Writing and publishing a book is a milestone in any author’s life. The process brings together creativity, emotions, and talent, all organized on paper and set between two covers. The final product yields something physical. Something tangible. Something you can hold, share, sell and pass down to future generations. Publishing a book is an emotional experience that a small percentage of people get to experience.
But what about marketing and promoting a book? Most authors realize that there are no guarantees when it comes to selling their book, but this doesn’t stop them from wanting the best results.
So how do you market a book without becoming disillusioned or frustrated when the process isn’t yielding the results you imagined? The quick answer is to set the right expectations and understand that promoting a book is a long-term process.
If you look at the bigger picture and set the right expectations, you will look past the small things and focus on the big picture.
“Marketing a book is like running a marathon. You need to have a plan, be properly funded, understand what’s involved, train vigorously, be tough mentally and pace yourself during the process.”
No one will love your book more than you- As the writer, you know what went into creating the book. You were the one that spent many months working with an editor and designer to present your readers with something you are proud of. Therefore, you need to be in charge of what happens after the book is published. Even if you don’t know how to promote it, you need to be leading the charge and responsible for hiring people who align with your vision for the book. As you are building your network of followers, you must be the one to engage with them to help promote your message and book. Readers want access to the author, so you need to be the voice behind the book.
Plan your work and work your plan- No campaign is perfect, but proper planning and execution are the cornerstones to success. Knowing the who, what, when, where, and why when marketing and promoting your book will lay out a roadmap leading to success. During this process, you should acquire a thorough understanding of the book industry. You will be challenged at different phases and might have to adjust your plan on the fly, but having and working a plan is so much better than not having one in the first place.
Surround yourself with the right people- Whether you are self-marketing or enlisting the help of professionals, surrounding yourself with positive and upbeat industry people at every turn will be beneficial in many ways. Learning from other authors, joining groups on social platforms, finding out about industry events, or just having the opportunity to ask questions, will give you the added knowledge to make the right decisions. You will learn how to filter out information and extract what you need to be successful.
Don’t get frustrated, get moving- If you have the ‘marathon’ mindset, you won’t get frustrated at the small stuff. You won’t let a rejection throw you off your game. You won’t give up on a strategy that didn’t work the way you had hoped it would. All of these ‘bumps in the road’ will motivate you to learn and keep moving forward. Use these learning opportunities as fuel for your marketing engine.
Avoid the herd mentality- If you ask most authors to list the top strategies involved in promoting their book a good majority of them would say: get the book on Amazon, get reviews, promote it on social media and try a giveaway or Amazon ads. And they wouldn’t be wrong, however, there are so many other strategies available that get overlooked. Some of these require creativity, effort and persistence. If you want your book to stand out, you need to think out of the box.
Bring your wallet- Most first-time authors don’t usually create a budget when they start writing, which sometimes leaves the marketing and promoting phase short on cash. While it is important to spend the money on professional editing, cover, and interior design, it’s as important to have the finances to hire a professional, run promotions and ads, and submit to reviews and awards. A proper book launch and marketing effort over the first year can cost $5,000. If you set up a budget before you start putting the book together, you can allocate the proper funds for each phase of the process.
Keep writing- Author’s experience success at different times in their writing career. It’s rare, (but not impossible) for you to reach the best sellers list with your debut novel. It might be your 4th book that grants you the recognition you were looking for in books 1-3. The silver lining here is that gaining recognition now will increase awareness and sales for your earlier titles and make the launch of future titles more successful. No effort is ever wasted on marketing and promoting books.
“The process of writing more books will create a nice distraction from the marketing work you are engaged in.”
As an agency, our goal with every client is to set the right expectations and then deliver the best service possible. It’s frustrating for us to see a book fall short of its goals, but many factors can contribute to this, one of which is not setting the right expectations.
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 15 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.