How to Promote Your Book: Book Marketing Tactics for Beginners
Writing a book is no joke. You spend a considerable amount of time and energy on writing a book that you know has the potential to bring considerable value to the readers. Whether it is in the form of a ton of knowledge packed on every page that lies between the covers or just pure bliss and pleasure for the reader that they will remember for their lives, none of it matters if the book doesn't make it into the hands of the target audience. All that change that it can bring into the world, whether that change is as small as a smile on someone's face or as big as turning their lives around, all of that work is gone in vain if none of your readers read your book.
Writing a book is not enough. Even having the final product in your hands or on the digital bookshelf ready to be purchased is not enough. It's like building a hot air balloon. Just having one in your backyard is not enough. You need to propel it into the air to show your audience that it flies, so they can buy the experience of being inside that hot air balloon. You have to get the book out into the world. You have to push it high in the sky, so everyone can see it from afar.
We often find authors asking questions to get a grip on how to promote their book. Some of these questions sound more or less the same. For example:
How do I promote my self-published book?
What is the best way to promote your book?
How much does the average author earn per book?
How much should I spend on marketing my book?
For this purpose, we've collected here all the different book marketing tips and tricks to promote your book and help every aspiring author like you make their book reach its utmost potential. Let's dive into the strategies and explore the options one by one.
Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing
If you're offering your book on multiple retailers, you're probably also offering your book on Amazon. Amazon is a significant market in literary consumption. Neglecting Amazon in your book marketing plan can be a very foolish mistake that you don't want to make, especially when most of it is a simple game of understanding and costs absolutely nothing.
Let's first look at the essential elements. For self-publishing authors, you are allowed to list your book in two categories at most at the time of uploading via KDP. So your book is listed into two categories. How do you get your book into more than two categories? There is an option to select up to seven keywords related to your book. Choosing smart keywords can enable your book to be listed in categories that only become accessible if you use the right keywords. Utilize that option.
Another one of the essential elements of your book is a subtitle. If your book does not have a subtitle, write one. From the title to the subtitle and keywords, everything helps your book get recommended in the also boughts. Also boughts is Amazon's way of recommending books to other readers that are similar to each other.
It would be best if you also considered shortening the URL of your book on Kindle. The general thumb rule of doing that is to find the ID of your book from the long and complex URL you see and replace "GH057800KWR173R5" in the following formula with your book's unique ID present in the URL:
The unique ID for your book can be found in the long, complicated URL after "/dp/".
These tips are essential for self-publishing authors who are primarily publishing their book on self-publishing forums, and KDP is one of the sharks in that market.
Platform-Exclusive Book Marketing Options
Besides organically trying to promote your book, you can utilize a lot of the book marketing options that self-publishing platforms offer to their authors who opt for exclusive promotion via the platform. For example, Amazon's Kindle Select is a program for authors who are exclusively publishing their book via Amazon KDP. The Kindle Select offers various options to authors for their book promotion. These programs are a great way to boost your book sales.
When authors decide which retailers to choose for print books during the publishing process, they also think about the platforms for self-publishing. It is then when you should decide if it's worth going exclusive with a self-publishing platform. However, suppose you've already published your book, and have given exclusivity to a single platform for the digital version of your book. In that case, the book promotion options your platform of choice provides are always worth considering and should be utilized.
If you're publishing via Amazon, the pre-ordering benefits are different. But if you choose all the different publishing ways, then Apple and Kobo have great benefits for pre-order promotion. They reward authors of books that have a considerable amount of pre-orders before the release. It is a great book marketing trick without any cost incurred.
Build an Author Website
Sure, Amazon may be the biggest library of clicks for potential customers in the market, but an author website should be the primary home of your marketing strategy, not Amazon. If it's your first book, you probably don't have an author website of your own, and we suggest that you get one as soon as possible. Then run the show from there. Fans will love to know if you have a designated website for your products where they can directly connect with you.
The website will allow you to have a landing page for the direct sales of your book. More importantly, having a website is the opening gate for your online presence. Use the website to offer book launch deals and launch your book with a bang. Do a press release as part of your book promotion plan. Hold a webinar and incentivize the early birds who pre-ordered or bought the book in the first month. The press release is part of the advertising, and offering the early readers incentive is part of the book promotion at the time of the release too.
Remember to populate the website with content like blog posts in which you hint towards the content of your book and build a following. Give the fans something to follow, for example, blog posts, interview clips, snippets from the book,
Blogs are a great way to broaden your target audience. Write guest posts for other professionals in the literary market. Book bloggers will often help authors by collaborating with them and writing guest posts. This way, they market your book to their readers, and the guest post helps them broaden their reach using your audience. It's a win-win situation. Other than book bloggers, blogs of similar topics in your genre harbor the audience you're looking for in the first place. Why not catch that audience by connecting with the people they follow? Expand the list of your contacts and utilize all the connections you have for your book marketing ideas.
All the opportunities that websites bring to the authors are overlooked substantially. There is a whole graveyard of websites on the internet that aren't regularly maintained.
Establish Yourself as a Writer
Since you're already making a website for your book marketing, it would be silly if you don't have a presence on social media sites as an author. Of course, you have a Facebook, but it's always smart to keep your fans and your friends separate. Make an author page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all the other social media sites where your target audience resides.
Let's pick Facebook and talk about it to shed some light on how useful it can be for book promotions. A Facebook page is a great resource to bring the writer and the readers together. You post content, the readers comment on the post, and a link is built. It helps fans feel connected and build a positive image of the author. They are also one of the primary ways to share the release date and offers to the readers. Social media pages have worked wonders for a lot of authors. Fans appreciate having that connection with the people they follow. Make sure you also show your fans that you appreciate them by staying active on your page with content and little leaks from your future books and projects to keep them hooked. After you've acquired enough fans, keeping the page alive is the only thing you need to worry about and a problem for another day.
