Books don’t sell on their own, especially when no one is physically allowed to go to bookstores. You have to market.
Fortunately, we have e-commerce, as well as e-books. The global e-book market was valued at 18.13 billion USD in 2019. Amazon Orders 83% market share in the United States, leaving the rest mostly to Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Google. These should be on your radar as the main selling points. Whether your book is digital, print, or both, you’ll need to establish a solid marketing strategy if you don’t want all those hours of writing to be wasted. Here are the dos and don’ts.
Do the hard part first: promote then post
When it comes to selling a book, the steps we tend to jump in first are developing a brand, building a website, and of course, taking care of the design of the jacket all the time. down to the smallest detail. While these are important steps, they won’t do anything for you if the book doesn’t get around. Prime the engine by promoting early.
âIn our last self-publishing survey, we asked top-selling authors to share some of their secrets to success,â said Stephen Spatz, President of Bookbaby. âOne of the most important findings: over 80% of these bestselling authors started marketing their books before they started writing. He says the “promote then publish” mentality is spreading among freelance writers and self-publishers.
Don’t be too proud of the cold call
Get your book out with some good old-fashioned cold calls.
Targets should include book reviews, relevant bloggers, influencers, and key people from industries or communities connected to your audience. Be prepared to contact them, sometimes repeatedly, and face many rejections.
âIt’s a real lesson in humility,â says Peter Aiello, author of Hidden Treasure. âYou have to be prepared to beg people to read your book. Give copies if necessary. Write this down as part of your marketing strategy, and remember that this is all about labor. You send a number of emails and phone calls a day and then you point.
Support your book with content marketing
People are more likely to care about the content of your book if they are already interested in what you have to say. So crack those fingers and start blogging. Author Joanna Penn recommends that in addition to articles and blog posts, you create podcasts, vlogs, a whitepaper, or a webinar. All the free content you produce is marketing.
âEvery day I post useful links to other sites and some of my own,â she says. This includes social media posts and subscriber responses. Publishing an article at least every two or three days is a good idea. âMost of my social networks are pre-programmed for multiple time zones. I put the creation in batches and have at least a week of prep in advance, âsays Penn.
Every week, she posts at least one YouTube video and podcast, including a blog transcript. Every month, she hosts webinars, live events, or appearances on other people’s podcasts. Every year she writes more books. âIt might sound like a lot of work,â she says, âbut if you love what you’re doing you’ll never be short of ideas. “
Set up your own property online
Don’t build your entire presence around social media. A social media platform is someone else’s real estate. They can change the rules at any time, and when they do, it will disrupt your income stream. On top of that, most social media content is ephemeral, especially given the rise of ephemeral content. Use social media as a way to engage your followers, but not as your primary brand or marketing presence. Getting social media traffic to your own website and collecting email addresses is essential so that you have a direct line with your audience and don’t depend on another business platform.
âYour website is where you control the narrative,â says Aiello, âthe look, the brand presence and, most importantly, the messageâ. This is where you keep your blog posts, press releases, and professional photos. âIt’s also the gathering point for all the links to your retailers and distributors. As you build your website, treat it as your anchor in the digital space.
There will be a lot more to do, but if you follow these steps, your book will gain momentum. Remember, people are hungry for more reading than ever. Getting your pages in front of them is just a matter of smart marketing and a commitment to keeping up with the daily workload.