If you're a writer and want to get your book in front of the widest possible audience, then patience is not one of your virtues, no offense. You likely have a waiting list of people who are dying to read your work but if they can't find it at their local bookstore or on Amazon, they'll give up waiting and move on with their lives. That's where book marketing comes in my dear pupil.
In this blog post, we will be giving you tips and ideas on how you can market your books for free... free. Yes, for free, there are ways to avoid spending hundreds even thousands of dollars on marketing and advertising your book. Why go broke without a guarantee that you can break even? Especially for self-published authors.
You don't have to go that extreme, so here are 10 ways to not do that. Book Marketing 101!
We all know that the best way to get people interested in something is to give them a sample. Free sample chapters anyone?
The problem with selling your book online is that it’s difficult for readers to feel confident about purchasing your book without seeing it first. After all, you can’t tell by looking at a photo or reading a description of what an author will be like on paper.
To remedy this problem and encourage people to buy your book, offer free samples on your website or social media platforms of chapters from the book. Readers who click on these links will not only see some excellent writing but they may also decide that your work as a whole deserves their support! Hoorah!
This is for those computer-savvy people out there or who know computer-savvy people. Don't worry, you're not alone, I'm part of the former.
If you are a part of neither, worry not for we have the internet! You can do this on Expression, one of the Adobe suites, or with Sony Vegas. If you're not sure how to use one of these programs, YouTube is a great resource for tutorials.
You'll want to include your title and author name in the video so people have context as they watch it. You might also want to post the book cover on the screen as you show scenes from the story so that they don't forget that "Duh! it's for your book".
It's also a good idea to include clips from your book trailer on your social media channels so people will see it there, too. In this day and age, if you don't have a presence on social media, then you're missing out on a huge part of your potential audience. Also if you don't post about it, then did it really happen? Does it actually exist?
As a published author, you should be excited about the idea of connecting with other authors in your niche to promote and market your book. If you want to connect with other influencers or authors in your niche, it is important that you create content around the topics that matter most to them. This way when they share this information with their followers, many will be interested in what you have to say.
Make connections, mingle, and make Miss Congeniality believe her award should have gone to you instead!
There are many Facebook groups that promote authors and their books. Authors can join these groups by searching for the group name or joining through a link to the page on Facebook. These Groups often share posts related to writing and publishing and usually include links to other pages that offer free resources for writers.
The best part about it is they'll be doing half the job for you. Maximum marketing effort!
You will also get to meet other fellow writers who are in the same book marketing boat as you. Make new author friends and bounce off ideas on how to market a book. Win-win.
A great way to get an easy bestseller tag is to sell your book under a niche category on Amazon. For example, if you are writing a book about dogs, sell it under "pets." The reason why this works well is that people are more likely to search in the category of the specific theme of your book. Making it as specific as possible will make it easier for readers to find your book.
Getting a bestseller tag will definitely get people's attention, and it will make them curious enough to read your book.
Social media is also an excellent opportunity to make connections with other authors and readers in the same genre as you. There's strength in numbers, so if everyone can work together, we'll all be more successful than we would be alone! That includes working together, exchanging book marketing ideas, and promoting each others' books.
Joining a group who have the same interest or are in the same field, will know more about how to market a book, how to attract your target audience, and where to find potential readers.
One of the simplest ways to increase your audience is to start a blog. Once you have established an audience, it's also feasible to use your blog as a platform for promoting your books.
Create your own space and platform, where your interested readers can find and learn about you as an author. This is also a great way to list all of your work and to introduce them in your own voice, giving your readers an idea about how you write and the kind of author you are.
Alternative! If you do not have your own blog or you're just struggling to make one, there are websites that allow self-published authors to write guest posts on their sites.
The truth is that many people are not willing or able to read a whole book in one sitting, and the typical blog post contains far more information than can be absorbed in one reading session. That means you need links, pictures, videos, etc. Basically, anything that would attract and hold a person with the attention span of a five-year-old.
But these other types of content aren’t just time-consuming; they also take up space on your website which could otherwise be used for something else (like another blog post).
So what do you do? You guest in someone else’s blog post!
One excellent way to promote yourself without having to produce an additional piece of original content is by guest posting on someone else’s blog.
First of all, it will help you build relationships with influencers in your industry.
Second, guest blogging allows you to link back to your website and/or contact page, which is great for search engine optimization (SEO).
Third, if the post contains interesting information that builds on some aspect of your own content, it can bring in new readers who might not have found you otherwise. Harsh truth but it's exactly what needs to be said.
Finding your voice is also important when writing guest posts on other people’s blogs. Be sure to read the blog post before sending off an email, asking if they are open to a guest contribution so there aren't any surprises once you do submit something for them to post. A great way to avoid this is by including something in your email that shows you actually read the blog and have a handle on what they are about, which can make for a better guest post overall because it will be more relevant to their audience.
I'm all for sharing your work with readers, and one of the best ways to do that is by joining a local author group or book club. You'll get in front of readers face-to-face, which can make them much more invested in what you're doing.
It's not always easy to find these groups, but it's worth looking around because they are out there. Check places like libraries and community centers for opportunities or talk to people who seem like they might be interested in your genre and see if any of those connections lead anywhere, and that could help with your book promotion.
What better way to start your book marketing journey than with people who already know you? It'll make selling your books easier, as they already know who is writing, moral support and all.
it's also a great starting point for your book sales.
Get them to write book reviews- honest reviews- on your author website, your other social media sites, or other online websites and stores new readers can find your books.
Everyone and their mother has their own Podcast now, just might as well hop on the bandwagon. Kidding. There is a reason this avenue is very popular though.
The old saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover” is true for podcasts and audiobooks too. And yet, because we take in so much media today through earbuds and speakers rather than eyes, people often give up on their favorite books when they find the reading experience tedious. The perk is that you can listen while you exercise or cook; you can download an audio version of your favorite book onto your phone and listen to it during your commute.
The reason why it's so popular is that it's just so damn convenient.
The process of recording an audiobook isn't as complicated as one may think. The first step is finding a quiet place that's free from distracting noise like buzzing appliances or outside traffic. You'll want to find a location that has minimal distractions so you can focus on the book itself and read-aloud clearly without being interrupted by anything else around you.
You should consider investing in some high-quality audio equipment, too, because even though there are affordable options available for purchase, they may not provide exceptional sound quality. If you're new to recording audiobooks or podcasting, it's best to seek out some professional advice on what equipment is the right fit for your studio and budget before purchasing anything too expensive.
Once you've recorded your book (or books), there are several services that can help turn them into audio files so they can be published to major sites like Audible, Spotify, and iTunes/Apple Podcasts.
It's important to remember that recording an audiobook is a big commitment: you'll need to record at least one hour per week and it will take up many hours of your time in order for the final product to be ready — not including any editing or packaging work involved before the file is published.
So if you're considering recording an audiobook, make sure it's something you really want to do and not just because it seems like a fun project or might earn some extra cash. There are many steps involved in creating your own audiobook that will require lots of time (and effort) on your part before the book can be published.
The same goes for podcasts.
Well, there you have it! Promoting and marketing your own book is hard work and it will take a lot of time and commitment.
But hey! You'll be able to learn about that world and the "behind the scenes", without the fear of potentially being ripped off of your book sales.
Just a thought.