Whether you’re publishing an e-book, print book, or both, expect competition for readers’ shelf space (and Kindle space) to be fierce. Marketing your book is critical, especially if you want to reach a global audience. And if you’re wondering how to market your book globally, look no further!
Just because you’re a skilled author doesn’t mean you’re an expert marketer. Traditionally published authors often (but don’t always) get marketing help from their publishers. Yet today, many authors choose to publish independently. According to Bowker, self-publishing grew at a rate of 40 percent in 2018. As this trend keeps growing, self-published authors need to take more steps to boost their books’ visibility. For many, that means knowing how to market books globally.
You’ll find one of the most effective tools for marketing your book right at your fingertips: social media. According to data from HootSuite, 65 percent of the world’s eligible population uses social. In fact, about 12 new users join social media sites every second! Thus, social media platforms can help you market your book to readers just about anywhere around the globe.
In terms of how to market your book globally, social media platforms are critical. Here’s how they can help:
That said, social media advertising can be costly, and preparation is key. Rather than target an entire region, you’ll want to limit your advertising to subsets of readers in that region. Like New Zealanders who follow other authors in your genre.
Choosing the most impactful social media platforms for your goals involves several factors:
It’s helpful to know, for instance, that social media users in South America prefer WhatsApp, Facebook, and YouTube. In China, people overwhelmingly use WeChat. And according to Statcounter, less than 2 percent of folks in India use Twitter; Facebook is far more popular.
Also note which social media platforms top authors in your genre rely on. And check out which tend to be most popular among readers in your target markets. For example, Goodreads may be an excellent spot to advertise your new e-book to an English-speaking audience. (Goodreads for Kindle is currently available in the United States, Canada, and Australia.) This platform is also great if you’re an indie author hoping to gain exposure and good reviews. But if you’re trying to reach readers who speak languages other than English, Goodreads is not the ideal platform for book promotion.
Optimize your author website for a global audience to help readers access your content. If possible, build language-specific or country-specific sites. Use domain extensions for each country, such as .co, .uk, and .nz. You can also buy country-specific domain extensions and redirect them to your main site.
Not quite ready to go to those lengths? One option is to add Google Translate to your site. Sure, it doesn’t always provide the perfect translation, but readers around the globe will still enjoy improved access to your author website.
It may not be much of a challenge to find local media outlets or influencers to review your book. But gaining publicity from global book reviewers is another matter. In addition, strategies range from working with an international public relations firm to locating advance readers willing to review your book online in exchange for a free copy.
Globalization has made it is easier than ever to connect with people from all over the world. That includes avid readers and influencers willing to review your book. You just have to find them! For example, look for top book reviewers on Twitter or Facebook groups where book reviewers congregate. Offering a free copy of your book in exchange for an unbiased review may win you a few takers.
In addition, you can pitch to popular book bloggers in your target countries. Here’s a great list of book bloggers around the world. Take some time to put together a query letter with a brief summary of your book and why the blogger’s readers are sure to love it. Not everyone you reach out to will say yes, but querying enough bloggers should earn you some buzz.
Global book reviews reach readers in your target countries. After all, British or Canadian readers may not stumble on an American book blogger’s rave write-up of your latest thriller. They certainly won’t see your local newspaper’s review. If you want to reach these readers, you’ll need to locate influencers with feet on the ground in the United Kingdom and Canada—or wherever else you want your book to find an audience.
Furthermore, having locals review your book also brings you more credibility in those regions. And you can feature positive reviews on your author website and social media. You can even excerpt reviews on your book cover or the first few pages of your e-book.
When evaluating global book reviewers, consider the following:
Want to get your novel, memoir, or how-to guide into bookstores around the world? Traditionally published authors can often rely on help from a publishing company. For self-published authors, selling your title to indie bookstores in other countries can be more of a logistical challenge. Here’s how to get started.
While most chain retailers buy books from wholesalers, indie bookstores often buy straight from authors and publishing houses. Theoretically, you could sell your books to independent bookstores around the globe.
Of course, the easiest way for self-published authors to bring their books to the world is through digital platforms like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). If you want to move beyond e-books, print-on-demand (POD) services offer a way for authors to print a few books at a time. You can then query independent book stores, keeping a few key steps in mind:
That said, self-published authors often struggle to handle global book distribution on their own. Selling your books via a distribution partner like IngramSpark tends to be easier and more cost effective.
If you’re a traditionally published author, your publishing house will serve as your distribution partner. Publishers typically handle global distribution on behalf of authors, ensuring their books reach retailers around the world. Easy as pie!
If you’re a self-published author, you have a few more choices to make. Some opt to print and distribute their books independently. Others work with self-publishing services like KDP and IngramSpark. If you choose this route, retailers, independent bookstores, and libraries can order physical copies of your book directly from the self-publishing platform.
Distribution partners help ensure your book reaches stores around the world as efficiently as possible. For instance, IngramSpark offers in-country book printing at its own or partner printing facilities. This makes fulfillment more cost effective, since your book can be printed and shipped in the same country where the retailer ordered it.
Ready to prep your book for digital publishing or POD publishing? We can help with book formatting.
Marketing your book globally calls for a targeted strategy. These tips will help you carry off your marketing plan without a hitch:
For traditional authors, publishing companies usually handle global marketing. But just because you’re a self-published author doesn’t mean you have to plan a global marketing strategy on your own. The marketplace abounds with consultants and editorial services companies—like Elite Authors—that can help you learn how to market your book globally.
Of course, self-published authors need to finance their own marketing services. But if you’re interested in earning money as a self-published author, you probably know that marketing is essential to making a return on the investment of time and effort you already put into your book.
Start marketing your book as soon as you know the release date. By building excitement around your book launch, you’ll garner attention from readers and hopefully convince them to preorder copies.
Of course, you should start planning much sooner than that. A global content marketing strategy includes outreach to influencers, bloggers, and reviewers. Identifying the key players in unfamiliar markets requires a lot of research, so be sure to leave yourself ample time.
Planning how to market your book globally after publication can be complex. But the basics are roughly the same whether you hope to boost book sales in your hometown or around the world:
Some authors have the marketing savvy needed to promote a book on a global scale. But if that’s not your cup of tea, Elite Authors can help. We have extensive publishing industry experience working directly with companies like Amazon’s CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing, and many traditional publishing companies. We know what it takes to prepare your book for publication and get it into readers’ hands—no matter what corner of the globe they call home.
Ready to learn more about how to market your book globally? Drop us a line, and check out our wide array of publishing services.