Writing your book is a phenomenal accomplishment; the rush of typing those last words and putting the finishing touches on it is akin to climbing a mountain and finally reaching the summit. Once you get to the top, you’re hoping you can stop, enjoy the view, and relish in your achievement, and you can—but not for too long. Once you've completed your book, the next leg of the journey begins: marketing it.
Think about it: what good is your new book if nobody knows about it? You put so much effort into writing it and choosing a publishing path to help bring it into the world because you want people to actually read it—and that’s where book marketing comes in.
A common mistake authors make is to get overwhelmed by the idea of promoting their book. They think all is lost if they don’t have flashy connections, an “in” at top media outlets, a display spot reserved at the bookstore. While hiring a good book publicist is extraordinarily helpful for helping to fill in those blanks, there is one crucial thing authors often forget when embarking on their book marketing journey that can’t be replaced by anybody or anything else: their own network!
Here are a few ways authors can leverage their existing networks for book marketing:
Share (and re-share) on Social Media
Social media makes it easier than ever to let our personal (and professional) networks know about what’s going on in our lives. Don't shy away from shouting your new book from the rooftops of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or whatever personal platforms you’re currently active on. It can feel nerve-wracking—or even boastful—to let family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances know about your project, but remember that you’re connected for a reason and the vast majority want to see you succeed. Sharing your book across your social circles is the first step to getting it out there, and word of mouth via social media can be a very powerful thing.
Put Together a Launch Team
It’s a wise plan to put together a team of people to help spread the word about your book even before it’s published by with reviews, event attendance, pre-orders, and more. When assembling your own personal cheerleading squad, who better to start with than your existing personal network who knows you, is connected to you, and is already interested in seeing you succeed? By offering the people closest to you exclusive access, offers, discounts, and general VIP status, you’re letting them know that you recognize and value them.
Make New Partnerships
Chances are, especially as an author, you personally know someone else who has written a book or achieved something similarly creative. Our personal networks are full of fascinating, diverse, accomplished people with their own dreams and goals; it’s understandable to feel hesitant when it’s your turn to ask for support. A more productive way to look at our personal and professional connections is to identify those you could partner with to champion each other’s projects. Perhaps it’s a content swap, an exchange of promotion of each other’s projects on your social media pages, a shared event – the partnership possibilities are endless.
Finally, simply ask your family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances if they can help spread the word about your book, and you’ll be amazed at the response. Send an email to your family, a text to your friends (voice messages are a great, underutilized, and personalized way to reach people!), meet up in person to share the news, or communicate in whatever way feels best to you. Talk about your book at work when the timing is appropriate, let your knitting club members know you’ve finally finished it, make an announcement at your next family gathering. When you make the decision to allow people to support you, you’ll be off to a great start.
Though book marketing can feel like another mountain to climb, the ascent will be made much easier and more fun alongside the people who know you and believe in you… and when you get to the top, you can bet the view will be worth it.
A couple links to our resource to consider including: