If you’re a writer and you’ve got a book that you’d like to self publish, you may be wondering how to market a book. To give themselves the best opportunity, successful self-publishing authors often consider marketing their book before they even begin to write it.
Wondering why this is? When you decide to write a book, there are several essential questions that you should ask which tie in with how to market a book.
- Who are the potential readers of your book?
- Why would they want to buy/read your book?
- What do you want to personally get from writing it?
These questions start to give your work direction and this impacts on the strategy you use for marketing the book. But, if you have already written the book, don’t worry, the process is the same. It will just take a little while before you start seeing the actual book sales.
These are some interesting points you should consider on How to Market a Book:
- Accept the fact that promoting your book is key if you want it to be successful. Even if you opt for someone else to do the marketing, somehow it is still your job to take action.
- Marketing your book is still part of the author’s role. Many people feel that writing a book and marketing a book are very separate tasks, but indeed they are strongly interrelated.
- Target your readers. Who are they? Learn to identify your potential readership. This is a very important step in marketing any book. If you can identify who will read your book, it will make selling your book a lot simpler.
- Decide upon a budget. How much have you set aside to market your book? In creating a budget, remember to think of all the costs from travelling to read your book at events to advertising online and offline.
- Consider having an author website. People will want to find out more about you and it will add to your credibility. Include a good biography and explain your reason for writing the book. Let website visitors and possible readers get to know who you are.
- Make sure you have a blog in your site. Blogging drives traffic to your website. You can talk about anything, and you don’t have to do it every day. A blog helps your SEO/SERPS and it helps you position your author brand. More importantly, they allow you to connect with your audience.
- Develop your email marketing list. Building your email list is very important so you can get people back to your site on a continual basis.
- Make finding and purchasing your book easy. Publish it in every format you can and have it sold everywhere you can.
- Share more information about your book on social media. Don’t just advertise there, engage in debates! Share funny stuff, quotes, and interesting images!
- Get a picture of you taken and publish it in your website. This is in order to connect with your readers. People want to know who is the person behind the book.
- Write a press release. A great release isn’t just information, it tells a great story. Great stories are newsworthy and newsworthy stories are more likely to get published.
- Write guest blogs. Guest Blogging drives traffic to your site, and helps you build your author brand. Guest blogging gives you more exposure and improve your social media profile.
- Consider writing a series of books. The first will sell the second and so on. People will want the next. They will trust your work. Think about movie sequels. The first movie buys credibility for the second. Half the work is done already.
- Add a link to your book, or your blog in your email signature. Now every email you send becomes a tiny advertisement for your book.
- Choose a cover design that is most likely to sell books. It needs to attract attention and interest. Include a professional book design in your budget. Make sure that when the cover design is reduced to a thumbnail image, it’s still clear.
- Include your contact details at the end of the book – let people reach out to you.
- Develop urgency in your potential readers. Use offers and discounts that are time limited.
- Even when you start writing another book, you should keep on promoting the first one. Try to not stop to avoid a slowdown in sales.
- Attend book signings and schools, hold workshops, go to libraries and “Meet Up” groups.
- Help other people and promote their work. You will build a good support network of peers for your current, and future projects.
- Offering ‘Freebies’ helps. It is controversial to give away your work for free, but sometimes free can mean an increment in sales in the end. Freebies include a free chapter of your book, signed copies of your work and any other giveaway. You can offer free stuff and build your email list too.
- If your readership is largely female, then consider promoting your book on Pinterest. This social network is fun, and it has millions of users. Statistically Pinterest is used mostly by women looking for ideas, inspiration and with a strong desire of buying.
- Offer ‘merchandise’ on your website. Your fans can promote your work offline this way.
- Consider using Slideshare. Embed a presentation on your site (or others can embed it on their site), you can embed YouTube videos (book trailers for example) into your Slideshare slides. Don’t forget to include links so viewers can visit your author website.
If you have already started promoting your book, what are the things that have worked the best for you? What strategies did not work? If you have any comment or input on the matter feel free to comment!