With so many book marketing strategies available to promote your book, it's easy to get overwhelmed and have difficulty determining what to do and when to do it in order to give your book the best chance. In Part 1, of this series, I discussed what book marketing to work on while you're writing your book. This post goes into detail about what book marketing to consider once you've finished writing.
While Your Book is Being Edited (1-2 months)
The importance of having your book professionally edited cannot be understated, but while that's going on, you can be working on getting the following book marketing strategies in motion.
Pick Your Dates
Consider How You'll Sell Your Book
Create a book page on your author website and decide how you'll sell your book. Will you sell, place, and ship orders yourself, sell and have someone else handle the packing and shipping for you, or simply link to online retailers where your book is available. You can always adjust this strategy. Many independent authors start off by sending visitors to retail sites because it's easiest.
If you're interested in selling from your author website as your own retailer and having Ingram handle your order fulfillment, you can explore Aerio. Like IngramSpark, Aerio is run by Ingram, so while IngramSpark is the publishing, print, and distribution piece for indie authors, Aerio is the sales piece. Readers can place orders on your author website using a widget you embed from Aerio, and your sales will be processed, packed, and shipped by Ingram without you having to place individual consumer orders or pack and ship them manually.
Research Options for Help
Gather information on book promotion companies and understand what is involved in pre-releasing a book. Many free and paid promotional companies can help you launch your book. Look into book tours, signings, and other digital and physical author events.
Start Creating Promotional Material
Create video content to promote on social media, your website, and YouTube channel. Design and print any collateral material such as bookmarks or sell sheets. Create memes, blog posts, tweets, and articles and proactively build your following using social media best practices. Remember quality over quantity, and research post scheduling software that can automate the posting process.
Make a list of book reviewers to approach about your book. There are many places you can solicit reviews starting with friends, colleagues, alumni, and review sources listed on the internet. Until organic reviews are appearing consistently, you will need to ask everyone to read and review your book. Your promotional efforts should bring in a percentage of reviews, but, it’s up to you to get the others. Be creative and consistent.
Two Weeks Before Release
Having a good book launch is essential. Your ranking, sales numbers, reviews, and overall activity play a role in building momentum, awareness, and validation.
Check Your Book Metadata
Once your book appears online, make sure all the book metadata is correct.
Enhance Your Presence in Online Book Communities
Create an Author Central account on Amazon and populate it with your author bio, images, and book trailer if you have one. Connect your blog feed allowing it to show on your author account. Set up your Goodreads account and begin to understand how you can benefit from using Goodreads.
Look for advertising opportunities that can complement any promotional strategies underway. These ad opportunities can be in print and digital format. Make sure you evaluate all press kits to determine if their ad lines up with your demographics and if the spend justifies the potential reach.
This period is about keeping the momentum moving. Visualize having many spinning plates in front of you. You will need to give each plate attention to keep it from crashing to the ground.
Watch your ranking and book numbers on Amazon. If you hit bestseller status make sure you take a screenshot of your book page with the icon Amazon adds and promote it on social media. Being a best-seller is validating for your pre-release focus, but keep in mind your overall goal should be about consistent monthly sales. If you have done a good job implementing a robust book marketing strategy, your numbers should stay fairly consistent.
Update social media and your website about the book release. Follow up on any promotions and giveaways to make sure they are launching.
Keep stoking the marketing fire!
Approach local bookstores about carrying your book. If they agree, make sure you send local customers into that store to buy your book.
Follow up with each strategy on this timeline (from this post and Part 1 of this series) to make sure that you have completed all the tasks. It’s okay to approach and follow up with people who never responded or were initially not interested. It’s all about book sales, so if your book is selling people will be more inclined to be involved.