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.
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Many authors write a book based on a subject they like, or perhaps on a unique experience they have had. As a book marketing consultant, a question I frequently hear is, “My book is finished, now what do I do?” Successful book marketing lies in giving prospective readers what they want to read. Figuring that out depends on four pillars: target market, customer needs, integrated marketing, and profitability.
There’s been a lot to distract us this year! If you haven’t started planning your holiday book sales, you’re probably not alone. While there will still be a holiday buying season this year, the 2020 version will look a bit different than those of years past.
Succeeding as an author isn’t just about writing strong books. Sure, that may be the most important factor, but the rise of self-publishing has resulted in authors facing more competition than ever. If you want to stand out in the crowd, you need to make sure that you also write strong marketing copy.
Making a habit of marketing your books is important for all authors and publishers. Some habits are good, leading to long-term success. Others are not so good and can keep you from reaching your goals.
Our world needs memoirs.
It needs individuals who are willing to share the honest reality of who they are and the things they’ve experienced. When someone chooses to read a memoir, it means they’re searching for something. They’re searching for understanding, to gain perspective or insight, and they’re hoping to find something within your story that they can resonate with—perhaps something that gives them hope.
Creating an eBook version of your book may seem intuitive to most authors, but not everyone agrees. I get pushback from authors all the time about creating eBook versions because they insist their readers won't gravitate to electronic forms of reading. But are you sure? Let's look at some reasons why adding an ebook can be an excellent addition to your overall catalog and a strategic book marketing decision.
Writing a book is hard work, but it’s only half the battle. Once your book is finished, you’ll need to promote it through marketing and publicity—and we’re not just talking about book signings and social media! Article writing is a great way to grow your audience and build a community.
Want to instantly capture readers? No matter who you are or what genre your book falls into—nothing beats getting engrossed in a book description that leaves a reader wanting more. Short and long book descriptions both serve a purpose—to make you and your book look good. Before you start writing, here are a few things you need to know.
When some authors begin the writing process, they do so with their target audience in mind and a marketing plan in place. This allows them to focus on creating and promoting the right content in order to build their author platform and sell their books. Even before you begin writing, you should first be aware of what you are trying to accomplish by writing. You should also know what message you are trying to promote, who the message is for, and how the reader will benefit from reading your book. If your goal is to attract as many readers as possible in order to sell your book, here are six tips to help.
Let’s face it. A lot of people decide to write children’s books because they seem easier. I mean, it’s a 32-page book for 5-year-old kids. There are lots of 5-year-olds in the world, how hard could it be right?
The thing is, you don’t realize just how hard it is because when you Google “How to market a book”, you get 2 billion results. The problem is that the majority of the book marketing strategies online focus nearly entirely on the adult market.
It’s not until you become a children’s author that you realize that children’s books are an entirely different beast.
Let's face it - many indie authors (which I generally refer to as "independent publishers," albeit smaller ones) will dismiss podcasting out of hand.
Too hard. Too time consuming. Don't quite get it. Pass.
And that would be a bad idea.
When you decide to self-publish a book, you are signing up for all the duties a traditional publisher would typically take on. That means you not only have to write a great book but you also take on the job of marketing it. Where do you begin? You construct a book marketing strategy and forge ahead step by step! Here are a few key elements for a good book marketing strategy.
Getting your book reviewed is a crucial step in your book marketing strategy. Positive reviews tell readers that your book is worthy of their time, entice your potential audience with plot descriptions, and give you instant credibility. But there’s more to the book review process than simply sending your book off to a reader and waiting for the result. First, you need to ensure that your book is ready for to be reviewed. Second, it’s important to choose the type of review that will best help you achieve your goals. And finally, you need to learn how to use your reviews to your advantage to sell more books.
Remember the days of Harry Potter mania? Practically every chain and indie bookstore in several countries had a release party for the latest J.K Rowling tome. Children, teenagers, and even parents clad in cloaks, crooked plastic glasses, and eyeliner lightning bolts waited for hours to get their hands on a copy of the latest book. I was a fixture in these lines, complete in my Hermione costume. We look back at these midnight literary festivities ten years later as a pop-culture touchstone. However, to people in the publishing industry, this is the perfect example of how pre-orders can make your book a success.
