After dedicating a year to writing your first book, you’re now this close to getting it out there. But first things first, are you going the traditional- or self-publishing route? You will need to choose either one or the other when marketing your book.
Publishing Profits shares five tips on how to market your first book here effectively. No, it won’t be the full suite of marketing methods established authors have at their fingertips; it will be a simple, hands-on approach to getting your first book out there and through to your target audience instead.
While you can hope that a publisher’s website will feature your book or your book will get passed around among Amazon’s top reviewers, don’t bet your hope on it.
Take matters into your own hands and market your masterpiece the way it deserves. Things may be harder for you since you don’t have a track record, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. Thousands before you have done it, so why can’t you — especially when you have the following tips to rely on.
Tip #1: Create your brand.
As a first-time self-publisher, your first move should be to build a brand. You want your target audience to learn more about you and the genres you are into. Tell them about your background, the authors who inspire you, and the books that shaped your writing inclinations.
It is vital to establish a relationship with fans of your writing and potential book buyers, and you can do that effectively by cultivating a brand persona. You have to control the narrative that revolves around you and your book.
Tip #2: Have a website.
Self-published authors need a website on which to direct online engagement. Of course, there’s also social media for that, but your website is where the buying happens.
Creating a website should not be optional. Do you want to build a brand? You do it through your website. It’s where your readers and fellow writers come together to learn more about this “new kid on the block” who’s showing a lot of promise.
A website is what takes your online presence to another level. Since everyone is hanging out online, it’s not something you can merely overlook.
It’s best to aim for a simple and straightforward site that makes it easy for visitors to ‘add to cart.’ Your site should also contain the following pertinent info:
- About Me (Your bio with a recent photo)
- Book excerpts
- Link to the ‘add to cart’ page
- Contact details
- Links to your social media accounts
- Downloadable media kit
Ensure that your website copy is catchy, easy to understand, and doesn't contain any errors. You can make use of tools like Grammarcheck.Me to make sure that your copy is on point.
Tip #3: Create an email list.
You mustn’t overlook another element to add to your site that you mustn’t overlook is the newsletter sign-up form. Realistically, you can’t expect people to keep checking your site for the latest updates. By creating an email list, you can send out the latest developments to them instead. That way, you maintain a connection with those who are interested in you.
After signing up to an email marketing platform, you are granted access to their email sign-up box. You can then add this to your site’s pages with minimal coding.
You may also choose to add what is known as a “lead magnet” to encourage sign-ups. Lead magnets are free gifts, such as an excerpt chapter from your book. Send this in exchange for an email address and the ongoing permission to send marketing emails.
Building and maintaining an email list can go a long way to securing the sales of your current and future works. This allows you to forge a solid relationship with your subscribers and convert them into buyers.
You don’t reap the benefits of an effective email marketing plan overnight, so make sure to get started on it pronto.
Tip #4: Choose the right marketing audience.
What are the ways to promote your book? However, you choose to go about the process, make sure to have your book’s natural audience in mind.
Think about the people who would be interested in reading your book. Where would they go to find suggestions for books in that particular genre? Cover in-store and online sources.
Also, would they be the type to be persuaded by advertisements in their favorite forums or communities? You want to go over all these things when choosing a marketing audience.
Tip #5: Get in touch with book reviewers.
We did tell you it would take more effort for a self-publisher to promote their first book, right? Getting as many reviews for your book as you can is par for the course. Preferably, you want to have your book reviewed by Goodreads’ and Amazon’s top reviewers, as they can really get your book seen and heard.
In particular, connect with bloggers and reviewers who often talk about books from your specific genre. They know what they’re talking about, and people actually listen to them. Ask them politely if they could feature you on their site in exchange for a free copy.
It’s safe to say there are more than five tips for getting your first self-published book seen and heard. But before you explore those other ways, ensure you have these down pat so you can get that marketing strategy off and run effectively from the get-go.