HOW TO MARKET YOUR BOOK!
What is Book Marketing?
Book marketing creates awareness for a specific book among booksellers and consumers. The goal of marketing, of course, is to generate book sales. In general, the function of a book marketing department in a traditional publishing house is to help the various sales departments get your book in front of bookstore buyers, book distributors, and other channels, to make sure your book is available and (ideally) displayed and promoted through them to the consumer public. Book marketers also generally oversee online consumer promotion (in some houses this falls to the publicity department).
How To Do Book Marketing?
- Decide who will read your book – find your community: Focus on who really will read your book. Segment that audience as specifically as you can. If your book is about careers after college, you might target college seniors. The point is to figure out who actually will read your book.
- Figure out what your community does – connect with those activities: Next, you want to see what those people do, where they do it, what they read, how they read it, what their biggest celebrations are, and so on. How can you connect with them? It’s time to get creative and figure out how you can hitch your book wagon to their particular star. The idea is to meet your community where it lives and reads.
- Talk it up, and talk it up some more – don’t be shy: Once you’ve figured out how you’re going to connect to your community, then start getting the word out.
- Create a sense of urgency – start a drive: Scarcity and competition add urgency to book buying, and that can help you create some momentum around your book.
- Keep the buzz going – find new reasons and angles to promote your book: There’s a natural tendency for books to generate the most interest just before and at publication. Interest then wanes in a curve as the weeks and months tick by. How can you keep your book relevant and fresh in the eyes of your particular community?
- Establish your web presence- There’s no getting around it: the world is digital. To have any kind of visibility, you’re going to need a solid internet presence by building your author website, setting up a mailing list, creating a reader magnet, and other ways.
- Learn the secrets of Amazon: Amazon is a kingpin in the publishing world. Even if you decide to ‘sell wide’ and build up your presence across multiple retailers, you’ll still be making most of your sales through Amazon. Learn how to use it well and climb the ranks to the right level of visibility, and Amazon will even take over part of your marketing efforts for you (for free!) by automatically suggesting your books to readers in your genre.
How to Market a Book Online?
In today’s digital era, it is important to market your book online for a wider reach. Let’s take a look at proven marketing tips that have helped authors increase sales online.
- Build a website: If you want to connect with potential readers and sell books online, it’s important to have a dedicated website to spread the word, while also building an email list for email campaigns. Understand that you will start with zero traffic, but it will increase with consistent promotional efforts. Considering that consumers do the majority of their research online, a website is the first thing you should focus on. Give potential readers a place to quickly and easily find all the information they need. On your website, you always have complete control of what potential customers see.
- Be strategic and selective with social media: Social media will play a major role in terms of visibility and sentiment. Depending on the content of your book, try to figure out which networks are the ones in which your audience chooses to hang out, and start there. For instance, if your book is catered to business professionals, LinkedIn may be best, followed by Facebook and possibly Twitter depending on the industry. If you created a graphic novel or any other type of book that is very visual, you may want to start with one of the more visual platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest. Besides, find groups that are relevant to your topic, join them and engage in authentic conversations, without promoting your book. Allow natural connections to be made – it’s important to share your knowledge and build your reputation as an expert on your topic. It is advised all novice authors get their digital bases covered to properly market their book(s) online.
- Capitalize on all Amazon offers And pursue reviews: If you’re selling on Amazon, be sure to take advantage of every space and feature they offer to increase your chances of being discovered. Be smart with keywords and key phrases in your description. If you want Amazon to recommend your book(s) to others, it’s crucial to get good reviews from your early customers. A decent number of genuine reviews under any book add credibility. Don’t be afraid to ask readers who purchased your book to help out by leaving a review. In most cases, they will happily oblige. Readers love helping authors they appreciate.
- Experiment with email promotions and online advertising: Many approaches can be taken for email promotions. These include the likes of MailChimp campaigns, to partnerships with book promotion sites that send emails to their subscriber lists. Online advertising campaigns consist of everything from paid social media promotions to Google ads, and Amazon ads. If you’re not already familiar with this territory, you may want to consult with a professional, as the simplest mistakes can get costly, and there’s a lot of research and experimentation that would need to take place on an ongoing basis.
- Generously give, to receive: As an author looking to sell your book online, offering value to your prospective audience well before your book launch, to naturally get their support upon launch.
- Capitalize on the flywheel effect: The flywheel effect refers to factors setting wheels in motion and building momentum. This is an ideal scenario when it comes to marketing your book. “Truth be told, nobody cares about you or your book. They care about the value they can get out of your book.
How to Create a Book Marketing Plan?
- Define Your Goals: Since every author and book is different, defining goals will shape a book marketing plan. Establish what your goals are:
- To sell books?
- Develop your author brand?
- Use the book as a marketing tool?
- All or some of the above?
- Know Your Audience: Marketing is really about knowing your audience – Like the book marketing plan itself, identifying the audience has several steps and requires serious research.