You could sell more of your books if you'd answer two questions honestly. First, how often do people think about your book? Second, how often do people think about their own problems? You will probably agree that people think more about how they can solve their own problems, learn something, improve themselves, or be entertained than they do about your book. However, if you can show them how reading your book helps them achieve these things, you are likely to increase your book sales and revenue, so let's cover how to target your book's audience.
Authors and small publishers must have their own mobile-friendly, professional looking website—it is, by far, the most important element of a book marketing strategy. I've developed over 150 author and publisher websites in the last 20 years, and although a lot has changed when it comes to developing websites, some things remain fundamental. This blog is the complete guide to creating an author website—from domain names and costs all the way down to specific content categories. Read more and learn how to create a professional author website today.
Book metadata and keywords might seem scary, but they’re really only the words and phrases that you use to describe yourself and your book. Your book metadata will consist of basic things such as your title, author name, author bio, book description, publication date, etc. Keywords are one or more words used to indicate the content of your book. Simply put, metadata and keywords are what make your book appear when a reader goes looking for a specific thing online, whether that thing is a book or not.
Congratulations! You’ve lined up an interview with a media outlet. Now you’ll get to share information about you and your brand, connect with new potential readers, broaden your network, and deepen your knowledge of promoting a book.
These days, there’s a good chance you won’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home to do that. But before you get too comfortable, there are a few key things to keep in mind before, during, and after your interview that will ensure a smooth and successful experience.
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 to give your book the best chance. Marketing a book is a complex part of the overall publishing process and takes proper planning. This book marketing timeline for indie authors is designed for the author who is just about to begin writing, however since all these strategies are important, you can begin to address each one no matter where you are in your publishing process.
You’ve just spent what seems like a huge chunk of your life writing your book, and now, at last, it’s time to hit that publish button . . . but not so fast! Is it really time to publish your book? Just because a book is finished doesn’t mean the timing is right. Your publication date is important. There are certain months that would be perfect for your book and make your pitch to retailers and media outlets easier, and some months you should avoid altogether. Below are some tips to help make sure your book doesn’t launch with bad timing.
Social media is one of the best ways to connect with readers. But, where do you start? In this post, I'll share tips for branding on social media, choosing what social media platforms to use, and following the social media "rule of thirds."
Prepping for your book launch is often shrouded in mystery. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of information out there about how best to do this. I know it’s tempting to give yourself some time to relax after all of your efforts to get the book ready for publication, but when the book is done, the planning starts. Launching your book without a plan is a plan to fail.
Pinterest was once a relatively niche social media platform with only a small marketing and ad presence. That has changed dramatically over the past few years as the platform has grown exponentially and attracted more and more brands for advertising purposes.
When it comes to getting the word out about your book, many authors immediately think of alerting the masses with a press release. A press release—typically a one or two page document offering a summary and highlighting the main themes of your book—is indeed an important element of marketing your book. However, there’s another piece to the promotion puzzle that may be even more important: the book pitch.
Do you think people actually read all the information in your literature, in your press releases, or on your website? Think again. Most people do not read your marketing copy word for word, but quickly scan the page looking for information that is helpful and important to them.
Social media writer's block. It's a thing! You have no problem hammering away at an 80,000-word novel, but when it comes to a 280 character tweet? Forget about it! You end up posting about what you had for dinner or what you did during the day, and nobody seems to be listening... or following. If that sounds like you, then these 13 social media marketing tips are just what you need.
For some writers, building a strong author platform comes naturally, but for others, essential book marketing steps might feel uncomfortable. Here are some tips that will make it easier.
Marketing. It’s a scary, dark hole that awaits published authors. The process of promoting one’s work can be intimidating and extremely overwhelming. The positive side of marketing is that there are endless ways to market with seemingly infinite possibilities. The dark hole – the challenging part – is not knowing where to begin while trying to figure out which path will be most beneficial for your book.
What I have learned is that there is only one way to know which of the many paths will work for you and which don’t, and that is by jumping in head-first. Before you sign up and pursue every path out there while also potentially emptying your pockets, read further for some helpful advice.
No matter the industry, the tech you use everyday requires regular maintenance. You take your car in every few thousand miles, the office copier gets monthly visits from the service tech, and the software you're using to write your next book gets regular updates from its developer.
But what about your website?
