So you wrote a book. Now you’re ready to put it into the public’s hands. Book marketing can be daunting. But with a targeted audience and solid plan, your sales will soar! Here’s your guide to marketing your book. Let’s dive in!
In today’s saturated publishing world, book promotion often falls on you, the author. This is true regardless of whether you’re marketing a self-published book or using a traditional publisher.
Whether you’re pursuing self-publishing, traditional publishing, or hybrid publishing, you’ll need two things: an intriguing book cover and a strong online presence. Even big publishers will expect you to have a solid author platform and an email list of readers. So build your base!
Strategizing your marketing tactics is a little more pressing without a publishing company’s lending hand. A self-published author is the sole person responsible for putting together a team to help with book promotion.
But have no fear! Plenty of book marketing services can provide you the benefits that traditional publishing offers.
Ebooks and print books have different markets and therefore require different content marketing techniques.
The main difference between ebooks and print books is one is electronic and one is a paper book. Readers can acquire ebooks, popularized by Kindle, through an ebook reader, computer, or other handheld device. At the touch of a button, you can begin reading immediately. Plus, with ebooks, you can travel light, even with a whole library at your fingertips.
By comparison, a good old-fashioned physical book allows you to feel, smell, and even annotate the pages. And who doesn’t love having a shelf full of their all-time favorite reads?
Print book marketing involves more leg work: think book signings and literary festivals. In contrast, ebooks rely on the author’s online presence. Your relationship with the local bookstore, for example, is less important when you’re promoting a digital book.
If you’re selling an ebook, put your content marketing online. After all, that’s where digital book readers are looking for reading content. You need to build followers and online relationships. Become a social media junkie.
Create an attractive website with options to purchase or download your ebook. You can give away chapters or even your entire book (“limited time only”) for free!
Once you’re ready to send your book into the world, a clear book marketing plan is essential. Start early, assemble all necessary tools, and outline your marketing campaign.
This guide to marketing your book strongly recommends you start appealing to your target audience six to twelve months before your book launch. After all, candidates don’t start campaigning the day of an election! So don’t wait until publication day to begin marketing your book.
Your primary tools for selling your book are a solid author platform, a good marketing plan, and an optimized book listing. Plus, you’ll need the commitment to see it through.
Build your recognition on social media—such as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Remember to engage with your audience to earn loyal followers and to expand your following.
And don’t forget to network with other, more visible authors. By connecting with fellow authors, you can learn valuable tips and tricks from their experiences. You could even ask them to write prepublication reviews or related blog posts that link to your book. Communicating and connecting is key!
One of the most important tools for marketing your book is Amazon search optimization. A well-crafted optimized Amazon book listing will help more people find your book—and help you boost your sales.
Unless you have a literary agent, you’ll need a strong book marketing plan. Schedule time to update your website and write blog posts related to your book. But don’t overcommit: use only as many social media platforms as you can keep current.
As you construct your plan, generate a list of media targets. For example, if you are marketing a nonfiction book, pitch to other outlets that cater to the topic of your book. If boosting your book sales seems intimidating, there are book marketing services and agencies that can help.
Determining your target audience is a necessary commitment for an author. But once you discover your potential readers, book marketing becomes a lot easier.
First, consider other works in your genre and writing style. Look at the book title, cover art, content, and metadata for these. Then look for comments and forums where readers discuss these works. Find what appeals to them.
Keep an eye out for users who follow similar authors to you on social media, and make connections. Additionally, follow demographics, trends, and other habits of your competition to find potential readers.
You can even hire beta readers who are familiar with your genre. Put your work out there for a sample audience to see, and listen to the feedback.
Without the right audience, your book has a slim chance of success. Most likely, you wrote your book with an audience in mind. Targeting those readers will boost book sales, save you time, and capitalize on the true potential of your work.
Look for niche groups of readers, and target your book launch to them. What magazines, websites, and social media does your ideal reader view? Market to these outlets, and try to get them to feature your book. You can also speak at book clubs and to special interest groups to build your author platform.
