been promoting the book so far
So here’s what I’ve done so far to try and promote Anti-Sell – some of which might be quite obvious and traditional, while some tactics might be a bit alternative and out-of-the-ordinary.
Let’s start with one straight from the latter category…