Once upon a time when you published a book you’d get help from the publisher to market and sell the book. I remember as a kid seeing authors on the Today Show talking about their books and their book tours across the county. That was the epitome of success to my 10-year-old-self, being on TV and traveling across the country!
However, over the years the book publishing industry has changed and if you land a book deal with a publisher, you are not guaranteed that the publishing house will market your book, schedule book tours, or book you on the Today Show. Unless you’re a very famous person who already has a huge audience, the publishing company will likely ask you, the author, how you plan on marketing your book to make sales.
“But I’m just a writer; what do I know about marketing?” Everyone markets themselves in some way and perfecting your marketing skills will take some practice. Marketing, essentially, is telling people in your audience about you and your product, in this case your book. People won’t buy if they don’t know you or know you even have a book to offer them. So marketing begins with creating relationships on social media.
The Power of Social Media
Who is the ideal reader of your book? What social media platforms do they utilize? That’s where you need to get started building a profile and name recognition. Of course, start by telling family, friends, and coaching clients about your book but then simply ask them to share the information with others in their network. Use hashtags and keywords in your profile so others can find you and ask for reviews.
One word of caution: you don’t want to use social media simply as a selling machine because that will turn people off. Be helpful, post things that are funny or personal, show a glimpse behind the scenes of a writer’s lair. Be creative but don’t turn every post into a, “You should buy my book,” post.
Local Marketing Works
Branch out into your local community and tell people about your book. Local libraries often host a Meet the Author event, even your local big-box bookstores invite local authors to do a reading or to answer questions. Send press releases to your local newspaper, radio stations, and television stations and then follow up if you’re serious about landing an interview. Highlight these events on your social media platforms to encourage people to attend or listen. Consider setting up a booth or tent at your local community day celebrations.
Nobody likes the ‘hard sell’. Think of the stereotypical used car dealer. You no sooner have one foot on the lot when they pounce and want to just sell you any car, without taking the time to listen to your needs or wants. Don’t do this with your book! Build relationships with people you meet. Don’t just shake hands and ask them to buy your book or to carry it in their bookstore. Listen to them speak about their business and ask questions. Certainly mention your book but multiple conversations may need to occur before you get a sale or an agreement to carry them in a local bookstore. People will want to help those they know, like, and trust, not somebody who appears to be out for themselves without a care for others.
How to Stay Organized While Marketing Your Book
Writers or coaches who market their own books need to keep their marketing plans clear and organized or risk having a jumbled, unclear message which can result in low book sales. Our Book Planner is just the tool you need to keep your marketing plans concise and to organize all the different marketing events and contact information.
A marketing plan involves multiple moving parts which will become impossible to keep straight without writing it all down. Our planner gives you plenty of space for notes, contact information, and a calendar to avoid double booking events.