Publishing a book is no small feat, but once you’ve finished your masterpiece, now comes the hard part: marketing it to get noticed by readers. Thankfully, there are plenty of book marketing services that can help you reach your target audience and make your book stand out from the crowd.
#1 Evaluate Your Needs, Goals and Budget
Before you start looking at book marketing services, it’s important to evaluate your needs and set your goals for success. Think about what kind of services you need, how much time and money you can commit to the project and what results you’re expecting. Knowing this in advance will save you a lot of time and help you find the best services to meet your requirements.
#2 Research Book Marketing Services Companies
After you’ve identified your marketing requirements and expectations, the next step is to research book marketing service companies. Start by looking at those that specialize in working with authors and publishers. Look at the services they offer, their fees and customer reviews. If a book marketer offers any type of guarantee or ensures a certain level of engagement, it might be worth considering. But here’s a tip: Be cautious about such guarantees. What are they? What does it mean, specifically.
I’ve had authors come to me discouraged with other book marketing services because their “guarantees” had little to no impact on the visibility for their book. For example, if a company says “We’ll get your book out to 30,000 accounts on Twitter!” In my mind, this would prompt some questions like: What kind of accounts? How will you do this? Will these people actually care about my book?
It’s good to know these specifics going in, before you commit because guarantees need to be specific for them to actually have any value.
#3 Verify Their Reputation
Before you make the final decision on a book marketing service, verify their reputation and find out what other authors or publishers have to say about them. Check customer reviews and look for any feedback to see if the services they provide match their promise. You can also check with industry experts and other authoritative sources to get unbiased opinions. It’s important to know what kind of experiences others have had so that you can make an informed decision.
#4 Consider Their Specialties
Before you make your final decision on a book marketing service, it’s important to consider their specialties and see if they align with your goals. Some services specialize in different types of books such as fiction or non-fiction while others focus on particular genres like romance or business books. Knowing what kind of books they have experience working with is essential in selecting the right book marketing service for your needs. Also, find out how they work. While some book publicists have a monthly retainer, others don’t operate that way – we have never had monthly retainers mostly because it hasn’t made sense for our authors. So be clear on what they charge, how they charge and what’s included.
#5 Read the Contracts
I’m a big fan of this – and I’m always amazed at how many authors sign with services and never read the contracts. I get it, reading a contract isn’t fun. I mean when was the last time you read the terms of service for an iPhone? If you’re like most people, you probably never have. But contracts for book marketing services are different. If there are guarantees get that in writing, make sure they are specific. If there is a list of deliverables, make sure that list is in the contract or proposal – whatever document you’re signing should have all of the details of what they’re providing.
#6 Secure Long-Term Support Services
When you choose a book marketing service, make sure to ask them about the other types of support they can provide beyond just helping with initial promotions. This includes things like getting more Influencers to share your book, doing Amazon optimization, continuing with Amazon ads, running promotions on Goodreads or BookBub, you get the idea.
Once you find a company you like, you’ll probably want to stick with them and that’s great. Book marketing services vary widely so be prepared to spend some time on the phone with folks, ask smart questions and bottom line: get it all in writing.
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