If you write only because you love to, you won’t need to bother with marketing. But if you are publishing by yourself and wish to be read by as many among your target audience as possible, you will have to learn an additional skill—how to market your books. It would help to be clear about your goals at the outset, because effective book marketing takes some early planning and effort.
For authors, marketing essentially involves drawing and engaging your target audience by sharing more about yourself and your book. It really is as simple as communicating. But it involves work. In this article, we share 11 book promotion ideas that will improve your book’s visibility among your target audience and help you sell more books. Some of the suggestions, like entering metadata, are inherent to a book’s publishing process and would require little additional effort. Some other ways to market suggested here may appear unnecessary; but remember your goals, and exercise the same discipline with your book marketing plan as you would in your writing.
1. Have your own blog or website
You can help potential readers find you even before you finish writing your book. Update your site with articles that would surface in your target audience’s organic search results. For example, if your book is about managing emotional well-being, cover the latest scientific developments in the field, and intersperse them with insights from your book. If your book is a work of fiction, you could review the most popular books or memorable characters in the genre.
As you come close to the launch date, you can create buzz around your book through contests and book giveaways. Post high-quality content that encourages your target audience to subscribe for updates. If your site has about a year’s lead over your book’s launch date, it will give you time to build a substantial mailing list and improve your site’s ranking.
2. Increase your online presence to spread the word about your book
There are several ways in which you can increase your online presence. For example, you can post your articles on popular websites that receive a lot of traffic, or contribute on forums that discuss topics related to your book, or request websites or blogs that are popular among your target audience to feature you in an interview or guest post.
In your byline, remember to include a link to your website and the books you have written or are presently writing.
3. Use social media
Set up an author page on Facebook and an account with Twitter. Observe what kind of posts and promotions get the most likes, shares, and retweets, and apply the insights to increase your social media following and engage with them better.
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4. Learn from the most popular books in your genre — what helps them sell?
Examining their titles, cover designs, and typography will show you what works in your genre. Shortlist the ones that you like best or do not like at all, and think through your reasons for each inference.
There are more benefits to studying the best books. As you read their reviews, you will come across words and phrases that connect with and characterize your target audience. By including these in descriptions for your book’s metadata, you can help your book be discovered by your target audience through their search queries.
As you go about this process, keep your eyes open for balanced and insightful reviews; you can add the reviewers to your shortlist and approach them for a review when your book is ready.
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