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4.7 out of 5 stars54
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 23 June 2013
This is a fantastic no-nonsense guide for all authors - self-published or otherwise - on how to sell more books! Written in a wonderfully accessible style - and with user-friendly checklists throughout - it covers the whole sales and marketing spectrum, from how to identify your readers and plan your campaign, to the practicalities of using both online and offline methods to let them know about your book - from blogs, mailing lists, and social media, to face-to-face at local groups/events and more traditional PR methods.

On the PR side, there's an extremely useful section on targeting local or specialist newspapers/niche magazines, local radio and more - including how to pitch and tweak your story or release to catch the editor's attention.

There are also some great tips on promotional materials, and organising book launches and other events.

Last but by no means least, the author offers advice on how to approach bookshops and persuade them to stock your book.

I write for my day job, as well as for children and I've been doing much of what's covered here for sometime - yet I am in no doubt that this book is resource that I shall revisit time and again to remind myself of what else I need to do - and keep doing - to sell more books! Indeed I have the corner folded on six pages as things stand - all items to add to my marketing action plan!

The concluding chapter `Keep the plate spinning' is aptly named!

I for one would say `buy this book'. Mine's the print version because I like turning down pages!
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on 6 December 2012
As a new and aspiring author, I realised that I only needed TWO self-help books. One was Stephen King's remarkable On Writing. And the other? Well, the other one didn't exist. Until now!

Debbie Young's equally remarkable Sell Your Books! picks up where King sadly left off - a handbook about promoting and marketing your finished work, aimed mainly at the self-published or independent author, but equally valuable for those who've gone through a more traditional publishing route without being one of the "big names".

Concisely written and easy to follow, Young sets out... the reasons that books need (and deserve) promotion and selling; an explanation of the current books market with all its wonderful diversity; potential plans for a marketing and selling campaign; tips on how to identify markets for particular types of book; methods of getting to know target audiences; sensible advice on how to harness the power of the internet; advice on how to exploit other networks - like book fairs, library events, etc; cautionary notes on how to approach retailers; the production and organisation of promotional materials, book launches, signings and other events; ways to engage the media; budget considerations about what to spend in both money and time; and, finally, the all-important post-script. Young's last chapters deal with the self-evident but often-forgotten fact that even the best marketing campaign won't sell a book that's got a duff jacket design and lots of typos - so a gentle but necessary reminder about the value of the "second edition", as well as the need to maintain a campaign's momentum once it's begun.

And here's the wonderful thing that Sell Your Books! shares with On Writing. There's a lovely "sleight of hand" in both of them. King managed to make his self-help book as riveting as his novels and, at one point, actually scary. Debbie Young manages to produce a self-help book that practises what it preaches - since you can track every piece of the advice it contains against its author's own marketing strategy, website and promotional tricks in a way that's truly inspirational.

Highly recommended!
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on 4 August 2013
In the brave new world of publishing, the author has to sell as well as write, but very few of us have the time skills or even enthusiasm to go about it in a professional manner. Luckily help is at hand in the shape of this book from Debbie Young. Sell your Books is a manual for authors that covers everything from getting a website to writing and sending out a press release, with useful tips along the way on using social media, book launches and all the ways of getting your book `out there'. But it's not just a list of tips. It has a clear structure that begins with a useful assessment of the publishing industry and advice on identifying your target market. It ends with some home truths on getting your product right before you venture into the market at all. The intervening chapters are detailed enough for the author to get a feel for what do or not do without being overly technical. For me the chapters on real word book launches and dealing with the media are particularly useful with the section radio interviews was particularly illuminating. If I have a criticism of this book, I found it less useful on the social media side, although the author has a linked website with further help and updates in this area. Having read the Kindle version, I would also have liked a contents page and/or index to enable skimming and dipping. Blessed with a common-sense approach, this book might not break new ground but could still be a vital part of any writer's toolkit.
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on 5 January 2013
Wading through all the information on publishing and helping a writer to find a readership can be confusing, especially for a 'first-timer' like myself.Debbie Young presents the facts in a simple and easy format.One of the best books I have read that has helped me to navigate all the pitfalls. She writes in an engaging fashion that draws one in; like listening to advice from a friend. It is obvious she has a wealth of experience in all aspects of publishing and marketing, expanding on various kinds of sales campaigns. This is certainly a book I will be referring to many times in my new ventures into publishing.
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on 18 December 2013
This is a clear and practical guide to getting out there and selling books and if you are bold and brave you have to have it in your library. If you're an Indie author determined to make the most of every opportunity (if you just knew how to identify them), ditto.

