New first time Authors claim that marketing their book is an uphill battle. Do not feel discouraged, stick with it and have an organized plan, you can gain momentum — and more book sales!
I always tell all of my first-time Authors, “Consistency and patience is the key to success.” If you were to go through the blog posts archives that I and other’s have written for Empire Publishing, you will see that book marketing info is one of the most common blog posts. Why? Firstly, because we are dedicated to our Authors success and secondly because it seems to be the one thing that all first-time Authors struggle with. I have attempted to explain this to some Authors, but they have it in their mind that because their book is so amazing it will automatically sell itself. But that is a false reality. If it were that easy, then every first time Author would be wealthy. Author’s are like starving artists in a lot of ways. They are talented, hard-working and under-appreciated by the public for their efforts.
(This post will contain many links that will require time, perhaps it may take an entire day to learn and/or apply each aspect that I am going to cover here today. But I promise you, it will be the MOST rewarding in terms of royalties and followers, so please set aside a large block of time and incorporate each task that I have linked in this blog post for your benefit.)
I am not just a random blog writer. I am an Author Representative for Empire Publishing. I could have gone to work for any publisher in the country, but I chose Empire Publishing because of the integrity that the company keeps. Every Author gets more than they paid for. And one of the things they get more of – is education on being a Self-Published Author.
Some publishers will blow smoke up your “you know what” and tell you that you are going to make a lot of money selling millions of books. Pie in the sky promises! Is it possible to sell millions of books? YES! But does it happen simply by publishing and being on Worldwide Amazon distribution? No. What about being on the Barnes & Noble Website? No.
All of those online distributors are showing your book (and millions of others) on their website. Who are they showing your book to? Ahhh… Now that I presented that question your wheels are turning. Does your book just magically appear to everyone who logs into their Amazon account? NO! So how does your book get seen?
When well-known authors (such as James Patterson, Anne Rice, J.K. Rowling) publish new books, they generally have the resources and support from their publishers to build out a comprehensive marketing plan. Not to mention, those publishers pay millions of dollars to the big books stores to get front placement shelving in key locations of the store. However, it’s a whole different story for self-published authors, you have to think outside the box for unique and cost-effective ways to promote your work and your author brand. While it can be challenging to get started, especially if you’re new to marketing, there are simple tactics you can use to be successful. Keep reading as I explain the importance of book marketing and how to do it cost-effectively and I will provide links for you to go to and you should use the links if you want to get real about book marketing.
Did you know that Amazon uses its own algorithms? If you don’t know what an algorithm is then that is the very first thing you need to know as a self-published author. Once you apply the correct input for search engines and Amazon Search then you are off to a great start in helping your book be shown when people type in keywords of items, topics or books they are searching for on the web or on Amazon Search. This doesn’t cost you any money if you have access to your book details and can change your keywords and description. All self-published authors should have this access even if they hired a Publishing Service.
That is only Step 1. Now the task of marketing. If you thought writing your book was hard work, then you are in for a big surprise, because that was the easy part. Now you must learn how to market your book wisely. If you do not take the time to learn how to do it you can ultimately spend all of your money in the wrong places and not see any return for the dollars spent.
At the bottom of the page, I will provide a list of places for you to market your book if you want to get things going. For this post, I am only going to discuss two sides of Book Marketing.
The two most important you need to know right now:
1) Online/Social Media Marketing
Social media is an extremely effective tool to reach your audience when you do it the right way. It is important to be careful about how you approach your audience in your posts. Social media interactions should be a conversation. While there is room for direct promotion, your audience most likely is not interested in a sales pitch.
Instead, focus on organically creating or adding to a conversation or discussion with unique viewpoints and content. This helps you do two things:
- Build a brand. Your brand is all about your perspective and point of view and less about the products you sell, i.e. your book.
- Drive followers. Followers need content that spurs them to engage. This type of post needs to elicit an emotional response. Just posting a photo or link to your Amazon page doesn’t do that.
Did you know that there are many free tools and engaging features now available to you on Social Media? For example, Facebook Live or IGTV can be used to hold a live Q&A session based on comments from your readers. If your book is nonfiction, you can use social media to share tips from your book. This is FREE ADVERTISING! Taking advantage of free marketing and advertising is crucial for Authors, because keeping the marketing budget low is vitally important when you want to make a profit.
Social Media is also important to build your network of peers, friends, and family who want to help spread your message. If you ask each of them to share or engage on your posts it will help to draw others to your page. And if you have someone in your circle who is a blogger, they can do wonders for you. Consider bringing them into your fold. If you do not have anyone in your close circle who is a blogger then follow these steps:
- Manually search for bloggers using a simple Internet or social media search.
- Get bloggers’ contact information from their websites and take note of any pages about collaboration or advertising.
- Create an outreach template that includes one sentence about who you are, another one-to-two sentences about the book, and your request. Keep it short — if they’re interested, they’ll ask for more information.
- Follow up seven days after sending your initial email. Often, the first one gets lost. Not to mention, a second shows you’re serious about your pitch.
Word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the best ways to encourage new readers to purchase your book. A study from BrightLocal found that more than 90 percent of millennials will trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
2) Physical Marketing Tools.
Conferences and speaking engagements are a great way to promote yourself and your book. You’ll stay connected with contacts and prospects through digital channels, but to make the most of your face-to-face interactions at the event, leave people with something tangible to take with them — like printed promotional items.
Business cards are important, but there’s more you can do. Such as Postcards or Bookmarks. Sometimes people make brochures for their books, especially Self-help books or nonfiction books. These items allow for more text and images that you couldn’t include on a business card. Plus, these promotional items are small enough to toss into a swag bag and command more attention than a business card will. Basically you get more bang for your buck.
- Don’t clutter your design, leave room to breathe and highlight your most important message.
- Add a custom web URL or QR code to drive people to specific sites and track engagement from the event while driving book sales and web traffic.
- Call out your social media channels to encourage followers.
You don’t even need to get a booth to hand out brochures and postcards — keep them in a book bag and hand them out as you walk around. Staple a business card to each brochure to make sure the people you meet can easily carry both.
Do not be shy! I know for some authors that may be asking a lot. Authors tend to enjoy being more reclusive, they can sometimes be introverted, but when it comes to getting your first book to hit the charts, then you have to step out of your comfort zone. The rewards will pay off.
Free Places to market your ebook:
- Run a Free Kindle Promotion and promote it here: Author Marketing Club
- Do a free Kindle Countdown Deal every 3 months
- Submit your Kindle on EbooksHabit
You may be asking, “Why is there only listings to market my eBook for free and why not my Print book”? Well, the answer is simple, your eBook SHOULD be connected to your Print book, so essentially you are marketing both by utilizing these free platforms.
I hope you found this information helpful!
It may seem like marketing your book is an uphill battle, especially for new authors. While success won’t come overnight, if you stick with it and focus on what you can do, you’ll start to see the progress that pays off over time.
If you want to set up a custom marketing plan on a budget you can afford to help you get the process started, please fill out the form at the bottom of the page on this link: https://www.empirebookpublishing.com/book-marketing/