In today’s competitive publishing world, most marketing happens online. Maintaining a strong online presence is more important than ever for book promotion.
An author website is a must for successful book marketing. Your website tells people who you are, what you write, and how to purchase it. Include excerpts or teasers from your book, along with links to your social media accounts. Blog writing about content related to your book is also great for promotion.
Connect with potential readers through your social media accounts, website, blog, and e-newsletters. And make sure all of these link to your book landing page, which should include a book description, author photo, bio, and book reviews.
Find high-profile book bloggers and book reviewers to promote your book, and consider offering them a cut. Follow other authors on Twitter, comment on their posts, and network. Don’t stay in the dark.
Whether you like it or not, a strong social media platform is invaluable to book promotion. Create an author page on Facebook, and check Twitter regularly. Add an author profile to Goodreads and join other online author programs.
Also consider becoming familiar with marketing options through distribution channels like Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Potential readers can be anywhere, so expand your brand!
Visuals are important in marketing. Consequently, while you shouldn’t pre-judge a person, you can certainly judge an actual book by its cover.
Generally, less is more. Your cover design should convey your genre, general topic, and mood. Additionally, it helps to clearly focus on one subject. Avoid fancy fonts, and keep the author name smaller than the book title.
If you are a self-published author, templates and stock photos are useful, but hire a professional for more high-quality book cover design if you can.
Your cover design alone is a significant book marketing tool. Your book cover will pull in potential readers and clarify your brand. Effective cover design will draw readers to your synopsis and author page and boost your author cred.
Whether it’s a print book or ebook, your book cover must look professional and intriguing from every angle. This is true both in person and on screen, especially as a thumbnail. Get ideas from other book cover designs within your genre. Ask friends to judge the cover, or offer online polls before the book goes public.
With the right elements, a book signing is a great marketing tool and the perfect follow-up to your book launch party.
First, choose a venue. This can be a bookstore, or it could be a location related to your topic—one that will draw your niche audience. Then, approach someone at the venue to help you plan the event, design flyers, and build awareness. Don’t forget to take advantage of Facebook and Twitter.
A book signing increases book sales and promotes author recognition. Interacting with potential readers on a book tour or at a signing event connects you with your target audience in ways social media wouldn’t. Plus, you can gain new fans!
Most importantly, ensure your books will arrive on time, and have extra copies at your book signing. Display your book cover with the price and methods of payment. Post your mailing list and social media networks. And remember: it’s a signing event, so bring lots of pens!
Also, consider having something to give out, like bookmarks or business cards. Finally, include a smile and a positive attitude.
Adding paid advertisements to your book promotion strategy is easier than ever in the digital age.
Paid advertisements are a smart book marketing strategy, and their costs vary depending upon your chosen platform. For instance, you can purchase ads on book promotion sites, social media, Google, LinkedIn, Amazon, podcasts, blogs, or in print. Book marketing tools like BookBub or Amazon Advertising also offer authors professional help to reach more readers.
Identify your target audience, and learn which websites, stores, podcasts, and social media sites your potential reader would frequent. Place your ads there, and make sure that each one—whether it’s Amazon or Facebook—directs readers to the same professional landing page.
Online platforms offer so many opportunities to advertise nowadays, so why not take advantage? You’ll generate more sales, and your ad placement will build your author brand. If cost is an issue, you have some control over your spending by determining your CPS (cost per click) and adjusting your rate.
There’s no doubt that a strong book marketing plan will determine your success as an author. Whether you go it alone or hire a team of professionals, marketing your book will be challenging yet rewarding. Good things come to those who wait, and book sales come to those who market.
Still not sure how to get started? Find out how Elite Authors can help you with every step of the book marketing process. Providing expert advice and services, the team at Elite Authors will create the best book marketing plan for you. So dust off your manuscript, and get it out there!