Whether you self-publish or use a publishing house, one thing is certain: you need to promote your book for it to be successful. Book promotions help generate buzz about an upcoming release, drive sales, and garner positive reviews.
After all, you worked hard to get your manuscript ready for readers, and you want it to gain as much momentum as possible by the time it reaches retailers or becomes available online. Even if your publisher is doing some of the marketing for you, you still have a huge part to play.
So, where do you start? Begin by creating a book marketing plan to help you organize, strategize, and capitalize on your writing skills. Here’s what goes into the perfect book marketing plan.
Your marketing efforts should start before your book is even available for purchase. You should begin six to eight weeks before your book launches.
To generate buzz for your book launch, be vocal about it. Talk about your book on social media: tweet quotes from your book; share snapshots of your writing on Instagram; and post progress updates on Facebook. This all works to build anticipation so that when your book does launch, it takes off quickly because you’ve had a long runway.
Mobilize your existing audience
If you’re a content creator, you probably already know that an army of supporters is an invaluable marketing tool to promote your content. You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) do it all yourself. Make use of your network and community to spread excitement to their respective networks.
If you have a social media following, consider using it to run a book giveaway. People can enter by resharing your promotional posts — just make sure that you create a separate website or landing page for your book so that visitors can easily reference and share it.
Now that your book is on the market, you need to encourage readers to buy it.
Collect initial reviews
Books are like a self-promoting machine if you can gather positive reviews early on. One way to solicit reviews is by giving out early editions of your book for this purpose. Consider reaching out to other authors or influencers. Before you do, be confident in the quality of your writing. A negative review can make future promotional efforts an uphill battle.
Spread the word
This is where you need to do a lot of the legwork. The following techniques will cover your bases:
Scheduling various posts about your book on social platforms: Try images, excerpts from the book, and quotes from positive reviews. Since most social media platforms are feeds, don’t be shy about posting once or twice a day. A lot of your target audience may not have seen your previous posts.
Let your newsletter subscribers know: Consider providing a discount to your existing newsletter subscribers to reward their loyalty and encourage them to buy copies of your book. You can even provide them with a free teaser of the first chapter from your book.
Ask for referrals: When you engage with your audience, suggest that they lend your book to a friend after they’ve read it. This way, you don’t come off as overly sales driven.
Get influencers involved
An influencer within your niche — be it sci-fi or poetry — can expose your book to audiences that you wouldn’t have reached otherwise. Ask influencers to partake in your book’s success by sending them a few copies to review and give away to their audiences for free. You might also consider providing a referral commission to popular influencers so that they become personally invested in your cause.
According to Author Earnings, 675 million printed books and 487 million eBooks were sold in the United States in 2017. With the right book marketing plan, your title can earn a dedicated readership and capture sales for years to come.
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