5 Essential Tips for Successfully Marketing Your Book
If you are like most authors, you probably aren’t a marketing expert, but you have to become one to achieve success. The necessity of learning how to market books might be obvious to self-published authors, but even if you are traditionally published, you will likely need to do most of your own book promotion. Unless you are a well-known author or have a proven track record of successful books, most publishing houses will not divert much of the marketing budget to your book.
For this reason, it’s crucial for almost every author to know at least the basics of book marketing. Even if your book is brilliant, you won’t be successful if no one knows about it.
If marketing sounds overwhelming to you, we’ve got some book promotion tips to get you started. Be sure to also check out our marketing package for authors.
1. Know your audience (and yourself)
One of the first steps to marketing success is building your personal brand as an author. “Building a brand” sounds complicated, but it need not be. This simply means having an understanding of who your audience is and who you are as a person and marrying those into your public persona as an author.
You have to cultivate a relationship with your readers, so you need to know who is reading (or will read) your books. How old are they? What do they like? Where are they in life? Just paint a general picture in your mind. This relationship needs to be authentic, so create your author brand with your own personality in mind. People can detect a fake, and they don’t like it.
2. Create an author website
An author website is an absolute must these days. This is a place where potential readers can learn about you and your books and find out how or where to buy them. It can be a powerful marketing tool because it’s entirely under your control.
The website doesn’t need to be overly long (it can even be one single page), but at a minimum, it should include a brief author bio with your picture, a list of your books with the covers and descriptions, an online storefront or links to purchasing platforms, and your contact information. Links to your email list and social media accounts are also a good idea. In addition, you may consider building a separate website entirely dedicated to a single upcoming book, which makes it easier to generate hype for the work.
If you don’t know much about visual design, consider hiring a professional. Most people aren’t good at design, and a poorly designed website will likely harm your brand image.
3. Get into the newsletter game
Having a newsletter is an important tool for keeping your audience engaged. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy—it can be as simple as a monthly email. Your fans and potential readers won’t constantly be checking your website for updates, so a periodic email is crucial for maintaining their interest in your work. It keeps your book at the forefront of their minds and gives you the opportunity to share special tidbits, such as teasing characters from the book or providing some of your insights as the author.
You can post news on release dates, share excerpts, or give a sneak peek of a book cover. When you don’t have book news, you can share other things your audience may be interested in, like your summer reading list. Just stay consistent and provide content of value.
4. Post to social media
These days, it’s essential for an author to have a presence on social media. It’s a good idea to create a new account for your author persona so you can keep it nice and professional and separate from your personal accounts. YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter have active book communities and are great places to meet readers and reviewers. The more reviews your book has, the more visible it will be on retailers such as Amazon. So, take the time to get to know people in the online book world, and before long, you’ll build a network. Offer to send book influencers a copy of your work in return for a review—a good review from a popular influencer can do wonders for your book.
Facebook is a great place to advertise your book. You can create a business page and target ads to specific audiences. Make sure your ad includes a link back to your website or somewhere readers can buy your book. You’ll need to pay for the ads, but you can set up a business account for free. If you’re investing money, you’ll want to make sure your ads are effective, so it may be worth it to hire a marketing professional to help.
5. Offer freebies
Offering something for free is a proven marketing tactic. People who otherwise might not be that interested in your book may jump at the opportunity to get it for free, allowing you to make a new fan out of them. You could host a giveaway on social media for a copy of your book or offer free bookmarks to people who sign up for your newsletter. You can even do a free launch of your book. Just be sure to have cut-offs: You can offer a limited number of copies or free eBooks for the first week of the launch.
One final tip: Don’t be shy! Too many new authors are tentative about promoting their work, but you need to take every opportunity to talk about your book. You’re passionate about your work, so spread that passion to others. Be confident, personable, and relatable; make people like you as well as your book. You don’t need to mention it in every single social media post, but don’t let humbleness stop you from selling it.
Need a hand with marketing? Let us help with your book description, social media posts, and more!