All writers have inevitably experienced this next situation. After countless hours of hard work we finally put the final stamp on our book. That’s right, we are finally done. Talk about an amazing feeling.
This excitement is often short-lived however because soon it dawns on us that the hard work has just begun. Even the greatest book risks going unread without proper marketing. Unfortunately, most writers are much better at writing than they are marketing.
In this post we will discuss 20 ways authors can market their book to ensure it flies off the shelves and is appreciated by the masses.
1. Create A Website
Long before you finish your first book you should create an author website. If you haven’t created on yet, start today. Your website will be the home base for all of your marketing efforts.
There are several easy ways to create an author website, including:
2. Build An Email List
An email list is an author’s best friend. Having a large email list gives you an initial audience to tap into every time you release a new book. Imagine being able to send out an email on the day of your book launch to thousands of interested readers. You could easily sell those first 100 copies and the cost to you would be minimal.
Having a website is the first step to growing your email list, as it gives you a way to attract interested readers. The next step is setting up email magnets like a blog newsletter or free eBook.
3. Get Testimonials From Your Readers
Social proof is extremely powerful for authors. Not sure what social proof is? It’s the New York Times recommendation on a book’s cover or positive reviews on Amazon.
Social proof tells potential readers that other people like them have read and enjoyed your book. If you are lucky, your readers will write testimonials or reviews on their own. If you want to improve your odds, ask them to do so.
4. Engage In Groups & Communities
Online and offline groups/communities are more available than ever. Let’s keep this simple: find these groups and communities and engage in them. Relationships will lead to sales and more opportunities.
5. Use BookBub
BookBub is a free daily email that notifies readers about deep discounts on ebooks. With an audience of millions of readers, BookBub gives authors unheard of reach. If you haven’t tried BookBub yet, it is worth giving it a try. You will have to discount your book to do so, but you can consider it a marketing expense.
6. Grow Your Blog
We discussed earlier the benefits of growing your email list. One of the most proven ways to grow your email list is via blogging. Blog posts attract traffic to your website and if you produce interesting or valuable content the readers you attract will be willing to give you their email address in exchange for continued content moving forward.
Make sure you offer a way for people to subscribe to your blog with their email address. Over time you will be able to use this list to continue to grow your blog as well.
7. Be Active On Social Media
There is no magic formula to succeed on social media. The only thing that is proven is that you need to be active on a daily basis. Post content and engage with other people on social media. Think of social media as a 24/7 networking event. Who can you network with today?
8. Speak At Events
With author conferences, Meetups and many other events becoming more common, your chances of speaking at events are better than ever. Unless you are a best-selling author, you probably won’t land a major speaking gig right away. That is ok. Start small.
Try to attend a small Meetup in your local area that would allow you to speak. Take business cards and copies of your book(s). The networking opportunities at these events are priceless.
9. Comment On Content Created By Others
Commenting on other people’s blog posts, social media posts, etc. is a solid book marketing strategy. You don’t want to spam people with promotional comments about your book. This will have a negative effect.
Instead, comment telling people what you liked about the post or add additional thoughts about the topic. Though this strategy probably won’t help you sell thousands of books directly, it can help you build important relationships with influential people.
10. Attend Conferences and Meetups
Maybe you won’t be a featured speaker at the event or meetup you are attending, but there are still many opportunities to market your book. In person events are extremely effective because people are much more likely to remember you after meeting you in person.
On top of that, communicating in person is much easier. Regardless where you live there will be plenty of conferences and Meetups that you can attend.
11. Guest Post On Other Blogs
We already talked about the importance of blogging on your website. Another valuable blogging opportunity is guest blogging on other websites. The benefit of doing this is that you will be exposed to a new audience of people.
Make sure you include information about yourself and your website in the author section of the blog so interested readers can check out your books and your website.
12. Offer A Book For Free
Have you written a several book series? Is one of your oldest books struggling to continue to sell? One strategy that can really help you promote your books is giving a book away for free. The most cost effective way to do this is to offer a free eBook, since the costs associated with eBooks are much lower than print copy books.
If you have a several book series, consider giving the first book away for free. If one of your older books isn’t selling as well as it used to, it is a perfect candidate for a free giveaway. Think of your free eBook as a business card or commercial. Once new readers are exposed to one of your books for free, they will be much more likely to purchase one of your other books.
13. Create Social Media Ads
Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools in the world. With over 1 billion people active worldwide, social media gives you unprecedented access to interested readers.
Using the advertising tools available on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, you can precisely target people that will be most likely to purchase your books.
Related Post: How To Promote Your eBook With Facebook Ads
14. Optimize Your Website For Search Engines
Let’s not get too technical here. Search engines like Google help people find what they are looking for online. They do so by scanning all the content on the internet and categorizing it.
By including keywords and topics on your website and blog that people would search for, you will help search engines to send traffic to your website. Keep in mind what potential readers would be searching for when deciding what to include on your website and especially in your blog posts.
15. Sell Your Book Electronically
All of your books should be available electronically as an eBook. The benefits of eBooks include:
If you aren’t selling your books electronically, you are missing out on a major opportunity to market and sell your books.
- Cheaper to distribute
- More accessible to readers
- Easier to make changes
16. Add Your Website To Your Email Signature
Did you know that the average person receives 121 emails per day? If your email inbox is as full as mine, this probably doesn’t surprise you.
Sending and receiving emails is a daily habit for most people, so email is a major marketing opportunity for authors. One of the easiest, yet overlooked, marketing opportunities is your email signature. Make sure you add your website URL and latest book title to your email signature.
People always read to see who an email is from. You might as well use this opportunity to let them know how to visit your website, as well as show off your recent books.
17. Hold A Book Signing Event
Holding a book signing event isn’t possible for all authors. For those that can hold a successful book signing event, the marketing opportunity is huge.
One idea for smaller authors is to hold an online book signing. With software making it easy to sign electronically, you could add a personal touch to your eBooks.
18. Offer Sample Chapters For Free
Remember earlier when we talked about giving away a book for free? Giving away sample chapters is a similar strategy. This really only works for eBooks, but it can be a very effective marketing strategy.
All you have to do is set up a way for interested readers to read the first couple chapters of your book for free. Once readers can see that your book interests them, they will be happy to purchase the full book to continue reading.
19. Advertise Your Previous Works In Each Book You Publish
James Patterson does this extremely well. Every one of his books that you pick up has a section detailing all of the previous books he has written. Making readers aware that you have other books is an easy way to increase your sales. The best part about this strategy is that is costs you nothing.
20. Sponsor An Event
Sponsoring an event does not have to be expensive, but the results can be enormous. Find events that your target audience would attend and figure out the logistics of becoming a sponsor.
Most events have several sponsors, meaning you do not have to sponsor the entire event alone. This option may not be affordable for all authors