After talking to various bestselling self-published authors and some authors only just starting to market their books, I've put together a list of tips that should help you get cracking on your book marketing.
From my own book Pimp My Site, I wrote about some ways to get your business (or in this case your book) out on the web through digital marketing.
Book Marketing To Do In Advance Of Your Book Being Self-Published
- Ensure you have a website
- Optimise your website for the keywords that surround your book and its potential readers. For example, if you're a non fiction author writing about life coaching, you'll know all the keywords that surround that sector. If you've self-published a children's book in a particular genre, you'll be using the keywords for that genre, your story concept and any other primary words that will help your readers to find you and your book.
- Download my free eBooks to help you learn more about optimising your website.
- Set up social media accounts if you don't have any. See below on social media.
Free Book Marketing Top Tips For When Your Book Is Self-Published
- Once your self-published book is printed, you may want to get some local signings. Just drop in and speak to the manager or give them a call if you're a bit shy they'll reject you. But don't be, local bookstores love inviting authors in because it helps their customer interaction. However, don't expect a huge amount of sales unless you're going to pull off a bit of a stunt, such as handing out donuts (a bit costly). It may be cheaper to get your loved one or kids to rock up in weird costumes and draw the punters in with a bit of fun.
- Of course, at this stage you're going to get all your social media sites updated with your book details.You can do special offers, vouchers, give aways (maybe you've printed some bookmarks) and just generally keeping in touch with possibly readers.
- This goes for Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.
- If you have a YouTube account, film a quick video of you talking about your book and show you lovely book cover. This is simple enough to do, even your teenager can do it for you with all the cool apps available.
- With all of your web book marketing, you have to now choose if you want the links to go to your Amazon page or directly to your website. My suggestion would be to drive as much link traffic to your Amazon page as possible because the more traffic your book gets the more visible Amazon makes your book to new readers. It slowly climbs the ranks if you send lots of traffic along to your Amazon listing.
- Get your Amazon Central profile updated.
- Prepare your press release and find angles to get yourself lots of free Publicity. I will be writing lots more articles on how to get free publicity but in the meantime you may want to dive over to business publicity on iHubbub where I've written a wealth of articles on the subject - of course, you simply adapt 'business' to your self-published book. There is also a free press release template so well worth a visit.
- Along with your Press Release, you'll want to consider who to send review copies of your books. As a self-published author this can be pretty damn expensive so beware here and only send copies to a journalist that is serious about writing a review. Otherwise they get your book - that you paid for - and you don't see any review. I will be writing more on this topic, so keep a watch out.
- In the topic of Book Publicity, you should include any competitions or awards. Google for self-published book awards, book awards or book cover awards and then enter - awards can drive pots and pots of PR!
- You may want to create a buzz by adding some of your characters to your blog. Of course, you've got a writing blog ... if not get one. It's easy, quick and free.
- If you have an author platform and have built up an email marketing list, prepare to send out either a release or a newsy email about your book. Email marketing can be excellent to build up a big buzz when your book launches. My first book, Create A Successful Website, got onto the bestselling lists on Amazon after I sent out a mailer to my business mailing list telling them all about my new book. Let me tell you, it was wildy exciting watching the book climb the bestseller charts!
- Something more time-consuming to do is offer to write blogs or articles for top blog sites or other relevant partner sites. This is more useful if you're a non-fiction author as you most likely have a wealth of knowledge on a certain subject. Warning though, it can be way too time consuming for all your book marketing activities and something may slide. It will be helpful if you don't have much content marketing out on the web and you'll get good backlinks. You decide.
- On the subject of bloggers, you will want to connect with other bloggers and see if they may write about your book or better still, do a promo with you.
- Set yourself up on Goodreads - more on this to come soon.
- Completely Novel offer a free download of bestselling author, Polly Courtney's marketing plan. Pop over to Completely Novel to download it free.
Paid For Book Marketing
Here are some things you may want to do but will need to pay for them so I have left them for last ...
- Some competitions may cost you a dime if you have to pay for them on high traffic sites. Also giving away books is costly as you are the publisher and thus pay for every copy you give away.
- Pay per click may help sales but it can be costly. As is Facebook advertising or buying ad space on any large traffic site.
- PR mentioned above is for sending via online sites, to your local media and to any journalists you may know, but you can also pay for PR distribution. Again - it can munch through the budget.
If you have done anything weird or wonderful that gave your book marketing campaign a real boost, please do share it with us in the comments below ...