How’s it going with your new book launch?
Sooner or later, you’re just gonna’ have to face the truth:
You’ve got a lot to learn about book marketing.
Sure, you can research, write, and edit like a pro.
But your marketing skills?
Not so much.
And you understand an important truth:
Before buyers and publishers will take you seriously, you need to establish a quality online presence, an author platform to establish trust and credibility with future readers and colleagues.
Everywhere you look, someone’s releasing a new book.
And for better or worse, you want to join in the fun, too. You want to realize your own dream of getting recognition (and payment) for your work.
Each time you watch a brand-new author climb the bestseller lists, you can’t help thinking:
- This could be me.
- This should be me.
- Why isn’t this me!
You’re left with an important question:
How do you learn the basics, the right mix of beginner and intermediate skills to begin establishing yourself as a worthy author?
The questions keep coming:
How do you begin, and where’s the best place to start?
You’ve tried building up your social media street reputation, but your followers only care about promoting themselves.
You finished your website, but your mom won’t even visit on a regular basis.
So how do you catch a break, especially after killing yourself to finish your book. Your book should matter, after everything. You dedicated a year of your life to the process.
You need viable resources, right? Not last year’s regurgitated advice.
So, read on, author. You deserve a break, and some sage advice for moving beyond point a to b.
Let’s get started…
Focus on Your Own Blog
Social media is a great way to engage with your audience, but when it comes to building committed readers, you’ll need a blog and an active email list !
You’re at the mercy of the social media companies when it comes to audience reach, but you own your blog audience.
Facebook and Twitter can (and do) change the rules about what posts show up in your followers’ feeds, and it’s rapidly becoming a pay-to-play market.
According to recent reports, organic reach for Facebook posts was about 2%, which means your target audience may never see your posts.
Your blog audience, on the other hand, is a voluntary, committed audience.
The best part? You make the rules!
Guest Post and Link to Your Book and Your Blog
Guest blogging, especially posts that include links to your book and your site, offer several benefits:
- You increase your authority in your niche.
- You gain access to a passionate, like-minded community, thereby expanding your reach.
- It provides opportunities for customers to directly purchase your book without costing you a cent in marketing.
Create an Author Page at Goodreads
Goodreads is a community dedicated to readers and books, and setting up a page is free. Your author page is a golden opportunity to reach over 20 million committed bibliophiles, affording you the opportunity to connect and interact with your readers.
In addition to gaining exposure through Goodreads reviews, discussion groups, and Listopia (the public voting feature), you can also integrate your blog with the site. Paid advertising is another option to increase your reach.
Establish a Social Media Presence
Even though your social media audience isn’t as reliable as your email list, it’s still a good idea to build profiles on the platforms your readers use most. Don’t use social media just to share; use it to engage with your audience.Even though your social media audience isn't as reliable as your email list, it's still a good idea to build profiles on the platforms your readers use most. Don't use social media just to share; use it to engage with your audience. Click To Tweet Start conversations, and launch contests. Entertain and interact with your followers.
Study up on best practices for the profiles you use most (optimal post length, best time to post, preferred image size, hashtag use) to get the best return on your efforts.
Join Groups, Forums, and Communities
Organically market your book by joining groups and communities where your target audience is likely to participate, and remember to include links to your book in your signature file or profile link. Consider these options:
- Facebook author groups.
- Reddit author communities.
- World Literary Cafe.
Consider Third-Party Promotional Sites Such as BookBub
Sites like Bookbub have audiences who trust them for book reviews and recommendations. They offer opportunities to have your book featured in their daily emails, giving you access to a much larger group of readers who are specifically interested in your genre.
In many cases, you’ll find opportunities for affordable paid advertising, as well, ensuring your book reaches more readers with a viable interest in purchasing a book.
Build Your Own Author Email List
We’ve already talked about owning your blog audience, but when it’s used to grow your author email list, you’re getting double-duty from your site.
Email lists are one of your most valuable assets as an author, for a number of reasons:
- Your email list is an opportunity to directly market to your audience. Consider the possibilities in a well-written note introducing your new book with a “click here to buy it today” offer, delivered to your most committed readers’ in-box.
- Email outperforms social media when it comes to actual conversions; your subscribers are more likely to buy your book than your social followers.
- The size of your email audience is an indicator of your potential success to publishers; it’s also a signal to peers that you’d be a good potential partner for monetized (and non-monetized) work.
Sign up for Kindle Direct Publishing’s (KDP) Free Promotion Program
Some authors are having dramatic success with the KDP Countdown program, seeing sales increases of 100%, 200% and even 900%, with no other outside marketing. In fact, the average sales increase was over 600%, with an average increase in hourly income of 213%.
Again, this requires no additional marketing. During the countdown, Kindle books normally priced at $2.99 to $5.99 are offered at 99 cents, which is a steep discount, but the tremendous volume more than makes up for the reduced price.
It’s a great way for new authors to get hundreds, or even thousands, of new readers in a very short period.
What’s your favorite book marketing strategy? Share it in the comments section.