Long gone are the days when announcing a new book was simply a matter of putting together a news release, sending it off over the wire and counting on major news outlets to spread the word. Even when you work with a publisher, you cannot count on them doing much publicity for you unless you have a big name.
In this world of self-publishing, it’s up to you the author to promote, market and sell your book!
If you want to catch the attention of your ideal reader, you have to make some noise because there’s so much out there.
Today, because consumers are able to get information from a variety of sources and platforms, a successful book launch requires an integrated approach; one that includes traditional, social and online marketing tools.
If you’re looking for some help in figuring it all out, I’ve created the following hit list to help with your book marketing efforts:
1. Get in front of a reporter.Even though new media seems to get all the glory, traditional television, print or radio media outreach remains an effective way to expose a never-before-seen book to the masses. It can be tricky to go at publicity on your own and that’s why I love platforms like [Help a Reporter Out], which makes it easy to get in front of reporters from small and larger media outlets.
Don’t discount other proven methods like sponsorship opportunities, speaking opportunities and local promotional events. Ignoring them can lead to wasted opportunities. If you invest the time to truly understand the demographics and behaviours of the people you’re hoping to reach (aka ideal reader), you’ll know if these traditional methods are worth your time and investment.
2.Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Yes, I’m going to get a bit more technical, but it’s worth it! As an author, you can easily take care of SEO by making sure you have a killer blog and that you post content on a regular base.
Smart blogging will take care of sorts of SEO things that will in the end make it a lot easier for people to buy your book because you’ll have had time to build a relationship with them.
Another way of taking care of SEO-stuff is to have an author page! That a really focused approach to SEO!
3. E-mail Marketing. On both your blog AND your author page, you should be collecting the contact information of people who visit those pages. As you collect names and emails, you’ll build a database. That database should be the first people who hear about your new book, you’ll be surprised at the number of people who have bought from you in the past would buy everything you publish.
Consider offering a pre-order for your new book, exclusive only to e-mail recipients. Or, offer a sneak peek at the new book before it’s released to the public. This will help to nurture and reward your existing relationships and continue building on the trust you’ve already earned.
Additionally, you may set-up an e-mail drip campaign that sends messages on a regular schedule at timed intervals to keep your book top-of-mind with your customers.
4. Online Advertising. Advertising on Goodreads, Facebook or Linked In (especially for non fiction authors) can really boost your sales. It will depend on your promotional and marketing budget, but if you do have one … these are great places to allow your ideal reader to find your book.
If you choose to pursue any of these options, make sure the ads are clickable and direct all referrals to your author page because this page is content specific to the new book, along with information on how and where to purchase it.
5. Social Networks.When your book is ready, let your current customers and brand enthusiasts by updating your existing social networks. Whether you have a presence on one of the well-known platforms and/or another niche social network (like GoodReads), craft catered messages for each. But, don’t just post to any of these social networks and walk away. There are many tools available to help you manage multiple social network profiles, keep the information up-to-date and continue to communicate with your connections, while providing the social proof needed for people to buy your book.
Naturally, these networks are filled with potential for people to share your information. For this reason, make sure you provide valuable content. Try different mediums share the good news about your new book, such as videos, podcasts, photos and/or live chats on Google+ Hangouts. A lot more people these days are now getting their news, or topics of interest, from social networks and e-mail sharing, so this is a perfect place to get information about your book in front of an audience that has already been “sold” on your business.
6. Blog Outreach. When it comes to promoting your book, Blogger outreach goes hand-in-hand with traditional media outreach. It’s nearly impossible to ignore the huge influence blogs have on the Internet.Before “pitching” your book to a blogger, make sure to understand his/her blog, its audience and its content. If it makes sense, offer your bookfor the blogger to review.
When working with bloggers, remember this golden rule: Treat them with the same respect as you would traditional journalists.
7. Social Media Influencers.Using a strategy similar to traditional media outreach, take the time to research, locate and understand the most active social media users in your target category. These people are at a unique advantage because they have a huge fan-base following. While the payoff might not be immediate, creating relationships with these highly influential people can lead to valuable long-term opportunities.
While there is no universally accepted way to define and measure influence, using tools like Twitter Grader and Klout will give a good indication of the major players in the social space and in your specific industry or market.
You can also take it one step further and narrow your search by category.
Tools like Twello allow you to search a directory filtered by self-identified expertise, interests and professions.
This can be especially helpful for identifying Twitter users in a subfield that directly relates to your new book.
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