A Self Published Author’s Starter Guide To Book Marketing

You spent countless hours laboring over every word in your book, and you took forever and a day to select just the right cover photo to use. Alas, your book is finally published and it feels good.

You spent all that time perfecting your masterpiece, but wait… nobody’s buying it.

Uh oh… you know the old saying, if a tree falls in the woods and nobody’s around to hear it? The same thing applies to your brilliant book. It’s published, but nobody knows about it. Your sales aren’t so hot, and you’re not quite sure what to do about it. With all the competition in the marketplace, how are you supposed to catch the attention of today’s reader and entice them to buy your book?

You Wrote A Brilliant Book, Now Brag About It

Let’s be honest, you can write a book and get it published, but that doesn’t mean you’ll sell it. You have to get your book out to the masses, and you’ll need book marketing tactics to do it!

It doesn’t matter if you’re an independent self-published author or you have a publisher, you need to build the buzz. Why? Because the marketing of your book is typically your responsibility, even if you have a publisher. Even if you’re still writing your first book, there’s plenty of work you should be doing now to create a buzz.

You wrote a brilliant book

Know Your Audience – Who Wants To Buy Your Book?

To sell books, you have to know who you’re selling to. This is not as easy as it sounds. Let’s use this hypothetical example:

I’m writing a coffee table book about shoe design, including images and sketches of shoes from around the world over the last 50 years.

Who would you consider as the audience I’m targeting to buy this book?

Are you thinking this book would appeal to all women over the age of 18, since women love shoes? Well…you’d be missing the mark, because all women over the age of 18 is not a target audience. Women like buying shoes, but that doesn’t automatically translate into buying a book about shoes. You can’t wear a book can you?

Think about this audience: a boutique might like to have this book in their sitting area, a hair salon might like to have this book in their lobby, and I might give this book as a gift to a fashion design student. This is the beginning of a targeted list of prospective book buyers.

Still writing your book? Keep reading to get ahead of the curve!

Understand the importance of knowing your audience first, then you can develop an appropriate book marketing strategy.

Integrate Social Media and Traditional Media For The Best Pitch

A. Give Your Book It’s Own Digital Persona

Design an online presence specifically for your book. Create a web page specifically for the book. Ideally you want to create a separate website with an address that features the book title.

If you have a website dedicated to your speaking engagements, you could add a separate page devoted to the book. With a dedicated web page, you can exchange links and drive traffic to the site with comments, blogs, quotes and extracts of the book. Be sure to show people exactly how they can buy the book. Encourage user feedback, comments and reviews to build a community around your book.

B. Use Social Influence To Reach Your Audience

Next, use social media and traditional media to create the hype! Here’s a key element many people forget – everyone is not on social media, and those that are on social media aren’t all buying from tweets and Facebook posts.

Therefore, a series of Facebook posts about your book will most likely leave you hungry. (Of course social media extends beyond Twitter and Facebook, I’m just using those as examples to cover the basics. Integrate Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube, etc. to really leverage your social media reach.)

There are plenty of people who use radio, tv, and print as a vehicle for peer influence. As such, you should integrate a combination of traditional and social media into your marketing plan to catch your entire prospective audience. For example,

    • Pitch yourself as a guest on the right radio and tv stations.
    • Pitch yourself as a featured story to your local community media channels and publications.
    • Develop social media profiles to support your book and your speaking ability and promote them!

When you blanket the market with your promotional activity, you are ensuring your audience sees your book, which builds a buzz. Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags in your social media posts. They will help amplify your messaging and reach more people interested in your book (and you as the author).

If you’re not sure which hashtags to use, this hashtag generator created specifically for writers is a great start. I use it and it’s awesome!

Remember, we talk about things we see and things we buy. Just be sure to always tell people exactly where they can buy your book.

Use Book Reviews and Testimonials to Build the Hype!

Book reviews will prove the quality of your work, as the reviews form a cross-section of the population. This will create a buzz that makes people want to find out about your book.

3 quick ways to get those book reviews

  • Ask your friends, family, and colleagues to give reviews and testimonials.
  • Send excerpts to influential media persons and ask them for reviews and testimonials for the book.
  • Use your social media networking community and ask for the same.

3 places to share testimonials

  • Create a testimonials page on your book’s website.
  • Include a testimonial on printed materials, ex. bookmark, business cards.
  • Post a testimonial as a tweet or Facebook post, linking to your website.

Get creative in the use of these reviews and testimonials. This also builds the buzz in a way you may not expect – the person writing a review or testimonial will tell people about the book! They become part of your brand ambassador tribe! For more insight on using testimonials, checkout the Value of Testimonials.

It’s Never Too Late…

Ideally, the marketing of your book begins before the book is finished. But if you’re already published it’s not too late to market your book!

Whether you do your own marketing, or hire Marketing Sparkler to market your book, the success of your sales will be largely determined by your tenacity. So take ownership of your work and your brand, and build the buzz about your book!

Miss Kemya

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