Writing the book was the easy part! For most authors the marketing of the book is a task which seems to be surrounded in mystery, yes, we have all read the stories of how a little-known author self-published and went on to sell millions of copies world-wide, but for many new authors this seems like an impossible dream that is purely down to good luck.
But, as the old saying goes, ‘The harder I work, the luckier I get’, luck of course may play a small part in some author’s success, but their attitude and work ethic played a far larger part.
Taking ownership of your book’s publishing and marketing is the first step towards success, when you understand the impact and possibilities that every author can have upon their own work you can start to make things happen.
So, here is our list of things you should be considering doing when publishing & marketing your new book:
One – Know your reader – Not everyone will like or read your book, this is a hard pill to swallow for most authors, but it’s something that you need to get your head around quickly, if you try to target a broad audience you WILL end up reaching NONE of them, this is because you probably don’t have the budget of a large publishing house. Research your genre and get to know who your target audience is, with social media and niche forums this has become very easy to do.
Two – Plan a budget – Promoting a book can be done cheaply, but you may want to consider spending money on some advertising, this could be through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or another social media platform, you’ll also want to consider an author’s website which will normally require a monthly fee, work out what you’re able to afford monthly and as your sales grow you should project an increase in spending to further grown your writing business. You should also plan for the expenses of publishing, these will be for things such as editing, formatting, proofing, book cover design, promotional materials etc.
Three – Standards – Never cut corners on anything to do with your book, if you maintain high standards throughout it will show to your audience, as a result you’ll gain their trust and loyalty.
Four - Engage with others – Becoming involved on Social Media and through forums is a great way to increase your on-line presence, but there is a fine line between commenting/posting and spamming, be genuine and don’t view every interaction as a sales opportunity (most people get turned off very quickly by the hard and constant sale).
Five – Give something away – Building a mailing list upon your own website is another great way to make connections and create a following around your ‘brand’ as an author, but most people will only part with their email address in return for something of value, it could be the first few chapters of your up and coming book or a guide to something relevant for your audience, make if of value and give it away for free.
Six – Plan your posts – Social media only works if you use it, sounds obvious I know, but planning your posts can ensure you stick to a routine and get the most back from them, there are services that can do this for you of course, or you can just pick a time each day and do it yourself (doing it yourself can be more fun and you can end up learning a lot in the process too).
Seven – More free stuff – Give your eBook away for free and shout about it, you can run a five day event where your eBook is free to everyone on Amazon, this helps to increase its page ranking and enables you to get copies to friends and family easily (which you should then encourage them to review your book, again, this helps with your ranking). Before the eBook is free make sure you post on social media, your website and send out links to your mailing list.
Eight – Write a blog – Writing an interesting blog can create an audience of people who enjoy your writing and would go on to buy your books too, it’s also worth guest writing for other blogs, this exposes you to another audience and will help forge relationships with other authors/bloggers.
Nine – A quick teaser – Inserting the first chapter of your next book at the end of the one your just about to publish can encourage your reader to buy the next book.
Ten - A Series – Depending upon the type of book you’re writing having a series of books will always lead to further sales and greater loyalty, you can find that it increases sales of earlier books too.
Eleven – Book cover design – Having a great book cover will help in the sale of your book, we all judge a book by its cover (this is why advertising is so powerful) so ensuring that your book looks professional is so vital to its success.
Twelve – Your digital footprint – You may have a great book cover design but how does your website look? And how about your social media pages and posts? Every touch point that a reader has with you as an author should maintain the professionalism and high standards you’d expect from a best seller. Use banners and posts that tie in with your book and your ‘brand’ as an author, it’s also worth having separate social media pages for you as an author (as opposed to using your personal Facebook account etc.).
Thirteen – Podcast – It’s all about creating a loyal following and audience, Podcasting is a great and very personal way to connect with your readers, here you can talk on subjects that are relevant to your books and use in a very similar way to your blog, what works very well here is interviewing someone within the industry upon your Podcast.
Fifteen – Make it easy to buy – Have links upon your website, social media pages and blog to your book’s sales pages and make sure they work.
Sixteen – GIFs & Videos – Using GIFS and videos within your posts and website is a fantastic way to catch the eye of the reader, they’re more likely to read your post.
Seventeen – Countdown – Start to promote your book in advance and count down to it’s launch, this is easy to do online and as long as you don’t spam people it’s a great way to generate interest.
Eighteen – Pinterest – Create a Pinterest account and update it with images relevant to your genre and book, you can make visual stories and really capture the imagination of your reader.
Nineteen – Book signing – In a digital age book signing can get overlooked by some authors and it’s a shame, book signing is a truly fantastic way of interacting with an audience and something that you can use to promote your brand on line with too. Start by getting in touch with your local bookstores and asking about being able to do a book signing there, be polite and flexible to fit in with their schedule too. You will need to ensure that you have plenty of books to take with you, along with banners, posters, flyers, bookmarks, business cards and even post cards (the more promotional items you have the better). Once you have a date organized, promote like crazy both online and by putting up posters locally (where you’re legally allowed to).
Twenty – Stay focused – The most important aspect in promoting your book is YOU, your attitude and dedication to making your book a success is more important than anything else, if you believe and want it to be a success it will be.