The best books on the market today also tend to be the books that have been marketed in an extremely efficient manner. You can write something awesome, but unless people know about the book, they’re not going to purchase it.
Whether you’re working with an agent, a publisher, or you’re blazing a trail through the world of self-publishing, you need to have several book marketing strategies you can implement. This will help you make sure that you’re getting the word out about your book.
Here are the strategies which offer you the greatest potential for success.
#1. Know your reader, then think like your reader.
The first error that most writers make when marketing a book is that they try to appeal to an audience that is too broad.
- All women are going to love my book!
- My children’s book appeals to parents and kids!
- Everyone in North America will want to purchase my book!
Here’s the problem: a large audience with a small marketing budget creates a diluted message. You are asking your audience to find a needle in a haystack that is as large as our solar system.
It might happen, but the odds are most certainly not in your favor.
So define your audience. Develop a specific demographic profile, including age, gender, ethnicity, culture, background, religion, household size – the options are endless. Then release marketing materials for your book that target the specific people who fit into every category in your profile.
#2. Be smart with your words.
Don’t be Gordon Ramsay.
Have you ever heard Ramsay describe food? He often uses adjectives in triplicate when discussing a dish or menu item. In person, that creates excitement for what is being described for everyone present. In a written marketing plan, those words becoming extraneous and annoying.
Your book isn’t this “amazing, dramatic, dynamic tale.” You certainly need to create excitement for your book, but you’ve got to do it the right way. So here’s what you need to do:
- Come up with one sentence which perfectly summarizes your book in your own eyes.
- Test that sentence with trusted associates: family, friends, the hot dog vendor down the street. It’s about who you trust. See if they hear what you’re trying to say.
- If your associates feel like your sentence is interesting, then that’s good enough for a marketing pitch. If not, then draft a new summary.
Remember: people become curious not because of what you’ve revealed, but by what you’ve previewed about what you will be revealing.
#3. Make it easy to find your book.
If you only sell your book at the corner bookstore in your neighborhood or only on Amazon, you are limiting the distribution of your book. If you want a larger audience, you need to sell in places that can attract that audience.
For this reason, you must look at sites like iTunes, for example, in addition to your own website, so that your book can be found. Choose subcategories that make sense for your book– categories that make you the big fish in the pond of other authors. Then use keywords that will pull in your targeted readers.
A tip for choosing strong keywords? Utilize the search engine of Amazon itself. Here are steps to follow:
- Pull down the category link for books.
- Start, for example, typing in the word “leadership” for books on this subject. Here is an example of what you will get as of today:
- Utilize the keywords that you think best reference the type of book you are publishing. The list of keyword choices above show you what people are already searching on and those keywords receiving the most searches.
#4. Create a press release.
Many authors avoid the traditional press tour for a book. They also avoid paid advertising for their book. With a press release that summarizes your book and who you are as an author, you can still get some relatively free press – including online press.
A good press release should only be about 300 words in length. It should be written in such a way that the media outlet should be able to print it “as-is.” You will also want to include your contact details in case someone wants to interview you for a larger piece.
Always start with local newspapers, websites, and other media outlets. Local writers make for good local stories, which creates local interest for your book. If the article about you is then published online, you can begin to share that information through your social media networks.
#5. Don’t give up.
It takes time for a book marketing strategy to work. Sometimes it takes several months. You’ve got to keep pushing forward every day, reaching out to your potential readers. Whether you use a blog to do this, sent out press releases, or create new places where your book can be sold, the moment you give up is the moment that readers will stop having the chance to find your book.
Book marketing strategies don’t have to be complicated to be successful. Standing on a street corner, holding up a poster, and asking people to buy your book is a strategy that can work. It’s all up to you and what you are willing to do.