You’ve officially started the process of publishing your book! Congratulations; you have put in a significant amount of time and effort, and now the next step is beginning the process of marketing and publicizing to help let others know about the project you worked so long and hard on. This can seem like an overwhelming task, but you can learn to think like a publicist and incorporate media outreach into your marketing strategy.
Fanfiction is a word that is being bandied about more and more in the publishing industry. But what is it exactly? Fanfiction is basically writing a book in another author’s “world.” You use some of their characters and locations and weave them into your own story. Of course you can’t just write this kind of story and publish it on your own, without the approval and blessing from the original author (you don’t want to be accused of plagiarism or “stealing” another author’s ideas and characters). So how does fanfiction work?
According to Bowker, the official ISBN issuing agency in the United States, self-published books were up 40% in 2018 over 2017, with an estimated 1.68 million self-published print and ebooks published. Through the boom of self-publishing, long before 2017, book promotion dramatically changed. Publicity campaigns that were once focused solely around a book greatly expanded to make room for the personality behind the content. An established author platform, in many ways, has become more of a necessity than the book itself as it drives much of the reader, reviewer and media engagement. Most authors know you can’t just release a book into the wild to wait for something to happen, and that promotion—whether at the hand of a professional or the author herself—is necessary. There are, however, critical steps to prepare your author platform before diving headfirst into publicizing your book. Taking these early steps, amongst others, will ultimately provide you with channels you’ll later need to leverage your publicity results.
I will start by saying, my virtual book launch was not planned at all. My original book launch party was planned for 4th April, just before the government stepped up restrictions, banned gatherings, and closed all establishments. I wouldn't let COVID-19 stand in the way of my celebrating—so I decided to throw a virtual book launch and want to help others looking to do the same!
According to an April 19, 2020 CNBC news report, “there was a whopping 777% increase in book purchases” in the first half of April as compared to the first half of March. It’s clear that quarantined readers are devouring books in record numbers, but there have also been important changes in reader preferences and habits amid this boom. These shifts present opportunities for resourceful indie authors who know where to look. So let’s dive into three top trends we’ve identified at Bublish.
Twitter is for politicians, musicians, comedians, but authors? Authors are best at writing novels, not 280-character tweets. Still, hundreds of writers have used Twitter successfully master social media marketing: Augusten Burroughs has over 40K followers on Twitter; Jackie Collins over 170K; Joyce Carol Oates has over 200K; George R.R. Martin has over 1 million; Stephen King has over 5 million; Paulo Coelho has over 15 million. These writers aren’t just popular on social media because they have popular books—they’re popular because they’re actually saying things on Twitter that people are responding to. Here are seven tips to help break down Twitter for authors and make sure you are tweeting like a bestselling author!
There is no question that the Young Adult (YA) genre has taken the book world by storm. Gone are the days when the only titles that fit into this genre were dystopian fantasies, or when the only readers were teenagers. The YA genre has evolved—and continues to evolve—along with its readers and their tastes and now includes more realism, romance, diversity, and inclusivity than ever. As a result, the number of YA books published and sold each year has exploded.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is often seen as a complex and confusing term. And for authors, it can often be another rabbit hole of information, one that seems endless and complex. But it doesn’t have to be. Getting found online is really about doing stuff that Google likes. Google’s number one goal is matching websites to consumer search—and that’s it. So, the key really is not in understanding the various changes in Google’s algorithm, but understanding how search impacts your website—and how to turn this to your advantage.
A challenge is something that requires special effort. It takes special effort on your part to sell your books. Therefore, selling books is challenging. With more than two million books published every year, the book selling climate is fiercely competitive. Every author must meet and overcome three challenges to sell books: attention, time, and declining readership. Let's talk about how.
Sooner or later, every book will get a negative review. Authors can be hit hard by those reviews; you may want to wade in and defend your book, or hide under your blanket and swear you’ll never write again. But negative reviews can hold a lot of value for you, so before you give up or pick a fight, take a deep breath and read on.
With stiff competition for indies to get a place in the programme of one of the big commercial literature festivals, it’s worth thinking laterally and going about it another way: by starting your own. Whereas the high profile litfests depend on famous name, trade-published authors to sell the tickets that fund their year-round operation, there’s plenty of public appetite for small, friendly indie litfests offering a different menu of speakers and the chance to meet their next favourite author that they’ve never heard of!
