Marketing your book isn’t rocket science. It’s just one hell of a lot of work. Still, it’s an unfortunate fact that if you don’t do it (and do it effectively) no one else will.
We scoured the Web for consensus and best practices on book marketing, and here’s what we came up with.
We can’t guarantee that this steady checklist will propel you to Bestseller stardom. But, implemented faithfully, it will certainly help sell your book. Perhaps by the thousands, if you can crack the Amazon algorithm.
Bookmark this page. We’ll be adding helpful links and details as the year unfolds.
Identify the ideal audience for your book.
- Do you have a political thriller, romance, scifi saga or what? Who else writes books in your genre?
- Read this article for some tips.
Create a marketing plan with measurable goals and specific tactics by timeline.
- Take notes as you read this post. Decide which steps you will take and set dates by which you will accomplish them.
Create a compelling author platform and brand — here’s an article that will help get you started.
You might also consider producing a video. Here’s a sample:
- Here’s the website of the production company that created it. They also do highly effective book trailers
Create a dynamic author website. Try using a preformatted WordPress theme or professional web designer.
Aggressively seek more reviews on your book. Keep a meticulous worksheet
- Make a spreadsheet of reviewers who read your genre. Use a clearinghouse like the BookBloggerList.
- Or register your book on NetGalley, a very effective, reasonably priced service. Or consider a professional, paid, third-party review, like Blueink, or PublishersDailyReviews.com.
Send personal notes to newspaper book reviewers across the country.
- Click here for an updated list.
Create and maximize presence on:
Create a KDP free or Countdown promotion strategy. This will quickly boost reviews and sales.
- Set dates and submit to these 100 book promotion sites. Do so well ahead of your book’s free dates.
Finalize an overall marketing budget.
- include costs for website, PR newswires, travel, and third parties — formatters, illustrators, copywriters.
Consider publishing your book with Smashwords to reach a wider audience + mobile users.
- Check potential conflicts with Amazon KDP Select.
- Smashwords has several advantages, such as video insertion into book pages, genre tagging, interviews, sampling, ability to offer books for free + coupons, social media integration & more.
Insert sample chapters from your other books at the end of all books to pull more readers in + add connecting links directing readers to your email, website, book URLs, and social media. You should also:
- Add discussion questions to the end of each book. (For use by book clubs + other discussion groups).
- Get a professional and distinctive author photo.
- Update your personal email signature to include a link to your website.
- Begin building an email list (encourage signup on the website, in every book and all other opportunities).
Wait 2 months for reviews to accumulate.
- Activate (or reactivate) blog and begin building launch buzz.
- Schedule formal launch date.
- Contact friends, family, co-workers, business associates and fans.
- Post a notice to social networks and host an event (Facebook and Google+).
- Notify and cultivate relationships with reader groups on FaceBook + book reading clubs.
- Do interviews with The Indie View & Smashwords + post it to your Amazon Author Page.
- Get to know bloggers and their readers in your niche (participate regularly).
- Update blog message board signatures (like Reddit and Goodreads) as necessary and desirable.
- Guest post frequently and strategically.
- Invite other authors to guest blog on your site + do Q&A with them.
- Participate in a blog tour – here’s one we recommend.
- Participate in a podcast tour. Here’s a good one, if they accept you. Here are some tips.
- Send press releases far and wide — we recommend eReleases.
- Monitor Google alerts for breaking news that might provide a tie-in to your book’s topic.
- Cultivate relationships with other authors. Consider review exchanges or endorsements.
- Host an old-fashioned book signing event. If you can find a real bookstore or other venue.
- Coordinate all these promotions to give the impression you’re everywhere at once.
Wait 2 weeks to consolidate positions and catch up any oversights.
- Continue to promote your books using Pinterest.
- Set up online book giveaways via Goodreads.
- Use time-limited coupons, giveaways and contests on your website. Promote via social media.
- Attend live networking events, conferences and expos, as time permits.
- Participate actively in online forums such as Reddit, Goodreads and Warrior Forum.
- Do book readings or author visits live or via Skype — particularly to book clubs.
- Record your readings and share on your YouTube channel. Or post it to your Facebook Page, Google+ and on Goodreads.
- Produce a compelling video book trailer like this one. Contact BrilliantBookTrailers.com to get one for your book.
- Cross-promote with other authors, experts, events, charities, interest groups and so on.
- Consider donating books as part of a promotional push.
- Reconnect with your university alumni (there may be a networking opportunity there).
That’s it for now. Have you tried a marketing or promotional tactic that works particularly well? Pass it along and we’ll share it. Send a note to don (at) theessentialwriter (dot) com. (Sorry for the no-link address, but the spammers were driving me crazy 🙂 )