Self-publishing a book is not easy and takes a lot of resources. When you decide to self-publish a book, you’ll be signing up for all the duties that a traditional publisher once managed for authors. You likely will be facing an increased workload as you’re not only going to write a great book, but you will also take on the additional responsibility of marketing the book.
The question that comes to mind is just where exactly do you begin the marketing process. You will have to construct a book marketing strategy and ensure that it is working based on your strengths. The first rule is that you must have a decent book marketing strategy, which will allow you to set up all the details of the marketing plan for your book. To help you out, we will share some of the key elements of a good book marketing strategy.
To gain the most traction for your book, you must rely on book marketing and promotion. Still, the problem here is that most self-published authors and even small independent publishers don’t have the budget to focus on an extravagant book marketing campaign. The good news is that there are many effective and affordable methods that you can use to help get the word out and, at the same time, help strengthen your author platform for selling more books.
So, where does a self-publishing author start from when it comes to marketing and selling a book on their own? The following book marketing strategies for self-published authors provide a high-level look at the different traditional and digital book marketing strategies. Here is what you should include in your book marketing strategy:
Advance Review Copies (ARCs)
Advance review copies, which are sometimes referred to as advance reader copies or ARCs for short, are generally bound or electronic copies of your completed book. You will want to send these to book reviewers, booksellers, and even people you would like to be endorsers for your book.
Plus, you must remember to do this BEFORE you launch your book to the general public. Often times, self-published authors are overly eager to offer their book for sale. The dream of money flowing in after all that hard work is tempting. However, having reviews posted on your book’s official launch day on Amazon, Goodreads, and other book sites can make the difference between a few sales and a gold rush.
The best thing about advance review copies is that you can bring them to readings or other events you have planned for the purpose of promoting your book before it is published. Advance review copies can help build buzz for your upcoming release and help you gain blurbs to put on the back cover of your finished book or into your book’s metadata. The main thing here is to establish an initial connection with the public so that they are more accepting of your book when it’s launched.
Providing advance review copies of your book is needed to get book reviews posted quickly whenever you make your book for sale on Amazon or other book sites. If you’re not sure where to find people to read ARCs, check this out: Get More Book Reviews by Knowing Where to Look.
Your author website may be the most critical online element you need. It provides readers of your book to learn more about you and your work. You should ensure that your author website is the home base that links all your other social media accounts, links to book reviews, tour schedule (if there is one), and news about your book, of course.
Should You Blog?
Many authors face that question, and there is no one answer fits all. If you decide to have a blog on your website, then experts recommend adding content consistently and frequently.
For many authors, a blog can be an excellent method to let your readers and fans know more about you. Sharing elements of your personal life, writing routines, and even what you are reading builds a stronger connection.
If you want to, you can also install a plug-in that will automatically post a link to your blog entries on social media platforms, such as Facebook. Having your own blog is beneficial in the long-run when it comes to marketing your book as you can pen your own thoughts and easily share any marketing gimmicks that you want with your followers. It also gives you the chance to connect with your fans and give them insight into the type of author that you are.
You should include tip sheets with any advance review copies that you are sending out to the general public. What’s a tip sheet, you ask? Well, the tip sheet is a solitary page containing all the sales information relevant to your book. This will include the book description, publication date, book-length, publisher/distributor, and ISBN.
You can lend a fair amount of credibility to your work by crafting a comprehensive and readable tip sheet that sells your book at a high level.
One important question that you’ll want to answer when promoting your book to retailers is: what will make your book worth a seller’s while?
The one thing that retailers want to know is how you can help them make some money. You must learn about your target market for that. You should understand what the audience that reads books in your chosen genre are looking for, and then play on those elements. Most importantly, you must have a plan in place. Time your launch so that it coincides with trade and retail calendars. However, you should keep in mind that the bookseller isn’t going to be marketing your book for you, as that is going to be your job.
Social Media Marketing Outlets
When it comes to making a big impression on your followers, you need the power of social media to make a big wave. That’s why you must have Goodreads, an Amazon author page, Twitter, and Facebook as social media marketing outlets. You must have a presence as an author here, and you may even think about uploading some videos here as well.
The point is that the more hits and likes you get across the internet, the more your book is going to get noticed. That’s the entire point, and having an online presence is crucial to increasing your book sales, and, on the other hand, it is a strong addition to any book marketing strategy.
One thing that makes a massive difference for self-published authors is book publicity, and it is generally reserved for books published traditionally. Even if you’re more of an introvert, it can only help to get publicity for your book. Radio, TV, and good old-fashioned print reviews and interviews are all valuable components of a successful book marketing strategy.
If you want to take advantage of conventional media, you should look towards hiring a professional with an established network of industry professionals. You can also plan to have author events, like signings and/or talks at bookstores, other retailers, writing groups, book clubs, and events hosted by professional organizations. Another great way to interact with fans and potential new readers is a book tour, which will allow you to gain a following and promote your work.
Making a Connection
An attractive author brand is built on the back of a good book marketing plan. An attractive author brand will result in a healthy author platform, which is capable of converting a one-time buyer into a fan for life. Instead of being “sales-focused,” your book marketing should be about fostering meaningful relationships, both with booksellers and readers. Even though your goal is to sell more books, the story your marketing tells should be engaging, informative, and positioned accurately based on your genre and style.
There is certainly no shortage of the different ways you can go about marketing your book and building a keen interest of the public in it. To go about it the right way, you will need to take the time to know about the buying habits of readers in your genre and create a relatable message. In the beginning, try achieving a balanced mix of traditional and online tactics. You will find that most of these tactics tend to overlap with one another.
How you go about planning the marketing of your book isn’t the only factor that you will need to consider, especially when it comes to self-publishing. However, good marketing is all about how readers learn more about you and your book.
When it comes to marketing a book, the most important thing is to have a plan in the first place. It might seem a bit overwhelming to you at the start; however, taking the first step is the hardest part and the one thing that is going to take you to success. You should look to hire a professional for those sections of your plan that you don’t feel qualified to complete. These are some of the factors you should consider when making your book marketing strategy. Implement these ideas, and you will hopefully be looking at success when it comes to marketing your book.