- Add Some Marketing Plan Elements: Whether you self-promote or seek professional help, consider the time, money, and energy necessary to promote a book fully. Determine the publishing route (self-publishing, traditional, hybrid) and format (eBook, print, print on demand, or a combination). Creating a website is imperative in every book marketing plan. Writing a blog is central to branding and outreach. Not only should you create and keep your blog current, but you should also seek out blogs with similar target audiences and solicit opportunities to guest blog. Creating platforms on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube can help you communicate with your target audience. You can form relationships that can potentially be turned into book readers and buyers. Also, podcasts have become very easy to create and distribute.
- Determine the Best Media Targets: Publicity and book marketing is defined as using the media as a conduit to spread the word about a book to the general public and/or specific target market. Just like reader audiences, no book is right for every type of media. Carefully determine the right media targets.Marketing a business book, for example, has clear target outlets – business publications and, more importantly, vertical market outlets that cater to the topic of the book.
- Work Your Plan: Once your book is released, all of these elements should ideally be running on all cylinders. Creating an effective book marketing plan and then executing it are major commitments. Ultimately, the author must have a high level of commitment as the book’s success will depend on their level of involvement in each stage of the process.
What are the Advantages of Marketing Your Book?
Marketing helps your book become visible in the literary world. Marketing or publicizing your book helps you increase your sphere of influence. Therefore, there is a handsome chance that you’ll attain popularity on a global scale. To acquire a good readership, you have to market your book right. Marketing will help your book’s readership to drastically increase, thereby helping it to reach great heights. Marketing guarantees a plausible success rate in luring prospective readers to your book. A book however good it is can be successful only when it has enough readers who appreciate it. Marketing is that important tool that helps your work reach the audience and thereby help your work gain prominence and reach out to people.
How Much Does Book Marketing Cost?
Once you’ve self-published a book, you usually have to market it to get the word out — but that doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive! Most authors spend between $50 and $200 on their marketing campaigns which is a pretty reasonable range for first-timers. You can also hire a marketing professional to do all this for you if you’d prefer to focus on writing, which will cost around $1,000. However, keep in mind that such marketing experts often pay for themselves, as they maximize your ROI and book sales.
Some low-cost marketing tactics include:
- Market through your blog and mailing list: The costs are more variable here, depending on your platforms, but we’ll give you some ballpark lower-end numbers. Cost: $50/year for a website on Squarespace or Wix, $9.99/month for a Mailchimp subscription.
- Facebook advertising: You can run targeted ads on Facebook to people who have indicated an interest in your subject matter. Be warned, however, that the expenses can rack up. Cost: at least $5/day.
- Other third-party promotions: Contact book review blogs and promotional services to get other people to spread the word! Book review blogs take free submissions, but most book promotion websites involve some sort of fee. Cost: $0 for a review, $5-$50 for a promotional listing.
How to Market Your Book for Free?
Here are 6 ways to promote your book, even if you have no funds:
- Guest blog posts: They can be a great way to bring a bit of attention to yourself and your work. The secret, however, is to write posts for blogs aimed at readers of your kind of book. And don’t forget to put a short bio (one or two sentences) at the bottom of the post, to point people to your work.
- Blog & Podcast Interviews: Some bloggers, and nearly all podcasters, are actively looking for authors to interview. Again, search to find content producers in your genre, and reach out via their websites or other contact methods. It helps to make a good pitch, and the secret to this is to tell the content producer what makes you a good interview.
- Create a YouTube Channel: Like podcasting, video is increasingly popular and covers every topic you can think of. Create a YouTube channel where you can talk about your work, read samples, interview other authors, answer reader/viewer questions, and anything else you come up with.
- Join reader groups on Facebook (and elsewhere): It’s much better, and more effective, if you join a group as a participant, and take the time to establish yourself. Join in the discussion, and become engaged with the group as a fellow fan. Once people know and trust you, that’s when you can organically interject that you’re a writer. The point is, be an active member of the group, not just a lurking advertiser. Promotion can come across as scummy if it’s overdone. Be a good group member, join the discussions, contribute to the community, and the community will be much happier about supporting you.
- Use Your Mailing List: If you don’t have a mailing list, start one, and start offering something to get people to sign up. I recommend offering a short story in the universe of your book. Make that story exclusive, though. People can only get it if they sign up on your list. Treat your mailing list like distant friends that you’re keeping informed about your life and work. You can use Mailchimp to build a free list and upgrade to paid services later.
- Group Promotions: Get involved in group promotions. Again, you’ll usually come across these in Facebook author groups. The idea is to join forces with other authors of your genre, and agree to share each other’s work with your mutual mailing lists and social networks.
Marketing and selling a book is a long-distance run, not a sprint. Don’t focus on the finish line of the publication date – that’s only the beginning of your journey to make your book count. Hopefully, this article gave you some insight into book marketing.