With the growth of other visual social media sites like Instagram, it seems like the buzz for Pinterest has really died down, but nothing could be further from the truth. Pinterest continues to grow. In 2019 Pinterest became a publicly traded company and in Q2 of 2019, it reporter higher than expected earnings, 62% higher in fact than the previous year.
The whole “introverted writer” thing is so cliché. But hey, some clichés are true—and this is one of them. Many writers are introverts, preferring to keep to themselves, only entertaining the ideas and characters roaming in their brains. So the thought of broadcasting videos of yourself on social media may seem like a threat on your sanity—but it doesn't need to be.
Crowdfunding has become a major source of funding for creative projects since online funding platforms such as Kickstarter began launching around a decade ago. Kickstarter has helped more than 16,000 publishing projects raise over 150 million dollars in the last ten years.
There was a time when becoming an author was a far-fetched dream, and writing a paper was the closest anyone in my community had come to sharing a message. The journey to becoming an author has not been a straightforward one. It has been one of mental challenges, imposter syndrome, and lack of knowledge around the phenomenon that is indie publishing—but it's been so worth it.
Finally seeing the nonfiction manuscript you spent months — or years — writing turn into a published book can feel like crossing the finish line of a long and exhausting marathon. But while you have just achieved an incredibly rewarding milestone, the race is not quite over yet. Because now you’ve got to let the big, wide world know that your book actually exists. In other words, it’s time to learn how to market your book.
As of the second quarter of 2019, Facebook boasts approximately 2.41 billion active monthly users. That’s a key reason it’s among the most popular digital marketing platforms. Facebook ads simply have the potential to reach a very large audience, and this remains true today, despite greater competition among advertisers.
Have you ever met an author who doesn’t want to sell more books? Even the authors who claim they don’t care much about book sales secretly wish they were selling more books. Most authors aim to get as many readers as possible to buy their books—which can prove to be more challenging than writing the book in the first place.
Whether stereotypical fact or fiction, many writers prefer the intimate, one-on-one relationship with their keyboard over marketing or promoting their book. Whether that describes you is beside the point. Your success as an author is in your own hands and marketing your books is no different. Having a solid book marketing strategy is key.
There are many ways you can leverage your book to bring in more business and ultimately help more people. In this article, I will share one avenue where you can use your book as your golden ticket to receive more exposure for you and your business. I’ve used this method with my own book and have helped my clients do the same. And what is that avenue? Leveraging public speaking to bring a face to the words of your book and generate business from that.
Are you thinking about publishing a cookbook? In the digital age, the opportunities to market a cookbook can seem endless. In this article, I'll share nine steps to help you build a following, three keys to planning a successful book launch, and eight different ideas to add to your marketing plan.
Amazon book ads have become complex, but a definite necessity when it comes to book promotion. If done right, these ads can really help to boost your online exposure—but if they’re done incorrectly, they can end up costing you a lot of money. So, let’s look at some ways that you can boost your exposure, without adding to your daily ad budget!
Running Facebook ads can be a total came changer for your book career, but it can also be a big waste of time and money if you don’t know what you’re doing. Over the last few years, we’ve worked with a ton of authors and publishers, but one question we get almost daily is this: “Is running ads on Facebook the same thing as boosting a post?” I’d like to give a very Facebook answer and say, “it’s complicated.” (Read on, it’s really not that complicated.)
You posted a photo of your dog on Facebook and all your friends liked it—building a Facebook page to promote your book to fans should be easy, right? Wrong! While your Facebook fan page may look the same and even function the same, the content and mission is completely different. You aren’t talking to your close friends and family, you are talking to over one billion potential viewers, because unlike your personal Facebook page, your fan page is public and a vehicle of your social media marketing. Here are some tips to point you in the right direction.
We are now living in a golden age for indie content creators. Through Twitch, YouTube, Instagram, and publishing portals like IngramSpark, artists can connect directly with their fans and bypass traditional gatekeepers like agents— they can even make more money this way.
So you just tried advertising for the first time. You signed up for Facebook's ad tools. You made your first ad. You chose an audience, and you uploaded some pictures, and you wrote some great ad copy. Maybe you even tweaked a bunch of settings over time as you figured out what worked and what didn't. Heck, you probably even sold a couple more books than you usually do. So why didn't your ads work quite like you wanted?
