Top tips for marketing (and promoting) your book
Successful book marketing isn’t just one activity done when your book is ready. It should consist of a range of activities spread over a time and place, online and offline, each activity with a target and goal.
It is time consuming, which is why professionals charge so much but it is extremely rewarding and interesting – plus you never stop learning.
Review and revise your activity along the way.
Main aim is discoverability and to tell people your book is there.
1. Start with the most sympathetic group of potential purchasers and target your activity. Target your activity by (for example) genre, age, location, interest.
2. Book blurb – usually found on the back of a book. Make it engaging, interesting and intriguing.
3. Review copies. Send out PDF files – it is cheaper and can be targeted to an individual.
4. Ebooks and audiobooks. Once you have a finished PDF file, converting it into an ebook or audiobook is not so expensive as you don’t have to go through the design and layout stages. Ebooks should be full of metadata.
5. Good images. Original photos of yourself, your book and any activity are invaluable in increasing awareness and engagement.
6. Events. Not necessarily bookshops, they don’t often have the space, time or traffic. Target your audience. For example if you have written a recipe book, approach a local coffee shop or farmers market to hold a Meet the Author day. Engage with local interest groups, offer free talks, search out independent book stores and different places that sell books, for example museums, libraries, gift shops, cafes, garden centres.
7. Author, Stu Olds had his book launch in his local pub one Saturday afternoon. People were queuing to buy his book on the day, and he ended up at a local nightclub celebrating with over £1,000 in cash in his briefcase. Drink oils people’s wallets!
Promotional price. Offer a launch discount or multiple purchase discount.
8. Press release. Even though using traditional media has become so difficult and competitive to get noticed through, it is still worth a shot. Also, once you have written a press release, you will find many other avenues in which to use it. Always include an image and contact details.
9. Radio. There are many local and community radio stations that often want interesting local stories, from interesting local people.
If you can find any audience data then use it.
10. Website. Your own website doesn’t have to be extensive or expensive. Start with a few pages to get you going; you can always add pages as you build up a presence.
11. Blog site. As a published author, this can be an extension of your work. Again, blogging doesn’t have to be expensive. Wordpress is a good start and is free. Join different blogging communities who read and review particular genres. Engage by offering reviews to other authors, and they are more likely to engage with you back. Plan a Blog tour. This is a series of pre-arranged blog posts before and after your book launch. Drip feed information to create and hold interest; use images to create impact.
Self-interview with a Q&A session, i.e. top tips to getting published.
12. Social media builds awareness over longer term. You will need to engage regularly to create and then keep momentum and followers. Use distilled versions of your blog for facebook, then distill further for Twitter. Create a LinkedIn presence for your professional profile. These platforms are the most used, and should be sufficient initially. Content and engagement are key to social media.
13. Create an email contact list to send eflyers. Emails are a cost effective way of communicating regularly.
14. Word of mouth.
15. Be a customer.
16. Check out the competition’s activity.
This list isn’t by any means exhaustive, nor is it necessary to do everything mentioned here. The best approach is to start with what you are most comfortable with and build on that. By creating interest in your work, there is more chance it will sell and get picked up by one of the mass media channels, a book publicist or agent.
As well as a comprehensive book design and publishing service, we are also able to offer a full photographic service and marketing support through our sister company, 131 Design Ltd. www.131design.org.
This might include promotional material for in-store and point of sale, direct mail, PR or even a website, including 'blog' and content management facilities for you to market your own work.
- Book launch
- Press release