Just writing and completing a book is a feat in itself. However, that isn’t where the work ends. Once you’ve written that killer final sentence, edited, and edited, and edited, and edited some more, until you are completely satisfied, there’s still much work to be done.
So, you’ve got this great book… but what now?
Well, now it’s time to start marketing your book, if you haven’t already started!
Even if your book is being published by a publisher, you should still be taking some marketing tactics into your own hands.
You can do this by producing a sensible marketing plan.
Who is your audience? How do you reach them?
Defining who exactly you are reaching out to with your book is extremely important in the first steps of marketing your book.
Many authors utilize social media as a way to really spread the word about their work.
If your book is targeted toward the youth population, then perhaps you should use the more youthful social media platforms, such as twitter and instagram. Meanwhile, if your book is targeted toward an older generation, you may utilize Facebook a lot more. This is not to say that a youthful audience is not using Facebook, because they absolutely are. However, many younger people are more affected by short and simple campaigns via Twitter and Instagram, these campaigns are often visual—whereas a Facebook campaign may be more text based.
YouTube has definitely changed the game for book promotion. You can easily create a trailer for your book, kind of like a preview for a movie. These can be produced simply with a camera or smartphone, and an editing system. You could either hire actors, or just gather some friends to star in the simple video short. Apple offers a video editing system app that is easy to use, designed by Apple itself, completely free! Remember, no one is expecting an Oscar-worthy film, just do your best and have fun, and your audience will appreciate the visual presentation.
Aside from social media sites, which are generally very easy to set up, you may find yourself ambitious enough to create a website for yourself and/or your book. On these sites you can include images and extra content connected to your book, as well as that book trailer we just talked about! You may want to use sites like WordPress or SquareSpace to do this. Your budget may determine what platform is best for you.
Compiling an email list to start an email campaign could be an excellent way to reach your audience. You may compile this list via your social media campaigns or your website.
If you are publishing online, or as an ebook, you can offer a free sample of your book to possible readers. Allow them read just a bit of the text, and leave them wanting more! This will encourage more readers to go ahead with a purchase of your book. This sample could also be included on your website.
The web and all that tech mumbo-jumbo, are not the only ways to reach your audiences. Some authors choose to implement printed promotional practices. You know, like a good ol’ newsprint, pamphlet, or handout.
Perhaps you could consider making a flier or business card exclusively for your book. This would be in addition to any kind of materials you have for you as an author! You may find yourself running into a big influencer or publisher on the street and you’d of course want to take up that chance to promote yourself and your book as quickly as possible.
Some authors may be able to find themselves featured in a news article or book review. Even if this is just local to you, this can make a big difference, by just getting your name and your book out there to those who prefer traditional print.
What are you willing to do to market your book?
Setting up a budget for yourself is very important when it comes to marketing your book.
A budget could be referring to an actual monetary value, or simply a budget of time that you can allot to the project. You have to ask yourself what you’re willing to do, where you’re willing to go in order to promote yourself and your book.
A book tour, if you’re able to do so, is a fantastic way to meet your audience in person and create a real relationship. This relationship can form a bond between you and the reader, making them more likely to purchase your book, as well as future projects.
Get yourself out there.
Your main focus when you’re marketing your book should be to market yourself in as many ways as possible to as many people as possible. A versatile marketing scheme is your best chance to make your book stand out in a sea of other books that are being released every day. This can include marketing via social media and the internet, as well as in the “old fashioned” ways of newspapers and printed ads and handouts. While a large audience is important, be sure to focus in on exactly who you want to market to, and build from there.
Keep to a schedule.
Once everything has fallen into place, and all of the decisions have been made about what you are and are not willing to do to market your book, you will have to implement a schedule for your marketing practices. When will you post on your social media, how often? How many newspapers will you send your book out to to be reviewed or advertised? What kind of content will you keep on your website? How often will it be updated? Will you write a blog?
Creating a calendar for this kind of information is imperative to the success of your marketing plan, and ultimately your book and you as an author. Choose what works for you, and stick to it. You’ll be amazed at the results.