With so many authors publishing books, there has been a surge in marketing advice either through articles on the internet or new services emerging. Proven book marketing strategies get drowned out when so many people are screaming. The result is confused and reluctant authors who know they need to market their book but are hesitant to move in any direction.
As authors, we understand what it takes to be successful. We know certain book marketing strategies work and need to be implemented for any author to be successful.
Besides your target audience, there are always other similar audiences that would appreciate and be interested in your book and overall message. For example, the Yoga instructor who writes a book on how yoga helps adults to lower stress levels wrote it with adults in mind. But we know that children and teens also benefit from yoga. So what was originally a target audience of adults now opens up to kids and those who support kids. (Educators, healthcare professionals, counselors). The market can expand to the special-needs community, therapists, kids’ yoga classes, etc. Always be looking for ways to grow the audience who might be interested in your book.
Once you have identified your target audiences, you need to creatively and consistently communicate with them. Use social media, email lists, blog articles, advertising, and other strategies to position yourself as a subject matter expert and keep your message in front of them.
Before you spend time and money on marketing strategies, make sure your book is visible and correctly set up online. Your cover should be clear and have the ‘look inside’ feature. Your description and bio need to be well-written giving the customer reasons to buy your book. Make sure the book categories are correct (especially the first BISAC code), and that you are taking advantage of Amazon browse categories. Make sure you are focusing on getting reviews for your book and that you have a process in place to continue this for the immediate future.
While you are writing, you should be accumulating names of people to reach out to who will read and write an honest review once your book launches. Don’t rely on friends and family. Open this up to alumni, work colleagues, beta-reading groups, and anyone else you can think of.
Once the book is edited and complete, you should begin submitting it for book reviews. Some review companies will only look at pre-published books and others who will only review books from traditional publishers. Make sure you review the requirements and follow the process. If these companies choose to review your book, you can add it to your online profile under editorial reviews. These editorial reviews can help validate your work and give customers peace of mind in making the purchase. Honest reviews can also provide helpful feedback and assist you in becoming a better writer.
Once the book is edited and complete, you should begin submitting it for book awards. Some companies charge for this service while others are free. Winning a prestigious award will help you sell more books. Be careful to review all of the companies offering book awards to make sure they are legitimate and worth investing your time and money.
The phrase “content is king” is valid for book marketing as well. Creating well-thought-out content, consistently, and through multiple channels, is the best way to be seen and position yourself properly. You can start with social media by creating a branded look for your platforms and posting diverse and thoughtful messages daily. You should create blog articles centric to your message and share them via social media. Videos are a great way to share content. Consider podcasts, radio shows, local media, writing articles, and other tools to push content out to your followers and potential followers.
Traditional book marketing strategies can include advertising, trade shows, local events, book fairs, magazine articles, book clubs, and others. Think of creative ways to get your book out to more people like bundling and selling your book with other authors. Go to your local library and offer a couple of complimentary copies. Approach a local book store and offer to do an author reading. Approach organizations (if appropriate) and see if you can promote your book or speak about your message. If you are always thinking about ways to promote your book, you will find ways to do it. This strategy should be an ongoing process and part of your overall strategy.
Authors who love to write will continue to do so. Like most things, the more you do it, the more accomplished you will become. Sometimes the fifth book is the one that takes off and shines a light back on your other work. With so many factors involved in creating a successful book, the best advice I can give is to continue to write and evolve your skills. The more books you have, the more successful you will be.
Book marketing is a long-term process that can begin during the writing phase but never really ends. Creating and implementing a solid foundation of proven book marketing strategies for your first book will ensure that others that follow take off much quicker.
No one magic strategy will bring you instant success. Work on every vetted and relevant marketing opportunity you come across. Don’t take shortcuts or jump at opportunities blindly. Don’t listen to everyone’s advice. Do your research and use common sense. Before you know it, you will be well on your way to becoming the best writer and promoter you can be.
Rick Lite of Stress Free Book Marketing, stands at the forefront of the ever-changing book industry. He is a seasoned book marketing professional with over 13 years of experience in the industry. Rick’s expertise comes from tirelessly working on new and innovative ways to market his own books and CDs with his company and parent company, Stress Free Kids. Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and growth, Rick works closely with authors to create custom, robust book marketing programs. His easy-going manner provides “stress-free” support and comfort to authors going through the book marketing process for the first time. Rick is quick to share his knowledge and “insider tips” for a successful marketing campaign that will lead to increased exposure, awareness and most importantly, sales.