Do you ever feel like your book is a tiny fish in a vast ocean swimming with larger, meaner predators?
If you are struggling to get your book noticed, don’t become despondent. It doesn’t necessarily mean your work is bad. You definitely shouldn’t give up. Instead, learn how to market your book.
I’m a firm believer that the majority of self-publishers have more trouble marketing their work than they do create it. Completing the creation of a book, from its initial idea to its final rewrite, is a mammoth task in and of itself. It’s not surprising that writers often have little energy left in the tank for marketing. Plus, there are a seemingly endless array of marketing tactics and methods. It can be difficult to know which to trust and which to avoid.
Thankfully, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Read on to discover the best ways to market your book, as taught by some of the biggest names in the game.
First, Why Is Marketing So Important?
Let’s get real for a moment.
Even the best book won’t sell if no one knows about it. That’s a cold, hard fact in today’s publishing world. In an industry that’s overcrowded with brilliant authors and captivating stories, the one thing that sets a book apart is how well it’s marketed.
The Power of Diverse Marketing Techniques
The truth is, there isn’t just one secret marketing technique to catapult your book to success. It’s about having an arsenal of tactics, such as:
- Word of mouth
- Email marketing
- Organic search
- Social media
- Content marketing
Word of Mouth: The Golden Goose
Now, we all know word of mouth is the most effective method for marketing your book. It’s the ultimate weapon in your arsenal. But here’s the catch—it requires support from other techniques to generate initial interest. Without that first spark, even the most captivating story will struggle to take flight.
Don’t Expect a Red Carpet Treatment
Traditionally published authors, listen up. Just because you’ve managed to land a publishing deal doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax. Newsflash! Many publishers offer limited marketing support, especially to newer or mid-list authors.
So, what’s an author to do?
Taking Charge of Your Success
Simple. Authors must take the initiative to market their books from the beginning. This means you need to be proactive in your marketing efforts, employing diverse techniques and constantly adapting to maximize your chances of success.
Build Your Author Mailing List
Building an author mailing list is one of the most effective ways to market your book out there. After all, who better to market to than a list of people who have expressed interest in, or even purchased, your work in the past?
According to Jeff Goins, an author mailing list is so effective because it is personal, private and in your control. You don’t have to rely on a platform like Facebook. Instead, you can reach out to your readers directly and start a conversation.
A top tip for getting started is to offer something of value for free. People are far more likely to offer their email address if they know they will be getting something in return. This could be a short story, an excerpt from a nonfiction book, or a chapter of a full novel.
Investing the time into building your mailing list will let you market your books in one of the most effective and targeted ways far into the future.
Use The Best Book Promotion Sites
One of the keys to generating momentum for a newly launched book is to ensure it gets a lot of attention early on. Book promotion sites are one of the most effective ways to generate interest in your work, particularly if you are relatively unknown. An effective book promotion site is able to put your work in front of readers who would never have been otherwise exposed to it.
There is a mix of free and paid book promotion sites, but not all are created equal. It’s important to understand how exactly each site will promote your book, and who it will be promoted to. Some sites offer targeted services to fans of particular genres or topics. It’s always better to target the readers most likely to read your type of book rather than irrelevant and uninterested fans of other genres.
If you are thinking of spending money on a book promotion service, please do your homework first. Check that they have a solid track record of getting results, and take the time to compare their pricing and benefits to whatever else is out there. It’s good to invest in a paid book promotion site but invest carefully. Be cautious.
Showcasing Your Title And Author Name
When you really think about it, what is book marketing all about?
Getting your name out there as an author, and making readers aware of your book titles, right?
Your book titles are a prime opportunity to get your author name and book titles out there in front of the eyes of readers.
This can happen in a variety of ways. Firstly, on online bookstores themselves. Even if book buyers don’t choose your title on a particular occasion, they still become familiar with your author name by being exposed to it. Book covers are also often featured on promotional sites, in online advertising, and in mailing list mailouts. As a result of that, it’s important that your author name, and book title, are clearly visible against the backdrop of your image.
If you spend some time checking out books released by major publishers, and unsuccessful self-published books, you will notice that the title and author text is always very clear on the professional books, and is often less so on the self-published books. There are countless comedy lists showcasing the worst book covers ever, just in case you need a clear example of what to avoid!
The bottom line is that making your author name and book title unclear on your cover hurts you in two ways. It not only ensures that readers miss out on being exposed to your brand – but it also brands your book as unprofessional and low quality.
Run Facebook Ads For Authors
Facebook advertising can be a true game-changer for authors. The benefits are myriad. Targeted Facebook ads can build your author mailing list, grow your Facebook fans and drive traffic towards your free downloads.
Running your first Facebook advertising campaign as an author can be a little intimidating. If you keep the following keys in mind, it should simplify and demystify the process a little.
Facebook has over 1.8 billion active monthly users. This sounds awesome but is actually a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you can use Facebook ads to reach almost anyone on the planet. On the other, the vast majority do not and will not care about what you have to offer. Target your ads to the most filtered, niche audience possible, and you will see a lot better results.
One of the discouraging aspects of Facebook ads for many authors is the worry that the cost and duration of an advertising campaign will spiral out of control. You need to set a strict budget and duration for your campaign. This will allow you to keep your expenditure in check, allowing greater profit overall.
By running different campaigns, for example by targeting different sets of Facebook users, you can assess what is and isn’t working with your Facebook advertising efforts and make changes accordingly. Only by monitoring your ads can you make effective changes to campaigns and invest money into what’s working instead of what isn’t.
Implement Amazon Book Ads
Amazon Book advertising is lesser known and lesser used than Facebook advertising. It can be considered one of the current ‘hot topics’ in ebook marketing, and with good reason. Amazon has made key improvements to their advertising targeting and, as a result, authors are seeing better results than they have in the past. Why?
Amazon is a buyer’s platform. Its users are all shoppers with a history of buying behavior that Amazon understands. This does not apply to Facebook.
Amazon book ads are probably the best chance to get your ads in front of fans of similar authors and styles of writing. If you target your ads, you stand a great chance of reaching readers that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible.
How To Market Your Book? Take Action
Marketing your book effectively requires you to get your hands dirty and take a risk. The methods for marketing your book in this post are tried and tested, but they need to be tried and tested by you.
Truthfully, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to marketing books. Learning how to market your book specifically is something which requires you to test different platforms, monitor your results and understand the reasons why your efforts are or are not working.
By combining the ideas and methods of the book marketing experts listed above with your own firsthand experience, you stand a great chance of experiencing book marketing success.