Remember, not every post has to be a carefully crafted book marketing tactic. It can be as simple as a zero-cost link to your interview video or just screenshots of some reviews you loved from Amazon or comments from the very page you're posting on. Depending upon your genre, you can find some creative ways to market your book by observing other authors' websites and social media pages in your genre. For example, sharing a fan art or illustration of a character from the book. For non-fiction, a link to a post from other influential people who endorse the idea you've written about will work just as well. This way, you get to make connections with like-minded people and increase the following of your page. Be creative about your book marketing strategy in general, and be extra creative on your Facebook and other social media pages.
For print books as well as ebooks, social media advertising helps book sales directly, whether you're boosting a Facebook post or focusing your book promotion efforts towards organic marketing.
Long-Term Book Marketing Strategy
If you have a reader magnet to extend your mailing list, use it in pinned posts and bios of your social media accounts. Your email list is a valuable marketing asset. Every person on your mailing list is part of your brand's target audience. Get the word out to your newsletter subscribers about your book. Then complete the circle by leaving a link to your reader magnet in the ebook. This way, you can acquire the email of every interested reader and further expand your network. It should exist on your website and on your Facebook, your website, and the beginning of your book.
It should be at the beginning of your book because most ebook platforms give the reader the option to take a peek inside the book and check out the first few pages before they decide to buy it. Most people will find it convenient to find a link right in front of them to help them reach your website to better understand what your book or brand is about. In print books, you can leave a simple URL of your website or mention the name of your page. There is some extra convenience in navigation for the reader in ebooks because the links are directly clickable.
The whole idea of building a fan base is to help you promote a book in the future without starting from square one. If you plan to release series of books, then building a fan base should be a primary focus. Look to other authors in your genre for book promotion ideas and see what they are doing for advertising. If they are using paid advertisements to gain followers, then you know you have to boost a post to do the same. After all, no one would be doing it if it didn't work.
Most book promotion ideas you can think of right now have most probably been done by someone else before. Learning from the success of that person is a great way to pick up your marketing pace from the beginning.
Reviews are Worth their Weight in Gold
The heading says it all. Reviews are important for your books. They are persuasive and a testament that your book is worth buying. Reviews show other readers that they won't regret spending time and money on your book because they are given by people who have spent their money to buy your book and spent the time to read it. Yet if they're recommending others to do the same, then it must be a great book. Isn't that what marketing is about? Let's see how you can maximize the quantity and the quality of reviews you're getting on your book.
Put a link at the end of your book to directly take the reader to the reviews page. People aren't always eager to leave reviews on something they like, but people won't miss the opportunity to leave a bad review. It's the harsh reality of the market. If they don't forgive you for your mistakes, then you shouldn't feel bad asking them for reviews when you've made a positive impact with your book. Let them know that you read the reviews readers leave on your books. If you tell the readers that their reviews can mean the world to you and may play a major role in helping you stay afloat in your career, you would be surprised by humankind's hospitality. When you put the idea of responsibility in their heads, they are more likely to leave good reviews for your book.
If you've released books on Amazon before, you would know that reviews from Amazon's top reviewers are invaluable. You can contact these people for comprehensive reviews of the book that will skyrocket your impression and your book's outlook. The problem is that these reviewers aren't easy to get a hold of. But if you do get even one, the result is well worth the effort. Amazon reviews are major assistance in boosting the sales of your book. Other than Amazon, reviews, in general, show the readers that your book is worth buying too. And that is marketing that can't be bought with money. Look for Amazon's top reviewers in other books from your genre and contact them via email to try your luck with those reviews. Ideally, they should be able to at least respond to the email but don't be an annoyance if you don't get a response.
Motivate your readers to leave their honest reviews using your website and social media pages. Have faith in the book that you've written to earn good reviews from your readers.
Get an Interview
If you know your target audience, see what kind of shows they watch or listen to. Introduce yourself to the host of every one of such shows as an author. Approach them for an interview and ask them for a spot on their show or podcast.
The thing about these shows and podcasts is that their audience is fairly young. Print media and television shows are dead. Many a time, a new name author can be seen giving an interview marketing their books on a podcast, but you would hardly find the interview of an up-and-coming author in a popular TV show. Unless you have a couple of successful books on your portfolio, an author who doesn't have an established name in the market will hardly find a chance to promote their books on television media.
Find the right forum, which would be YouTube, podcasts, and live Instagram sessions in this case. Market your books there and help your own author page and website increase the incoming traffic.
Being an author is not just about writing books. A large portion of an author's job is also the marketing of those books and selling them. Establish yourself as an author by making a website and populating it with relevant content to bring more and more traffic to your website. Offer useful advice and talk about hot topics that are relevant to the subject of your book to keep your audience engaged. Connect with them on social media and use all those different platforms to build an author profile that will help you streamline the marketing of your future projects.
Utilize all the different options and features available at your disposal by your publishing platform. If you're choosing to go exclusive with one platform, then make sure that you're getting the best deal out of it. Plan your publishing in advance to assist you in marketing later. Compare the features of all the different platforms of choice before making a final decision.
Moreover, try to connect with other celebrities who influence your target audience and use their reach to build your following. Get honest reviews, and feel free to share those reviews with the world to show the value your book brings to its readers, but be sure to be humble while sharing those reviews.
And finally, remember to help other new writers when they start their journey and come to you for assistance. Remember the time when you were a beginner as well. There is a sweet pleasure in extending a helping hand to someone and being able to have a positive impact on their career. And that's all there is to know on the topic of how to promote your book. With time and continuous effort, you will surely become an expert marketeer. Most importantly, cherish the adventure and excitement of doing something for the first time.