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 have to 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 marketing strategy.
Advanced Review Copies (ARCs)
Advance review copies also called advance reader copies, or ARCs for short, are bound and/or electronic copies of your completed book. You'll want to send these to book reviewers and to people you'd like to endorse your book. You can also bring them with you to readings or other events you plan for the purpose of promoting your book pre-publication. ARCs help build buzz for your upcoming release and help you gain blurbs to put on the cover of your finished book and in your title metadata.
Tip sheets should be included with any ARCs you send or hand out. What's a tip sheet? The tip sheet is one page that contains all the relevant sales information about your book, such as the ISBN, publisher/distributor, book length, and date the book will be published. Lend credibility to your work by crafting a comprehensive, readable tip sheet the sells your book at a high level.
Your author website is the go-to online space where readers can find out more about you and your work. Your author website should be the home base that links all your other social media accounts, news about your book, tour schedule if relevant, and links to book reviews, etc. If you don't want to build your own website, you can hire someone to do the building for you using a platform that makes it easy for you to edit and add to the site without outside assistance.
Don't just have one; add to it consistently and frequently. Adding a blog to your author website keeps your readers interested in you and your work. You can even install a plug-in that automatically sends your posts to social media outlets like Facebook.
Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Author Page, and Goodreads
Facebook, Twitter, an Amazon Author Page, and Goodreads are social media outlets where you should have a presence as an author. You might even want to upload videos or book trailers to YouTube. The more hits and likes you garner across the internet, the more your book will get noticed. An online presence is crucial to increasing your book sales and absolutely must be part of your book marketing strategy.
Book publicity makes a big difference. Even if you are an introvert, you will have to work on getting publicity for your book if you want it to sell. TV, radio, and good-old-fashioned print reviews and interviews are invaluable components of a successful book marketing strategy. If you really want to make the most of conventional media, hire a professional with an established network of industry pros. You should also plan to have author events, such as signings and/or talks at bookstores, other retailers, book clubs, writing groups, and events hosted by professional organizations. A blog tour is another great way to interact with fans and potential new readers, gain a following, and promote your work.
The most important thing about a book marketing strategy is to have one. It might seem overwhelming in the beginning, but taking the first step is the hardest part. Consider hiring a consultant or other professionals for those areas of your plan that you don't feel qualified to complete. And take advantage of available free resources like the Pocket Guide to Publishing, where you'll find much more information about what to include in your book marketing strategy.