Elaine Marie Carnegie
Marketing Your Book
by Susan Day, Author, Content Writer and Book Publicist
Please welcome Susan Day, Author, Content Writer and Book Publicist to the Writers Journey Blog this week with some great advice and opportunities.
Marketing your book can be like throwing confetti in the sky and watching the wind blow it away. Sure, some may land on your intended target but, let’s face it, most of it lands in places it’s not wanted. To add to this there are thousands of books published each day, all vying for a reader.
So, how do you market your book and create sales?
The marketing and promotion of your book needs to be viewed as if your book was a business. You need to create a plan which looks at the how’s, why’s and when’s of your book’s publicity.
There are many ways to do this, but one of the most important ways is to understand who your reader is. You may have noticed that I used the word reader, not readers, in the previous sentence. This is because if you can imagine the one perfect reader for your book then you are well on your way to marketing to hundreds more.
Your book isn’t going to be for everyone because not everyone who reads is going to want to read your book. That’s not a negative reflection on your book or you as a writer, it’s just how things are. Some writers understand their work is niche and focus on a small part of the population. This becomes their fanbase.
Let’s say you write romantic comedies, and you want to reach the perfect reader. What does that person look like? What is their age? What do they wear? Where do they live? Do they have a family, kids a career? Can you see where this is going? What books does she or he read? And do they prefer print copies or ebooks?
Don’t just imagine what this person looks like, build a picture.
Draw an image or cut one out of a magazine and sit her or him in the space where you write. Give this person a name and introduce yourself to them each day when you write. Tell them what topics or scenes you are going to create and why. Discuss with them what is going to happen and how you are going to build the narration and plot of your book.
Now, imagine that this one person represents hundreds of readers.
So, now you have created this one person, think about where they hang out online. Which social media platform do they use? How many hours of the day or week do they spend on it? You can find this information out after a few minutes of research.
Now, you might not like Tik Tok or perhaps you don’t really understand Instagram, but your reader might so you are going to have to study up and find out how to build your profile and your fanbase on these platforms.
Follow and unfollow for a few minutes each day and you’ll be surprised how quickly your numbers will grow. Comment, like and share and begin to build relationships with not only potential readers but with literary professionals and your peers as well.
Building relationships and getting known online is important. This might mean chatting to other authors and finding people to connect with. This can be done by connecting with others online and guest blogging, just like I’m doing now. And I can’t thank Elaine enough for the opportunity she has given me to speak about something I’m passionate about.
It’s important that you don’t just blast ‘buy my book’ posts continually! This will soon put your followers off engaging with your content even if they love what you write.
Instead, share interesting posts and tweets about writing, animals, and life. Share your everyday experiences and celebrate all things to do with books. Write interesting and engaging blog posts often. Make sure they are maximized for Search Engine Optimization so search engines know what they are about and can direct potential followers to them first.
Of course, at the end of the day you want to encourage people to visit your website.
Owning your own domain and self-hosting is the only guaranteed way of ensuring that you own and control everything you write online. You should avoid free websites that can be taken down or lost.
Next step - gather emails to market your book. Having a growing email list is a sure-fire way to reach your fanbase. In today’s oversaturated world, people are reluctant to give their emails out so reward them and make it worth their while. You can do this in the form of giveaways, sneak peeks at your work in the form of chapter reveals or competitions.
If you are not sure what will work, trial and error is the best approach. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get much of a response at first, keep trying until you nail it.
There are many aspects to marketing a book. It’s not always about sales. You might want to build a fanbase first, and that they will help you build your reputation and authority as an author. You might want to become recognized as a leader in your field and acknowledged by your peers.
It is important that you fully formulate your goals, so you know where you are going and what you want to achieve. Create a marketing plan for your book like you might create one to run a business. It’s not as hard as you think, and you’ll benefit from working towards short and long-term goals and the satisfaction that comes from achieving them.
Susan Day, Content Writer and Book Publicist Bio: Susan has written over 20 books and thousands of blog posts for her clients. She is currently creating book tours and content for Rocket Book Tours. She has also created a free 10-Week course teaching authors how to market their book online – click here for the details.