You may be ready to start building your marketing plan for your debut book—but where do you start? Some authors avoid planning in general because they don't know how to do it. There are two different ways for first-time authors to create their future marketing plans. One solution is discovery-driven planning in which much is still assumed, but the plan evolves over time through trial and error. A second technique views planning as narrative, conducted as you would when writing a novel.
As an author you’ve probably been told to look at competing titles through multiple stages of your journey from writing, to publishing, to book promotion. Competing book titles can be lucrative references for cover design, book length, choosing your categories and keywords, pricing your book, determining the best strategies for marketing to potential buyers in your genre or topic, and more!
When you visit any indie author’s website, it’s not unusual to see that they’re giving away a book (or part of one) for free. It’s classic marketing: give your customers a taste and they’ll come back if they like it. But in the digital age, there’s more to it than just that.
Two concepts determine your success in answering questions during a television or radio performance: preparation and flexibility. In most cases, you will not know the questions you will be asked during the interview. But if you understand your topic and know beforehand what you want to get across to the audience, you will be able to perform more successfully.
The self-help and wellness industry is thriving. In the U.S. alone, the personal development industry takes in just under $10 billion annually. Books represent a substantial part of this market. So, while this means there is indeed great potential with such a robust market for self-help authors, it also means the competition is fierce. With self-help book marketing, you must make you and your book stand out from the crowd.
While looking for something to get my mom for Mother’s Day this year, I decided to go out on a limb and buy her a copy of Mary Oliver’s Dog Songs. My mom is certainly a reader, but as far as I know, she’d never seriously considered reading poetry before. A few days after Mother’s Day she had already started the book. She called to thank me, explaining she can only read one or two poems at a time because they make her cry so much. “But,” she said, “I really love it.”
As a romance author, you’re given a wonderful opportunity to speak to readers on an intimate level. Every time they purchase one of your titles, they’re inviting you into their lives and admitting their (sometimes very secret) fantasies and desires! Take this role seriously and use these five essential strategies for selling romance novels and building your return fan base.
Here’s a big question: why do most successful self-publishing authors write series rather than standalone books? The answer is quite simple: once you manage to hook a reader into a series, they are likely to buy all the books in that series.
It’s easy to tell a story with words—but pictures? What is a writer supposed to do with Instagram? Should it merely be a tool to post cats getting in the way of your writing by sitting on your keyboard? Perhaps. But if you want to use Instagram as a way of connecting with your readers, here are a few things to remember.
Every author aspires to have a perfect book launch. However, the problem for most authors is that there’s always a lot going on around the time you launch your book. Maybe you’re planning a book launch party, some local signings, or even a big virtual event. But, there are a few key elements specifically related to your Amazon launch that shouldn’t be overlooked. With that in mind, let’s dig further into their ecosystem to better understand how to plan a successful book launch on Amazon.
Self-publishing is booming, and with this transition comes a plethora of organisations worldwide offering author services to writers. But what if your budget doesn't extend to a professional editor, typesetter, cover designer, and so forth? Does this mean your book will not meet industry standards, be of poor quality, or sadly never be published? Absolutely not.
Book publicity is one of the least expensive and perhaps most productive of the promotional strategies used to generate exposure for books. And a press release is a commonly used tool to stimulate publicity. However, too many publishers' press releases go unheeded because of one major mistake—they write their press releases about their books.
Marketing plays a huge role in any book’s success, but this is especially true for self-published books. Before you publish a book (or before you even start writing it!), it’s important to think about who you’ll be selling your book to—and how. Digital marketing is constantly changing, and it can be tough for authors to keep up with the top trends. We've rounded up the top digital marketing strategies to help both new and savvy indie authors understand how to market self-published books.
I’ve been speaking professionally for over twenty years and know first-hand the impact it can have on book sales. No matter how digitized a culture we become, there is no substitute for actual human contact—the sacred connection between an author and their audience. As an author, how can you harness that power of speaking engagements? Here are some tips to use speaking engagements to help you build your author platform and sell more books.
