Book marketing tools should be part of your comprehensive marketing plan. A plan based on research, knowing your audience, and monitoring absolutely every marketing component you undertake.
Marketing is my passion. Many years ago as a marketing lecturer I would stand in front of thousands of businesses or university students and use the following quote to commence my talks:
"Fifty percent of marketing is wasted, you just don't know which fifty percent."
Nothing has changed when I talk to authors; this quote still stands. Time doesn’t permit me to go into the intricacies of book marketing in too much detail here, suffice to say that if you want to be successful then book marketing is imperative, not optional.
The Publishing Process
There are five main aspects of the publishing process and many tools for each which are available on the Authors Wish website within these segments.
There are corresponding blog posts from me on each of these main aspects, but this post touches on the tools I find best for the book marketing step specifically. While each step of the overall publishing process is important, making sure every piece forms a successful whole is vital. Here are a few tools to help you manage your book promotion.
Know Your Audience
You can’t market properly without having an understanding of your audience first. How you position the messaging around your book is determined by your audience’s interests and needs. In order for your book to be what they’re looking for, you need to know who they are and where they are.
- Find My Audience is an audience discovery platform for authors and publishers that applies associations, such as genre, themes, and similar books, to social media feeds to help you find potential readers for your book.
Social Media Marketing
You could spend all day monitoring and participating in your various social media channels, but realistically, you probably have other priorities for your day. Engage with your audience in real-time for 15-minute increments throughout the day to be present, but utilize a social media management tool for the rest to keep you from going down the social media rabbit hole.
- Hootsuite helps you manage your social media marketing across several platforms from one tool. Schedule posts for when you can’t actively be on your social media platforms, see who has mentioned you or shared one of your posts, and much more. The best part is that the most basic level of Hootsuite’s service (which does pretty much everything you would need) is completely free. Sign up, play around with it, and see if you like it.
- BuzzTrace is only in beta but is one to keep an eye on (it will launch in March). It has been likened to Hootsuite on steroids. It is an online software that helps publishers and authors discover who's talking about their book, and use this buzz to get powerful action driven reports and analysis to advise the user on how to sell more books.
Book recommendations from trusted sources sell books, not only direct to your consumer, but to libraries and bookstores as well. With so many books in the marketplace, it’s helpful to have people saying nice things about yours in particular, but understand that just because you pay for a review, that doesn’t mean it will be positive, so be certain your book is where you want it to be before you submit it for review.
- Kirkus Indie produces professional, unbiased book reviews for self-publishers from one of the most prestigious magazines in publishing. Traditional publishers, librarians, and booksellers hold Kirkus in very high regard, so it’s great that there’s an indie version as well.
Book marketing goes hand-in-hand with sales. After all, you get the word out about your book with the intention of selling it. Here’s a tool that helps you do both in one swoop.
- Aerio (which is currently only available in the US) gives self-publishers an unprecedented range of direct retailing and social marketing capabilities. Established as a direct-to-consumer solution, self-publishing writers can offer their eBooks and print books to customers directly from their websites or through their social media. You can build your own independent platform of readers and realize real income directly from your own publishing efforts.
Three Phrases to Book Marketing
Authors must understand that there are primarily three phases to a marketing plan:
1) before you publish
2) before your book is released
3) after your book is on the market
Unfortunately many authors are talked into spending obscene amounts of money after the book is on the market in the hope of generating sales.
Writers may be solitary beings but author publishers don't have that luxury. Relationship marketing and an author's platform require integration and constant contact with your target audience, from the very early stages of your book's inception all the way through until it is laid to rest (if ever).
I do not own the tools or programs recommended, but my company and team members have purchased, assessed, and reviewed them all and have compiled the ones we’ve found to be the most practical for the DIY self-publishing journey. You can find more details on the tools and services we recommend at Authors Wish.