You’re the next Jane Austen, aren’t you? Oh, come on. Don’t be modest. You really are, right?
Maybe so. Who knows?
I don’t know. But I’ll tell you this—I know who won’t know, unless you brush aside your pen for a moment and come up with a marketing plan.
In this crazy, busy world of technology—the next Jane Austen or not—your book will never get noticed or reach the potential it could have without the aid of a strategy.
Join me for a few practical tips on how to market your book!
ESTABLISH A BRAND
Who are you? What do you write? How can you create a brand that will represent not only your genre, but yourself as an author? Once you find the answer to these questions, design a website with consistent colors, themes, and purpose. Hire a designer if need be. This is your landing page—your virtual home—and you want your visitors to feel comfortable. Also, make certain to maintain this brand throughout all of your social media platforms. Consistency is your friend.
CHOOSE THE BEST AVENUES
Yeah, you heard me right. You don’t have to be everywhere. Choose avenues that work best for your target audience, and focus on building an appearance at those places. For example, here’s some great places to start with: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads. Once you’re all set up, start interacting!
And yes, the saying is true. Out of sight, out of mind. Make sure you’re posting often enough that people become familiar with you. Here’s a reasonable goal to aim for:
- Facebook – 4 to 5 posts per week
- Instagram – 3 to 4 posts per week
- Pinterest – pin and re-pin weekly
- Goodreads – add friends, message, and answer questions weekly
Facebook is the marketing author’s happy place. Make new friends. Create your own page. Join a group. Interact with potential readers and start building a readership.
Although Instagram focuses largely on the younger population, there are many users there who cannot be found on Facebook. Also, Instagram is a nice place to post visually-appealing posts with coordinating colors, establishing your brand even more.
Because there are 291 million users on this platform, pins are a perfect way to get interaction. Creating a board in inspiration of a specific novel can help readers visualize the characters, the setting, and the overall mood of your book.
This is a world full of readers. Books, books, and books are the topics—and connecting with the right audience is the key. Encourage people to add your book to their “Want to Read” list. Do some exploring. Join reading groups and swap reviews with other authors.
WHAT TO SHARE
Keep in mind that your social media is not your billboard. Your purpose is not to go around annoying viewers and poking at everyone to buy your book. No, no, no, and no.
Instead, have the mindset of being a blessing. Ask yourself these questions:
- Would my target audience appreciate this?
- Is this related to my book?
- Is this consistent with my brand?
- Does this reflect me?
- Is this funny, helpful, or inspirational?
Deliver high-quality information, entertainment, or facts on your social media platforms. Post quotes, fun images, interesting questions, and exciting updates about your writing journey. Curated content is fine, as long as it is relevant and adds to your social media presence. Your goal is to gather a reading community, not bog down followers with sales pitches. Inbound marketing is the key.
ENGAGE AND RESPOND
Along with keeping a consistent brand and content marketing, create a relationship with potential readers. Respond to comments, messages, and e-mails. Intentionally post content that asks questions, so followers will have a chance to add their advice and engage themselves with your topics. Readers want to feel a part of the journey, so hand them a road map and say, “Come on.”
Be creative with your blog! Write unique posts that are helpful, encouraging, and fun. Let the world know who you are, what you stand for, why you write, and where your writing career is taking you.
And don’t just stay in your own little online corner. Connect with other blogs and leave comments!
Encourage site viewers to sign up for your newsletter. Offer a free e-book if they sign up. Promise you’ll tell them secrets. Always send them freebies.
Because your brand focuses largely on yourself as an author, as well as your books, it is an important marketing strategy to maintain a professional, pleasant persona. Avoiding religious debates, politics, and complaints about others in the industry are all good tips to keep in mind.
Knowing your budget, create Amazon ads to help promote your books. Also, Facebook campaigns and Pinterest engagements are great ways to get awareness.
Offering giveaways, passing out bookmarks, and having blog tours are great ways to get potential readers excited about your book. Look into appearing on well-known blogs for author interviews, character interviews, book reviews, and spotlights. The more you can get readers talking about your book, the better your sales will be. Ultimately, word of mouth is the greatest promotion.
Have a book signing. Include your story in the local newspapers. Do a radio interview.
Oh, there are so many ways you can include your community. Plain fact is, folks are proud of local authors. They want to help! Join events at the library, set up at your farmers market, have a book signing, and speak at local events.
You’ll never go wrong by going to a writers conference. Participate in workshops, meet supportive friends, pitch to agents and publishers, and learn more about the craft. Also, spend some time passing out business cards to fellow writers. Authors are also readers, so connecting with them in person is a great way to gain a larger readership.
Looking for conferences to attend? Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference and American Christian Fiction Writers Conference are two great places to be.
BOOK COVER & PROMOS
So many authors make the dreadful mistake of settling for an unprofessional, non-appealing cover. However tempting it might be, try to remember that you have one chance to snag the interest of a potential reader. With competition everywhere, make sure your cover stands its own ground.
After the creation of your book cover, begin sharing a book trailer, bookmarks, promotional graphics, 3D mockups, and more valuable marketing tools to help generate excitement in your audience.
Because some readers are visually impaired, don’t have time to read, or simply prefer audio, it’s a great idea to offer your novel in audiobook.
LAUNCH YOUR BOOK
This, my friend, is a big deal. Once you get closer to the release of your book, start seeking the help of an awesome, devoted launch team. Together, as the release day nears, spread the word and get readers prepared for the big day. Provide early copies of the book to chosen readers to get reviews flowing before the release date. Get some big-name endorsements. Plan a whoo-hoo, confetti-flying, no-one-will-forget type of launch party.
And don’t forget cupcakes. Who wouldn’t want cupcakes?
Well, I hope you found these tips easy, useful, and feasible! Comment below with your own ideas, and if you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you!