Marketing possibilities for your book sometimes seem to be overwhelming. Use this article's free checklist to schedule and divide it into small pieces. And execute one at a time – make it a habit to work on it every day.
Let’s assume that you, as a self-publishing author are writing an excellent, high-quality book or e-book and now you are going to publish and market your book.
Or take scenario two: you have written the best book and found the best agent possible and she’s made the best deal she can get with the best publisher who’s interested, then you will be surprised to learn about the reality in traditional publishing:
Marketing Dollar Only for Celebrity Authors
Publishers do spend money on advertising, PR and paid placement in bookstores, but they don’t spend the same amount on all books. On average publishers spend less than $2,000 on advertising 90% of their titles—not much to get the word out about your book.
Bookstores will return your unsold books after three months to the publisher, which means almost the end of your book’s “brick & mortar” career. These are the reasons YOU will have to get the word out about your book, no matter if you author-publish or if you go with a big, traditional publisher.
You certainly have done your homework well BEFORE you started writing your book:
- You researched your possible competition, how popular the genre is in which you are writing, and how comparable books are presented.
- You have identified your target market and in which time-frame you want to accomplish the introduction for your book.
- You made plans for your writing career, you vision already – and maybe even lined out several books, you know that one book only doesn’t make for a writing career.
- You thought about where you want to be in one, three, or five years from now, and what you want to have accomplished as a writer then.
- You also know that book marketing starts ideally before and while you write your future bestseller.
There are two avenues to market and sell your work, even if you have sold your manuscript to a traditional publisher. Either you:
- will invest lots of money and buy ads / go on book signing tours / attend book fairs – or you
- will invest time into building a platform and an authors brand through the use of social marketing and content marketing, plus you learn some fast and free tricks to spread the word about your book
And then there is
1. the promotional, social part and
2. the “hard-selling” part for your book.
The latter will barely work if you have not laid out the foundation with the first part. Would you likely buy something from an unknown person, no matter if on- or off-line? Remember that your competition in published books is fierce and there are millions of books worldwide published every year. Readers have to be convinced to buy an unfamiliar book from a totally unknown author…
It will be the same for both, fiction or non-fiction: The foundation for your books’ success is in building a community, a social environment and a platform to introduce yourself and your work to readers. How can you accomplish this, even before your book is finished? It takes a year to make yourself known in the book community, so start early in order to have a successful book launch:
1. What you can do before your book is ready to go to the beta-reader, copy-editor and final editor:
- Have a professional! photographer taken a portrait to use for your avatar
– Get to know and introduce yourself to potential readers, sign up at Google+ (good for SEO), Twitter, FB, Pinterest, Flickr
– Join several book communities, #1 Goodreads, #2 Wattpad, #3 KindleBoards, BookTalk, Scribd…
– Visit forums in your field, especially if you write non-fiction
– Join HARO (Help a Reporter out) to make yourself a name as an expert in your field
– Start and write regularly (once or twice a week) blog posts
– Create your own (not a free!) author website
– Send your blog articles to newspapers / magazines and even to e-Zines
– Write guest blogs for other bloggers to get your name out
– Write your “elevator pitch” and practice your “elevator speech” for quick pitch
– Start a spreadsheet or list with email addresses of potential readers
– Create an email signature & use it for every email you send out
– Print business cards / bookmarks
– Get an ISBN number and register your copyright
– Register with Bowker to have your book worldwide listed (free)
– Choose the right genre (category) and keywords for your book
– Gather as many reviews as possible and write a compelling blurb
– Research media contacts and prepare Press Releases
– Invite several thousand! people as followers and friends on your social media sites
2. Plan of action, once your book is edited, has an appealing cover – that’s what people see first, is professionally converted (e-book), or got a perfect layout (print) and is ready to launch:
- Place your book into the right category / genre and subgenre (important for its success!)
- Create a second, separate BOOK PAGE on Amazon, Goodreads, Google+ and FB
– Submit your book to the Library of Congress (USA only)
– Set up a media press kit on your website with a link to your book trailer
– Plan and create an email campaign to potential readers
– Get customer orders for special (price) pre-launch sale
– Invite more reviewers for your book
– Submit photos of your book cover image to Pinterest, Flickr…
– Create a slideshow and/or video book trailer
– Send copies to book reviewers in various publications and to book bloggers
– Send review copies to book clubs with large distribution
– Automate submissions to and between all your social networks
– Write a blog post about the upcoming launch
– Spruce up your website and blog for your book launch
– Write a compelling press release
– Ask your friends to list your book under “Listmania” on Amazon
– Participate in “Carnival of the Indies” blog carnival to promote your blog URL
– Comment on other blogs and write lots of guest blogs
– Submit your blogs including an URL link to even more e-Zines
– Consider to participate at KDP Select free days, announce your upcoming book for free
– Offer interviews at Radio /TV stations and newspapers or on other blogs
– Try to set you up to become a desirable guest expert on a talk or morning show
– Befriend influential book bloggers for even more reviews and articles
– Donate your book to local libraries and offer to speak
– Contact local bookstores for book signings
– Gather writing friends for cross-promotions and blog tours
– Add press clippings and articles, already published, to your website
– Get a new business card with an image of your book and sales link
– Place the books’ cover image & description daily on your Google+ stream
– Announce your book launch or book signing on Google+ for FREE
– Get even more friends, followers and people in your circles on social media sites
as you need lots of audience to spread the word about your new book!
What else can you do to increase your books’ success:
– Become a guest speaker at writers conferences or business seminars
– Sell your book to libraries
– Let your book translate in other languages or sell foreign rights
– Split your (non-fiction) book in pieces and sell single articles to magazines
– Participate in writing contests and book awards
The possibilities are endless…
Check for more tips at http://savvybookwriters.com/blog. Make sure you have done every one of these steps to have a great start once your book is published. Write for pleasure – publish for profit!
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