Writing a book is an enormous accomplishment and can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a person’s life. However, it is also a fact that getting your book in the hands of readers is one of the most challenging tasks that you’ll ever face as an author.
Whether you are an experienced author or a new one, you need to be creative and proactive to get your book out there. Here are some creative ways to market your book and make sure that it reaches its intended audience.
1. Develop a Comprehensive Marketing Plan
I get it, this is easier said than done. But creating a plan is important, even if you just start out with a basic one!
Before you even begin to think about how to market your book, it is important to sit down and develop a marketing plan. This plan should include specific strategies you want to implement (or hire someone to do this for you!) and your book marketing plan should also include goals and objectives as well as reasonable milestones.
You should also plan out your budget, so you know exactly how much money you can spend on marketing.
2. Start Networking
Networking is one of the most important aspects of marketing a book. Start by finding people who have an interest in the same topics that your book covers. You can do this by joining online forums, attending book fairs and conferences, following similar authors online, or even joining writing groups. Once you’ve made some contacts, start building relationships with them. Networking is great for a variety of reasons. First off I love collaborative marketing with authors who share your genre, but it’s also great to create a list of folks who can be a sounding board for your ideas around book marketing, as well as do some outreach to get endorsements and reviews.
3. Utilize Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for authors and can be used to reach a large audience. But don’t overdo it. Start with one site and build that up. Whether you’re on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or TikTok, start an account that’s specifically dedicated to your book, and use it to post updates and interact with readers. You can also use these platforms to showcase your book’s cover and create interesting visuals about it.
4. Pitch Bloggers and Influencers
Getting people to talk about your book is a great way to sell more books and reaching bloggers and influencers who are interested in your particular genre is a fabulous addition to your book marketing. Here’s a tip: Start networking with influencers, Bookstagrammers, and bloggers early. Follow them on social, comment on their blog posts – network with them ahead of your book launch so that when you pitch them, you aren’t starting from zero!
5. Create an Author Website
Bottom line: Every author needs a website, but don’t overthink your website. If you’re just starting out having a basic website is totally fine, save the bells and whistles for later. A website is a great way to promote your book and to provide potential readers with information about it. On your website, you should include information about your book, excerpts, reviews, and purchase links. You can also use your website to keep readers updated on promotions and upcoming events via your blog and mailing list!
6. Develop an Email List
Developing an email list is one of the most effective ways to market your book. Start by creating an opt-in form on your website or blog, so that you can collect the contact information of potential readers. You can then use this list to let readers know about upcoming promotions, events, and new books that you’re releasing.
7. Author Events
Author events are a great way to promote your book and to interact with potential readers. Whether it’s book signings, workshops, readings, or other events like local craft fairs, trade shows, etc. it’s a great way to get your book out there! You can also use these events to build relationships with bookstores, libraries, and other venues that may be interested in stocking your book.
8. Run Promotions
I talk a lot about running discounted eBook promotion (because they’re the easiest to get started with) but running other types of promotions is another great way to get your book out there and to build an audience. You can do a BOGO (buy one, get one or buy one, give one), or you could do a print book giveaway or work with a few authors you’ve been networking with to do a giveaway that consists of several books. I knew an author that did this and put them all in a branded tote bag and readers loved it! These promotions are also a great way to get reviews, as well as to increase word-of-mouth marketing.
9. Harness the Power of Publicity
Publicity is a great way to get your book in front of a larger audience but first, consider your audience. When authors think of publicity they often think of big morning shows, or daytime talk shows and while these are great, that may not be the right target for you. If you’re starting out, or are building your platform, consider local media – which we did a podcast on recently and it can be a goldmine for authors.
Also, online media is another great publicity target, as are magazines both print and digital, too.
10. Be Strategic with Advertising
Advertising can be a great way to get your book out there but it can also be a great way to run through your entire marketing budget, so be careful. A lot of times authors think that running ads replaces a solid marketing plan and it does not. Make sure that you understand who your target audience is and that you have a clear plan for how to reach them. I’m a huge fan of Amazon ads, mostly because people on the Amazon site are ready to buy, whereas on social media you have to get them to click your ad and leave the site, which isn’t always an easy thing to do!
Marketing a book can be a daunting task, but with the right strategies, you can make sure that your book reaches its intended audience. Start by creating a marketing plan, and then use the strategies outlined above to get your book out there. With a bit of hard work and creativity, you can successfully market your book and put it in the hands of potential readers.
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