Although vaccines are on the way, book marketing and promotion will be affected by the coronavirus for quite some time. Today’s post is a recap of “The Best Book Marketing Ideas for Book Marketing During a Pandemic,” a recent episode on our Book Marketing Tips & Author Success podcast.
We go deep in our discussion about this timely topic for authors trying to figure out how to write, market, and promote a book during a pandemic, so be sure to download and listen to the show for all the details, recommendations, and considerations!
Publishing and the Pandemic
Whether we like it or not, the pandemic has changed everything about the way we live. And those seismic changes have created both loss and opportunity. Nine months in, what does this mean for publishing?
We will likely see an explosion of indie titles since corporate publishers are really still finding their way – most mainstream publishers know only the standard book marketing and promotion tactics: bookstores, book events, etc. A lot of that formula is pre-pandemic based.
As for the books coming on the market, we’re seeing a lot having to do with Covid-19 – everything from children’s books to novelty books to new editions of existing books with added Covid-19 content.
With so many titles on the market, authors will need to be careful when taking on Covid-19 as a main topic. If they want to be successful, their new work should be super unique and forward-thinking.
All of their book marketing and promotion should focus on what sets them apart. This is always true, but you can see how it is especially true during a time when people may have more inclination to comparison shop.
We’ve also seen an uptick in religious and inspirational titles, and a lot of armchair experts coming out with self-help titles as well. Anyone publishing in this arena needs to really have their game face on and be prepared to prove their book is something unique and different.
Because let’s be honest, people shopping for titles like this often have many books on these topics already on their shelves – so they’re discerning.
And on that same note, we’re seeing a surge in how to be successful in business with less traditional approaches. Any author saying they know the best way to do something in these areas will need to bring their A-game.
Pandemic Book Marketing and Promotion
With more folks staying home – potentially through mid-2021 – we’ll see fewer author in-person events with fewer people in attendance at the ones that do remain scheduled.
Live-streaming events will most likely increase, so get yourself a ring light for your laptop and figure out how to be camera-ready.
So many brands and truly successful authors have realized how much more important their online persona is. Saying, “I hate social media, and I don’t want to blog and don’t even suggest I do video because I’m too busy,” is going to take you out of the book marketing and promotion game.
It also makes you sound out of touch, and that’s the last thing you want if you also want to be a successful author. Bonus content, special branding elements, and creating a “world” for your readers are becoming more of a standard.
The hidden gem of this is that incorporating these elements by ramping up your website and newsletter and developing a Super Fans program can make you actually less dependent on Amazon for success.
Because of the high demand for Amazon’s services, they began prioritizing shipments of physical goods. So smart book marketing and promotion might include offering free shipping on print copies of your books when readers purchase from your website OR a great eBook discount on Amazon.
In general, a lot of people have a renewed sense of buying local, buying small, operating with “less” and overall being more thoughtful in their consumerism so this is a really fantastic opportunity for authors to put a lot of emphasis on the sales angle of their book making a great gift if they fit into those categories.
This sense of people actively using their dollars and their voices extends to online conversations. More than ever before, people are emboldened to share their thoughts and opinions online.
This means there is no room for error when it comes to editing and book covers that don’t meet a certain industry/genre standard. Independent publishing has been around for too long for authors to cut corners, pretending these things don’t matter, or to take the stance that they’re above needing outside help.
One thing the pandemic hasn’t changed is that successful authors know that it takes a (virtual) village to launch a book toward bestseller status.
For more tips and information on publishing, marketing, and promoting your book during a pandemic, don’t forget to give the full episode (“The Best Book Marketing Ideas for Book Marketing During a Pandemic”) a listen.
If you need some help navigating our new normal, we’re happy to be part of your book marketing and promotion village. Don’t hesitate to reach out!