People often ask me: what are the best book marketing strategies?
The best book marketing strategies help authors build a robust online presence, consistently reach a larger audience, and increase book sales.
So I want to discuss the top book marketing strategies every author should master!
And yes, I get it – that’s often easier said than done – but that’s why I dedicate so much time to this blog and our podcast!
Whether you’re a first-time author or a publishing industry veteran you still have to act strategically to reach your target audience. To keep you on track I’ve outlined the best book marketing strategies in easy-to-follow steps. By the end of this post, you’ll have a comprehensive strategy to boost your book’s exposure and maximize sales.
Step 1: Define Your Target Market
The first step in any book marketing strategy is to define your target market. Marketing without audience demographics is a waste of time and money.
Who are your ideal readers? What age group are they in? What are their interests? Are they tech-savvy? What other books do they read? Answering these questions will give you a better understanding of who your audience is and how to reach them.
Once you’ve identified your target market, you can begin to tailor your marketing efforts to appeal to them in really meaningful ways. For example, if your target readers are young adults, you’ll want to use different platforms and tactics than if you were targeting people 65+.
Step 2: Establish an Online Presence
The next step in your book marketing strategy is to establish an online presence.
This means setting up a website, creating social media accounts, and optimizing your content for search engines.
Your website should be the hub of all your book marketing efforts. The design should be attractive, easy to navigate, and include information about your book, including a synopsis, reviews, and a call to action. You also want to make sure your website is set up for mobile too. This is particularly important for visibility on Google because mobile is no longer an option and you’ll never come up in search if your website isn’t set up for mobile.
Finally, you’ll want to optimize your website and content for search engines. This will help your book show up in searches and lead potential readers to your site.
When it comes to social media accounts, less is more. You don’t need to be everywhere, just everywhere that matters. How do you decide where to be? Knowing your audience will go a long way to helping you determine this, but you may also want to follow similar authors. When you do this, you’ll start seeing trends in terms of social media accounts that seem to align with your readers.
Step 3: Building a Fan Base with Email Marketing
Email marketing is another effective book marketing strategy because it involves building an email list of subscribers who are interested in your books.
Authors can use email marketing to promote new releases, share author interviews, and offer exclusive content to subscribers. To build an email list you can use lead magnets such as free book chapters or exclusive content. Sending regular newsletters to subscribers will keep them engaged and encourage them to purchase books and leave reviews when they’re done reading.
Step 4: Get More Book Reviews
Book reviews are critical for book marketing because they help authors build social proof, increase book sales, and gain credibility in the book industry.
Authors can get book reviews by reaching out to book bloggers, Bookstagrammers, influencers, and of course, everyday readers.
Goodreads is also an excellent platform for getting book reviews. Encouraging readers to leave reviews on Amazon and other online bookstores will also help increase book sales because positive reviews help convince other shoppers to buy.
Step 5: Reach out to Book Groups
Book groups are made up of readers who meet regularly to discuss books. They can be traditional book clubs, online clubs, and increasing in popularity are social media groups and pages for genre fans. They are an excellent way for authors to connect with readers, gain exposure, and promote their books.
Authors can find book groups by searching online or reaching out to local libraries and bookstores.
Offering book club discussion guides and author Q&A opportunities on your website will also help make your book more appealing to book groups!
Step 4: Leverage Influencer Marketing
This one will take you a bit more time, but if you can get an influencer to mention your book, it could mean a big surge in book sales. But keep in mind that “influencer” is relative, they don’t have to be a mega-celebrity, it could be someone more specific to your reader market. If you wrote a romance novel, maybe it’s a bestselling romance author. If you wrote a book for HR professionals, or a book on home project DIY – your “influencer” is going to look different.
The goal is to see if the influencer will mention your book to their followers or share it in some other way, like a post, perhaps their newsletter if they have one, on their website, or maybe you can get a blurb or endorsement from them to use on your website or Amazon retail page.
Keep in mind that big influencers, so major recognizable names, are often costly endeavors. So if you’re going to do influencer outreach, be smart about who you really need to target.
Step 6: Run Amazon Advertising
While I know that social media advertising is popular, I love Amazon ads for one major reason: the Amazon site is about buying stuff, whereas social media is very distracting and you have to get someone from a social media platform to your Amazon book page, so your “offer” has to really entice a click, which is hard.
If Amazon ads seem daunting and expensive, it doesn’t have to be. You can set a monthly budget that you feel comfortable with. If you can’t seem to figure out to run ads on your own, reach out to me for help! Our Amazon programs are the best in the industry.
Step 7: Connect with Your Readers
This isn’t meant to be a duplicate from Step 3, but they are related.
Goodreads did a study a few years ago and discovered that the #1 thing that readers want to do when they get to the end of a book is to connect with the author. And you can do this in a variety of ways: with a dynamic website that gives readers a more personal look at who you are as a person, hosting Q&A sessions or live videos on social media, running regular contests and giveaways to surprise them, and responding to comments and reviews.
Goodreads is another great place to connect with readers. It’s owned by Amazon and they’re doing a lot of cross-promotion beta testing lately. Make sure your author profile is optimized and you’ve joined groups – but also be a reader and a genre fan. Don’t show up just to sell your books, show up to add something positive and make the experience even better for others!
Step 8: Participate in Events
Whether these are book signings, book fairs, or local small business events, they’re a great way to meet readers face to face and increase visibility for your book.
Yes, aim to book events for yourself, but don’t underestimate how much you can get out of showing up to other events in your area as well. Show up to events at libraries, trivia nights at pubs, community events and markets, etc. People love meeting an author, so you can make a lot of headway with your local promotion simply by getting out there and introducing yourself (with a few business cards handy of course!).
Believe it or not, the best book marketing options for authors usually aren’t flashy.
Over the years I’ve seen lots of “next level” ideas like buying theatre ad space before a movie, or buying a billboard on a busy highway. You name it, I’ve seen it.
But the best book marketing still comes down to a set of simple, core steps that, if overlooked, will make it harder to get your book noticed.
By following these steps, and creating a solid foundation, you’ll be able to effectively and creatively market your book and maximize sales.
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