Book publicity can be defined in one sentence: it is using the media as a conduit to spread word of an author and book to general and/or target audiences. It really is, in its simplest form, a “you scratch their back, they scratch yours” scenario. You, the author, offer great material or ideas for a story, article, broadcast interview, podcast, etc., and the host or editor “plugs” your book. Here are 15 important tips to consider when you’re trying to get media attention and coverage to promote your book.
Over 850 million books are purchased in the United States each year. According to Nielson, a global information, data, and measurement company, 47% of the American population purchases books. If you do the math, 151 million people bought these books. This means, on average, these book buyers purchase five to six books a year. Why do people buy books? There are four main reasons people buy any product, books included, and understanding why will help you build your author platform.
Social media marketing is important for almost every industry. Consumers use it to make purchasing decisions and see what non-marketers are saying about a person, brand, or idea. Authors and publishers use social media marketing to direct consumer awareness in the online community.
Authors often ask me how to get that magic piece of writing at the beginning of the book. You know the one, where Mother Teresa tells the world what a fabulous person you are, and how the world will be a better place with your book in it. This little piece of heaven is called the foreword for a book.
As a whole, Americans shop a lot. We constantly buy and discard items. Scientists regularly study people’s buying behaviors in an attempt to better learn how people make purchasing decisions. Studies reveal that people’s purchases are determined by three factors: awareness, decision, and availability. You can capitalize on each of these components to sell more books.
You put a ton of effort into getting the perfect cover for your book and the perfect image for your publisher imprint that best represents your author brand. Now, it’s time to apply the same level of effort to creating awesome printed collateral to execute some of your book marketing. In other words, we’re talking about swag. The best pieces of swag are those a fan can keep using long after he or she has read your book. Here’s how you can make your swag the one readers hang on to.
When you self-publish a book, you’re probably the one doing everything for it. Beyond being its author, you’re its publisher and its entire book marketing team. You want people to read your book—what publisher doesn’t?—and so to make that happen, you’ve got to do all you can to get your book into your target audience’s hands. Before you can do that, you need to define who you are and what a reader can expect from you. How? A good place to start is where other creatives begin to promote their work: with solid branding.
In the vast sea of promotional activities an author can engage in it is easy to float adrift. Many authors get overwhelmed by just how much there seems to do! Don’t let that attitude become yours—with a little planning and even a minimal time commitment, you can do easy online marketing for your own book. Each of these items can be accomplished in an hour or less.
Direct mail has been given a bad reputation because of overuse and poorly designed mailing pieces. People tend to perceive direct mail as junk mail. However, when you have a finite, identifiable group of people who are potential customers for your books, direct mail may be an efficient book marketing tool you can use to reach them.
It’s one of the most challenging tasks that can be asked of an author, to choose a passage from their book that represents, better yet, encapsulates its essence. When I owned a PR firm, most of my clients were authors, and I’d select their excerpts all the time. Piece of cake! Then I became an author, and soon discovered, it’s much harder when it’s your book.
We live in a world where content is king. Businesses know one of the most important pieces of information they need to have is their content strategy. Without one, how are people going to find out about your business? Successful authors are not just people who write well—they’re people who think of their writing career as a business. Like any successful business, authors need a content strategy.
Have you heard of Abraham Maslow’s Need Hierarchy? It describes a pyramid of needs through which people move as they are motivated to fulfill unmet needs. The foundation is made up of the very basic needs (security, food, etc.) and people advance ultimately to self-actualization. Believe it or not, the same concept applies to book buying from business-to-business (B2B).
It seems simple enough: a media contact or blogger, online reviewer, etc. requests a copy of your book. So, you toss it into an envelope and send it off. Request fulfilled. Done. Well . . . perhaps not so fast.
Every author has a different comfort level with social media. You may be a real star at creating content for your channels but get tired of the constant attention your social media presence requires of you. Or, you may have only discovered recently that social media is a part of the author experience, and you are now trying to figure out how to best use your time in what can be an overwhelming world of likes, retweets, shares, tagging, friending, following, and sharing stories. So what social media should authors use?
It’s a matter of seconds. Perhaps 10, maybe up to 20, but that’s about it. That’s how much time you have to get the attention of an editor or producer when you pitch your book or pitch yourself as the author. It's commonly referred to as the elevator pitch and there's an art to perfecting it.
