So you’ve written your book.
You’ve spent countless hours writing, reading, editing, re-writing, and splitting hairs over plot and punctuation, and it’s finally finished… but now what?
Well, now it’s time to sell your book.
After all, it’s about time the world got to read this work of fact or fiction that has taken so many precious hours of your life to conceive.
But in order to do that, you have to market it.
Whether you’re self-publishing or working with a publisher, this guide will get you started—so you can confidently and successfully launch your book. The first step is to think like a strategic marketing professional. And the sooner you start thinking this way, the easier selling your book will be.
4 Tips to Market Your Book
It’s always good to begin marketing your book—and really, your brand—as soon as possible. Get started thinking about your online presence, running ads or asking reviewers to check out your new book.
Think about it like this: every channel that you’re activating online is a touch point with a potential reader. Instagram, your website, and an email list all hold the power to help grow your brand as an author.
Don’t have a website? Need to clean up your existing one? Glad you said so.
Let’s get into strategy number one.
1. Create a Website
If you want to be a published author, you need a website. It’s non-negotiable.
Think of your website as your central hub. It’s where readers go to find out more about you, your books, and what you represent as an author. Your website also provides an opportunity to connect and interact with you.
Make sure your website includes:
- Your bio and photo
- Excerpts from your book
- Links to buy your book
- A contact page
- Links to your social media pages
- A downloadable media kit
- Email capture functionality
Your website doesn’t need to be ultra fancy or costly. Just make sure your content is professional and high quality, the site is uncluttered and easy to navigate, and you have a custom URL based on your pen name. And consider creating a blog.
Always keep in mind that your website should reflect your brand.
Each element you create—from your URL to the colors of your website—are opportunities to engage readers and show them who you are as an author. Author Builder make it easy for authors to create websites. No technical skills are required and you can convey what your brand and books are all about.
2. Create an Email List
If you’re not capturing emails yet, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Having a simple, yet effective, newsletter signup form provides visitors an opportunity to keep hearing from you down the road.
And with email clocking in the highest ROI out of all marketing channels—a whopping 4X higher than any other digital marketing channel—you’re sorely missing out if you don’t take advantage of growing your email list.
Think about how much time you spend in your inbox. Probably more than you should. This is what makes email such a great tool for authors. Not only is email a direct line of communication, but it’s also a channel that the majority of people are checking multiple times a day.
Plus, let’s get real for a moment: you’re an author. Meaning, you’re good at this writing stuff. This will translate into powerful emails.
Here are some email pointers:
- Have an obvious, simple sign-up form on your website.
- Send your subscribers a welcome email upon sign up. This can often be done automatically.
- Consider sending a few chapters of exclusive content to encourage readers to subscribe to your newsletter. Link to your freebie in your welcome email.
- Don’t email your list more than once a month unless you have great news about a new release.
- Link your signup form on all of your social media profiles.
- Keep emails brief and to the point. Save your extra words for your next novel.
- Consider cross-promoting with similar authors. You can encourage your readers to read their books in exchange for the same
Email allows you to develop a real relationship with your subscribers and win them over. Then when the time comes for you to promote your new book, readers will want to support you and your work.
3. Reach Out to Book Reviewers
90% of people consider positive reviews when making a purchasing decision, according to A Dimensional Research.
And what do readers look at prior to purchasing any book? For many, it’s read the reviews. Without reviews, it’s difficult for potential readers to lock into the idea of buying your book.
This is especially true for potential readers browsing Amazon.
Plus, the more reviews you get on Amazon, the higher your book’s visibility becomes.
Some tips for accumulating reviews for your future best-seller:
- Look for book reviewers and bloggers who read work from your genre. Kindly ask them to read your book and leave a review.
- Be sure to have some advance copies ready, whether digital or galley editions, for your existing reader base.
- Search for top reviewers on Amazon and request a review in return for a book. These reviewers are public domain on Amazon. Be sure to narrow your list by your book’s topic or genre.
- Use an SEO tool like Followerwonk to find niche-specific bloggers on Twitter.
- Use Blogmetrics to locate bloggers with a following that function in the same space or topic as your book.
The more reviews you have on Amazon, the higher your book climbs in the Amazon rankings. Aim to get around 25 reviews. This will provide readers with the confidence that enough people have read and liked your book.
4. Know Who to Target—and Where to Find Them
Do you know what your reader demographic looks like?
Without knowing who your target audience is, building a successful marketing strategy will be like shooting in the dark.
On the other hand, having a hyper-specific idea of who your ideal reader is will give you the blueprint for how to reach them effectively.
Knowing your reader will also provide insights about which platforms you should be using:
- Write young adult novels? Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok should be your focus.
- Have a target demographic of mystery-reading women over 50? Facebook is probably the better choice.
- Write about tech and business? Reddit and Twitter are likely the best channels.
If you’re not sure who your target audience is just yet, take a look at similar authors and who follows them. Hubspot and Pew Research Center are also great resources to learn more about your demographic and how to best reach them.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
If marketing your book sounds like a journey in itself, it certainly can be.
But it doesn’t have to be exceedingly difficult. It should be fun, because after all you’re working to sell your book—something that you worked hard to create.
The truth is, once you’re done writing and your book is complete, you’ve got to take the next step. You have to share your book and get it out into the world.
With Author Builder, you can spend more time being an author. You can create an engaging website to support your brand, grow your email list, sell your books and more in one simple-to-use platform.
Interested in seeing how Author Builder can help you grow your brand? Get started below.