The only reason it doesn't have five stars from me is the warning to the shy, because it might terrify you. Anyone who tucks themselves away to write, and hopes this book will wave a magical wand and make wonderful things happen with minimum input should know there isn't a wand. This is a guide, an invaluable guide, with lots and lots of good advice like how to handle your first radio interview, and how to run a successful launch and sell yourself as much as your book (eep)and frankly terrifying stuff like that. However it is also packed with the kind of stuff you need to know to lead you, step by step, into the place where you suddenly find you really could be hosting a book launch and doing press releases and interviews. So a very solid 4 stars, and no more groping along in the dark for the new Indie author.

My sleek and beautiful review copy is now bristling with post-its, this is definitely a book to get in print, not on Kindle, and you'll probably need another when the first is worn out. You'll refer to it that often.
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on 24 December 2012
As a writer about to self-publish my first novel I read Debbie Young's Sell Your Books! with great interest and found it to be an informative and invaluable guide for indie authors. Written in a friendly and encouraging way, Sell Your Books! draws on Young's marketing, PR, journalism and publishing experience to guide the reader through all the ups and downs of selling self-published books, both printed and e-books.

What I loved the most about Sell Your Books! was the encouragement it gave me to be able to promote my own book (something that I feel is not my strong point). It was an inspiring read and I found myself noting down ideas of what I plan to do once I publish my novel. Not only that Young's book confirmed I was already doing things right with blogs and social networking. It's a book that you can go back to time and time again and dip in and out of as and when you need to.

Whether you've already got a book out there or are on the verge of self-publishing like myself, Sell Your Books! is an invaluable and inspiring read. Indie authors - don't publish without it!
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on 21 May 2013
There are many books and websites offering to show authors and publishers how to publicise and sell their books. I have read five or six, and this is by far the best. Intelligent, practical, well-written and full of that indispensable ingredient, common sense. It also has the unmistakable ring of a work produced from long experience. If you're bewildered by the choice, I can wholeheartedly recommend this book.
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on 4 December 2012
Sweating over a hot keyboard, writing 90,000 words takes months and months, not to mention the revisions, edits, polishing and general beautifying. Then, at last, it's published and available.

This may not be good news, but now the hard part begins - marketing and selling your book. It's like pregnancy, which you thought was hard; once the baby is born, then the slog begins. Luckily, Debbie Young has written a
book stuffed with good information, practical steps and common sense to get us through the early years phase. Debbie covers the current market, how to plan a campaign, identifying your market, using media, social and print/radio, getting into retail outlets and budget considerations.

The only thing that could have possibly enhanced it was an outline time plan, but perhaps that's going to be included in the second edition ;-)

Thoroughly recommended for all authors.
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on 19 February 2015
Although the introductory chapter in this excellent book is, 'Congratulations you're a published author' I'm so glad that I read this book before I'd reached that stage.

Debbie Young tells it like it is, so quickly grounds an aspiring author in reality. This is followed by plenty of practical advice on how to make your book the best it can be, before maximising the benefits of today's digital market place. Against Debbie's advice I've used a foreign girl's name for my book title, but did so after weighing up the pros and cons.

In conclusion I'd say, read this excellent advice and then write a brand and sales strategy before you write the two best words in your book, 'The End!'
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on 10 November 2013
As a an author and publisher I'm always looking for, and giving advice about getting your indie-published book noticed by readers and the media. Debbie Young gathers up all the current knowledge and presents it in a readable and - most important - doable programme for authors who are not marketing experts. She goes into just the right amount of detail to answer typical questions and covers all the bases that a DIY book marketer can make use of. You can try everything she suggests or pick the ones that will be most use to you. I will be using this book myself and recommending it to Rethink Press authors.
How To Write Fiction Without The Fuss
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