As authors, many of us secretly wish book marketing would just magically happen. We’d rather focus on writing and producing books than try to figure out how to sell them. Unfortunately, book sales don’t just happen. We have to do the work. Which is why we should discuss blogging for authors.
Are your book sales at the point where you expected them to be when you published your book? Are you doing the same things you always did to try to sell them? Have you heard the maxim, “If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got”? If your sales are below forecast, maybe it's time to try something different.
As a book publicist, I get asked a lot of questions up front by authors about how book publicity works in general, as well as what services are provided for authors. Learning a base amount of information before you hire a book publicist can help you weed through service packages, project proposals, and also just crystallize your vision for your book’s PR campaign. Here are a few of the top questions authors ask as a starting place for you to promote your book!
Social networking is powerful. One-third of the world uses social networks regularly. Studies show that 81% of shoppers use the Internet to help them make purchasing decisions. While physical book clubs and reading groups still exist, online communities for book lovers make it easy for readers to share the books they are reading and their thoughts about them with a much wider audience. Social networking sites for books allow readers to connect with other readers around books.
Sometimes authors get tunnel vision. They (understandably) only concentrate on getting their book written. And while I’m not saying that’s unimportant, it’s a bit mad to write a book and expect everyone to immediately flock to it. You need to put in the groundwork to make your book a success. This is true especially if you’re planning to self-publish: since you’re responsible for your own book marketing, you want to ensure that your book reaches the right eyes on (and after) release day. To this end, a successful book launch is all about generating book sales and book reviews with different retailers over the first few weeks. Luckily, there are plenty of ways for you to achieve this.
When it comes to book promotion, digital marketing and publicity are often mentioned in the same breath. It’s easy for them to be viewed as the same thing, especially since they both help promote your book and get it in front of readers. However, there are several key differences between digital book marketing vs. book publicity that you should keep in mind as you decide how to promote your book.
You’ve got your book ready to go, but it’s time to consider the auxiliary writing you must do in order to support the publication of your masterpiece! Now that the writing is “done,” it is time to write your author bio.
There’s a great debate: does giving content away actually get people to spend money? Maybe not immediately, but giveaways are part of a longer lead cycle and a great step for nurturing your readers into customers. You should definitely do a giveaway—but you have to do it right. Here are some tips to get you on the right track.
Galleys (or ARCs) continue to be a vital step in the book review process, which can help make or break a book. As important as galleys are, the accompanying galley letter is equally important. Knowing how to construct a letter that helps sell your book (what to include and the overall structure) can help your galley/book get noticed and, ultimately, get media coverage and stocked by retailers.
Goodreads is a platform for book lovers to interact with each other, post book reviews, recommend books, track their yearly reading goals, and other bookish things. Unlike other social media platforms, everyone on Goodreads loves and reads books, and as an author, getting good reviews on Goodreads helps generate more readers. This platform is often new to authors when they’re releasing their first book, so the question authors often ask is, “What can I do to stand out on Goodreads?”
An incredible percentage of books sold in the United States are sold by Amazon. This online retailer accounts for 74 percent of all ebook purchases in the country. In 2016, Amazon sold 42 percent of all print books in the US. Since Amazon holds the lion’s share of the book market in the United States, not only should your book be available for sale on Amazon, you should also be taking advantage of Amazon’s book marketing tools to leverage your book sales. One of the book marketing tools Amazon offers for authors is Amazon Author Central.
Recently, the publishing world has been in a tizzy about the “fixing of the lists” by a now notorious first-time author, Lani Sarem. There is a wonderful summary of all that transpired by Vox writer Constance Grady if you’d like to read the storied background of how this scandal erupted (and you should). This self-published author temporarily tricked The New York Times into bestowing the much-coveted best-seller appellation upon her book (but they later removed Handbook for Mortals from the rankings).
I recently bought a book from legendary American author, T.C. Boyle. When I got it home, I was jarred to notice that the book jacket contained exactly zero advanced praise. I became immediately skeptical that the book could possibly be any good—and we're talking about T.C. Boyle. Now imagine the value of that advanced praise if we're not talking about T.C. Boyle.
Newspapers are one of the key sources of publicity for authors. However, very few writers take the time to understand the types of content that make up a newspaper (either the printed or the online version). If you understand what kinds of stories make up a newspaper, you can see where your book might fit in and how to position it to optimise your opportunities.