Smart ways to promote a book or eBook
As an author or publisher, getting a book finished is hugely satisfying; it’s been read countless times, with every detail agonised over. But there’s more hard work ahead, as it’s time to focus on promotion and marketing. You might have a masterpiece in your hand, but it’s of little use if the target audience can’t find it.
To maximise impact, make a plan of action for your marketing strategy using a mixture of digital and traditional marketing, and set a realistic budget. From this point, you’re advertising and marketing a product. Everything, including the title of the book, the characters, and the status of the author, is a potential marketing tool.
Here are some top tips to promote a book using digital and traditional methods.
Optimise your website:
You don’t need to be a web developing genius to create a sleek, stylish website. It’s possible to use sites such as WordPress or Squarespace to develop a web presence. These website builders have easy SEO features, which’ll ensure that you’ve got a chance to perform in Google’s search results for targeted keywords and search phrases.
Here’s a useful guide from Digital Book World about SEO for publishers.
If you’re selling a book across various online and offline distributors, you’re likely to receive reader reviews. These act as excellent free promotion for your book, as many buyers will be scouring this section for inspiration before hitting the buy button. Ask your readers to write reviews on all platforms, including Facebook and book review websites such as Good Reads.
Being an active part of social media plays an imperative role in book promotion. This is where you can really connect with your online audience and develop a dedicated following. The wonderful thing about social media is that you can tap into existing communities receptive to a book, by joining groups of common discussions. Twitter and Facebook are particularly good for this.
Social media is also great for receiving feedback from your target audience, and conducting in-depth market research. It’s also free! Paid advertising can be very effective though, due to the incredible targeting options.
The blog section of a website is a great way to remind the Googlebots that your book is a going concern, whilst keeping the audience engaged with what you have to say. Reach out to other authors and bloggers and suggest swapping guest articles to promote the works and provide more exposure to each other’s audiences.
By teaming up with authors writing in a similar or complementary genre you will reach their audience too. Make sure you stay connected with fans that leave comments by replying promptly. This way, you can continue to build an active community.
Although it’s gratifying being asked for an interview, there’s nothing wrong with reaching out and asking for one. Authors and publishers can think locally, and contact newspapers, radio stations, and magazines. You want to also reach people who don’t use the internet frequently, and regional media will be happy to embrace local talent.
Go on tour:
Once you’ve gained some momentum in sales and awareness, start to organise a book tour. Use relevant data to establish areas in the UK where the book has sold the best, or you’ve attracted the most attention. Don’t leave out other areas, though. Research bookstores in local cities and towns with the potential to draw a crowd and help you sell more copies.
Sell, sell, sell:
Authors are the best sales person for a book. They’ve had an intimate relationship with each word that’s been printed on the page. By using passion and understanding, they can get out into the world and sell. Try to find local networking events, or take trips to larger cities. Keep an ear to the ground and consider getting a stall at international book fairs and conventions. If this is out of budget, consider sharing one with similar authors or other small publishers.
There’s a long list of places that would appreciate a book reading. You could hold a special event at a coffee shop or small venue. Here, you can read your favourite chapter aloud and win readers over. It’s also possible to take book readings to libraries, hospitals, care homes, churches, and schools.
The best available promotion will always be word of mouth. A conversation between book-loving friends can be the starting point for a flurry of book sales. And of course, ensuring a book is exciting, original and engaging is the best piece of promotion in your arsenal.
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