You’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into your book. You may have even submitted it to hundreds of publishers and received all of those rejections that are so common to authors. Even J.K Rowling received over 200 rejections before a publisher took a chance. You have finally come to realize that you need to self-publish and face that one really fearful task – marketing your book. After all, you are a writer, not a marketer. You’re going to have to learn how to do this,
So, How to Promote Your Book
Your book is a product, just like furniture, clothing, cookware, and toys. It makes sense, then, that the principles used to promote and market those products might be relevant for you to promote your book too. And some of them certainly are. There may also be some unique promotional tactics for your book, just as there are for other products, as well. Here are 10 tactics/strategies that you should consider if you want to get that book “out there” and generating purchases.
- Get a Website and a Blog
If you do not yet have a website dedicated to you as an author, get one now. You may not have a lot of content to put there, but get it started. There are plenty of tools to create a website quickly and simply – you do not need to be a design or development expert. Have a home page that features you as an author, your background and your genre of writing. Make yourself fascinating, personable, and totally reachable.
Start a blog on that site and make it about all things related to the genre of literature you write; to writing in general. Write about the difficulties everyone who writes has, from college students begging, “someone write my essays,” to actors and politicians who need ghost writers for their memoirs.
On your blog, promote your book only periodically. But have a page of your website dedicated to it. Provide “teaser” excerpts that will engage and intrigue a reader.
Will people flock to your website? No, of course not. But you can promote your website elsewhere and, in so doing, indirectly promote your book.
- Identify Your Target Audience
When you wrote your book, you had a pretty good idea of who it would be popular with. To refine that audience further, here is a good place to begin. What authors write similar material? Get on their social media sites and research. Who are their followers? On what social media sites do they have the largest following? Join in conversations on those sites. Do the same thing on those authors’ blogs.
Once you have identified the audience and where they hang out online, set up accounts on those social media sites too. Pick only one or two at first – they will keep you plenty busy, just maintaining them, for you will need to post daily. Make your posts humorous and entertaining, or educational if your book is of a serious nature.
- Check Out Book Promotion Services
There are loads of these online. Probably the most popular is Kindle Book Promotion. Most operate in much the same way. You will submit your book and it will be reviewed by the site administrators. If it is selected for their program, you will then be asked to choose a promotion program, based upon your goals. These are fee-based programs, but the goal is to get your book in the hands or readers who typically read the genre you write and who will then write reviews.
- Consider a Press Release
There are also a lot of agencies that craft creative and unique press releases for all sorts of businesses and entrepreneurs, particularly when something bit happens in their company or when they launch a new product. Your book is like a launch. Choose a company that will craft the release, let you approve it, and then send it out to appropriate newswire services.
- Craft an Audio Excerpt
Take a particularly intriguing or exciting part of your book and record it. These are great things to post on your social media account(s), to engage potential customers.
- Be Working on Your Next Book
It’s all well and good to spend a lot of time on promotion, but you cannot let that interfere with continued writing on the next book. The concept here is that you are an author, and one book does not get you a lot of “play.” The more books you can produce, the bigger that website gets, the more readers you get, and the more books you sell. Always be working on that next one, and tell your current followers about it as it begins to take shape.
- Consider a Short-Term Free Book Promotion
You can do this through Amazon, and it’s a great way to promote your book. Offer the book free to a specified number of readers in exchange for reviews that will also be published on Amazon. There are other promotional programs on Amazon, but they are usually by invitation only. Begin with the free book promotion and see where it leads.
- Watch Your Pricing
Do your research and see what is the middle-range for a book in your genre and of your length. Pricing it too low will turn off readers just as pricing it too high will be. There will be plenty of time to raise your prices once you establish a following.
- Get a Marketing Assistant
If you can afford one, there are marketing pros who will work on a contract basis, depending on what a client has to promote. These marketers will develop a custom plan just for your promotion.
- Develop Patience
It is extremely rare for a book to “take off,” such as Harry Potter did. Indie publishing doesn’t work that way. It takes steadfastness, continual work, and patience without getting discouraged. One way to keep your motivation up is to keep working on that next book.
A Final thought
Here are only 10 things you can do in the way of book promotion. You can experiment to see which of them will bring success. And that’s the lovely thing about publishing an ebook. It is there – always. You have time to try different ways of promoting it without any deadline. But make no mistake about it – the smartest thing you can do is set aside time for marketing, while the bulk of your time is spent writing that next book.