One of the most important activities an author needs to engage in is marketing your book. Yet, many leave it to chance and sales suffer as a result.
When you sell books, you open up lots of opportunity.
When my book, Power Up For Profits; The Smart Woman’s Guide to Online Marketing was released, I had been laying the marketing foundation months before the book was available on Amazon.
As a result of a very focused marketing campaign, I sold thousands of copies in a short period of time. On the back end, I made a lot of money AND had incredible opportunities open up for consulting and speaking gigs.
Even though the book was published in 2013, I still market it. The mere fact I am using it in this post to show you essential ways to market a book means I am still marketing it. The great thing is that the content applies as much today as the day it was released.
Yet, many authorpreneurs do little, if anything, to market their books. There are dozens upon dozens of ways to market your book. My friend and colleague, John Kremer, has identified 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. When I got really serious about marketing one of my first books, I went through John’s book with a fine tooth comb. The number of ideas I implemented was in the dozens and as a result, I GOT results.
Even though John’s book is currently out of print, you can still get a used copy off of Amazon. I highly recommend you do. It’s worth its weight in gold.
For the sake of simplicity, here are five activities you can focus on that will definitely get your books in the hands of eager readers.
- Message your current subscribers
- Social media posts
- Media releases
- Blog Tour
- Speaking from the platform
1. Messaging your current subscribers
Don’t have a list? Aghhhhh. That’s one of the first things you need to focus on. A targeted email list is definitely something every author needs. When you have a list, you have control over what you send to your subscribers. Without a list, you can miss a lot of great opportunity.
An easy-to-use database management system is AWeber.
The best way to build your list is to offer something of value in exchange for someone’s name and email address. I have a number of ways I encourage people to opt-in to my list. For example, my complimentary report, Hit #1 on Amazon, is a favorite with my community.
2. Social media posts
Rather than trying to be seen on every social network, pick 3 – 5 (maximum of 5 with 3 being better – less is more in this case) and go deep into those networks. The ones I tend to get the most traction from are Facebook and Instagram. I use Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, but the greatest response is with Facebook and Instagram.
I post various types of information on a regular basis. Everything from pictures and videos of a race I participated in, to links to blog posts that my community enjoys.
The key is consistency. It’s about building familiarity and name recognition. That way, when you are promoting a book you’re community is much more likely to buy your book.
3. Media releases
Often misunderstood and underutilized, media releases are a great way to gain traction with various media sources. According to Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases, “All businesses can benefit from press release distribution. No matter what industry you’re in and no matter how small or big your company is, you can benefit from press release distribution. Even if you don’t have that “Oprah story”, you do have stories that can get you coverage in trade journals, magazines, blogs, podcasts, and other publications that cover your industry. Of course, you can’t get that publicity unless you tell your story.”
Make media releases a part of “business as usual” in order to get your message out to market. As with virtually any part of marketing, make sure you target the correct outlets for your message.
For example, if you are releasing a book on childcare, avoid sending your information to pet editors. It’s not a match. The more targeted you are, the better.
You need to be strategic in order to get your book discovered by the media.
4. Blog tour
Oh my! I LOVE blog tours. In a nutshell, a blog tour is a virtual book tour. You can get your message out to thousands, even millions, of potential readers by being a featured expert on various blogs.
As with anything, you need to be very focused on your approach. Start with a “wish list” of blogs you would like to be featured on. Determine what the benefit to the blog owner (and their readers) is so when you reach out to them, they know you have thought through why they would benefit from hosting you.
As with anything, the more you reach out, the greater your results.
5. Speaking on the platform
By far, this is one of my favorites. You can get paid… or not. Often, you can make more money by not getting paid, but having the oopportunity to sell your books and other information products.
You can also negotiate with the media planner for them to buy a book for every person in the audience. They may even have sponsors who will purchase books in bulk for all event attendees.
There are a number of ways you can benefit on the platform. Ready to learn how to make money speaking? Check out Speak, Sell, Profit – Insider Secrets to Making Six Figures from Speaking on the Platform.
When you put time into a strong marketing plan for your book, you will get great results. The key though is to implement the ideas. Action results in sales.
If you enjoyed what you read, be sure to join the Power Up for Profits Facebook Group. In there you will find lots of like-minded entrepreneurs who are living lives of passion.