Book Marketing Strategies: A Guide to Self-Publishing Authors
Penning down a book needs a high level of diligence and endurance. The hours spent on a notebook or keypad writing, away from the thoughts and experiences, are only worth it when the work earns an audience. The ultimate goal of any writer is to get appreciated and recognized for their efforts. The success of an author is mostly determined by the growth in book sales and the total number of potential readers. Concerned about your book’s state? Want to gain a fan base? – All these queries are addressed here. The write-up highlights the most effective book marketing techniques.
What Does Book Marketing Mean?
The book marketing department is responsible for the distribution and promotion of a book. When your book is published through a traditional printing house, they assign a marketing director or marketing manager to get your work a secured place in the bookstore and make your book available for public consumption.
The marketing directors promote the books on digital platforms to increase the sales ratio. In the case of a self-published book (hardcopy or eBook), the process of distribution and promotion remains the same. Only the role of the marketing manager is shifted to the author or you have to arrange a well-organized team for the former purpose.
The success of a book lies in its popularity. For example, a book with a nail-biting plot does not earn much audience until it is largely promoted. When there is no promotion, the visibility of the book gets lowered. This eventually leads to a fall in book sales. The key factor to increasing your sales is to display your work to common folks.
Internet and smartphones are now a basic requirement in our life. Digitalization has created an easier route to connect with people across the globe. Thus, marketing a product becomes much simpler. Setting up a book launch event is a great initiative to promote your work.
Yet, going live on a social media platform (like Instagram or Facebook) can gain you more followers and your book gets talked upon. So, book marketing does not stop with physical methods, they also include online promotions.
Why Book Marketing is Important?
The purpose of book marketing is to promote the author along with his/ her book. Personal branding plays a vital role in the success rate of one’s work. The book’s summary and author profile are the two parameters people look upon to select a book. With a mobile phone in hand, readers instantly Google the author to fetch information about his writing style, previous books written by him, and reviews given by the public.
Thus, understanding the background and experience of an author helps us to decide whether the book is worth reading or not. So, one book promotion can gain lifetime branding. This personal branding can be used as an efficient tool for promoting the author’s future works. Book marketing helps to bridge the gap between the author and the readers.
A book is loved by many, criticized by few, and hated by some. So, as an author, you must know what your readers like and why they prefer your books. This can be evaluated when you market your work and get common people’s feedback. The ultimate aim of a writer is to sell his books.
Therefore, understanding the preference of the audience helps you to pick up the most loved genre and storyline. For example, a love story may attract more readers than a science fiction novel. When a book is marketed, you become more visible to the public. This creates a genuine fan base for your works.
Books displayed over a store or a fair have a high chance to be sold only when they are promoted to a greater extent. For a budding author, marketing is the key strategy to promote their work and gain potential readers. Thus, the promotion of books helps to:
- Build personal brand identity.
- Increase the overall sales margin.
- Gain a strong fan base.
- Understand the potential readers.
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Top 6 Book Promoting Ways
1. Niche Research
Try to find your niche- the phrase sounds familiar, right? When a person starts to write, the first instruction given is to identify his reader’s area of interest. Developing a writing style from a renowned niche is a better way to achieve success. When you write a book that no one reads, that’s a waste of energy and time. So, researching is the starting step for any good book marketing.
Writing a book needs prior research. The author must consider people’s expectations before starting his work. Extraordinary vocabulary and character building in the book would go unnoticed when it’s difficult to engage with your storyline. The two vital categories one has to research are potential readers and genre.
- Fan Base
An immense passion for writing can mold you as an author. But to evolve into an international or national bestseller, you have to understand the public. Developing content for a targeted group audience is much easier than accommodating the whole population. Be it fiction or non-fiction, your book is not welcomed by all.
You have to identify the people who would enjoy your book. Thus, evaluation of your readers is a point to be noted before starting the book. Creating a reader profile could be a great initiative for this analysis. The area of interest can vary according to the person’s age, gender, living environment, social status, and personality.
For instance, entrepreneurs may read books that could empower their company management skills while a teenager (college or school student) could prefer romantic or thriller novels. This preference can be vice-versa too. So, the only question here is how you are going to draw the maximum audience. To understand this, you must research various dimensions such as:
- The quantity of books a person reads annually.
- When and why do they read?
- What do they look for in the content?
- Which genre is fast moving?
Writing is often described as a tool to express your views and feelings. Yet, authoring a book needs to count on the reader’s perspective as well. People will read your book (be it an imaginative plot or life tale) only when it is written in a way to please them. This practice helps in your writing process. As a result, your marketing becomes quite easy.
- Genre Selection
The simplest way to differentiate a book is to analyze its genre. The writing style or structure of a book can be identified with the help of its genre. Fiction (classics, action & adventure, romance, mystery, and thriller stories) and non-fiction (personal essay, spirituality, business, reference, and educational works) are the two board divisions in the writing format.
Readers will select books according to their needs from the above-mentioned genres. The writing style creates an image for your book. So, it is important to understand your genre of writing. Let us assume that a writer decides to launch a book detailing ancient symbols.
Composing non-fiction on this topic will be easier than writing an imaginative story (though it drains much research and analyzing time initially). Yet, the book goes in vain when the genre or writing style gets collapsed. Thus, gaining more information on your genre could help you in writing and promoting the book.
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2. Look on to Your Competitors
In this fast-moving world, all human beings are trying to secure a place. Be it any field- arts, literature, business, agriculture, or science, you have a competitor to race with. To excel in a job or passion, you must learn from your competitors. Ask yourself questions like:
- Who are your competitors?
- How do I differ from them?
- What key strategies did they use for marketing?
This could give you a detailed analysis of the market requirements. For example, you can acquire ideas for promoting your romantic tale from international bestsellers. When your competitor’s marketing techniques are equated, you could get a clear-cut picture.
As you investigate their methods of approach, you can foresee the results. You will be in a position to identify the best techniques for your book’s promotion. It’s much easier to learn and improvise pre-existing strategies than to develop a new way.
3. Create an Eye-catchy Book Cover
Millions of books are published over a year. Your book must crack all this clutter to be in the hands of potential readers. One such key strategy to break barriers is to design a folio. A book cover does not determine the book’s worth. Yet, a well-structured look can gain an audience to your work.
In the human body, the eyes are the most significant sense organ. The brain gets rapid signals through this visual miracle. If you can lock the eyes of potential readers, then marketing becomes one step easier. The book cover is the most vital tool to win an audience. Let us assume you are in a store that has a separate portion for books.
The books are arranged on a genre basis. While you observe through the shelves, the possibility of picking up a book with a catchy heading and a vibrant backdrop is higher. You won’t go for a plain book cover. This situation explains the importance of a good-looking book wrap. You can develop book covers through the sketching apps or hire a pro designer.
Adobe, Placeit, Book Brush, Canva, and GIMP are top-known cover designing tools. You can use any one of the above-mentioned applications to sketch. Canva is the best tool for people at the beginner level. The designing part consists of three major sections: front cover, back cover, and spine.
- Front Cover
The front cover of your book is similar to a movie’s first look or teaser. The cover page gives viewers an overall picture of the write-up. The decision of whether to buy the book or not is influenced by this single sheet of paper. Typography and Imagery are the two important factors to be considered while editing your title page.
The images on your book cover can be an illustration, photograph, graphics, or just usage of color theories. You must be very cautious in the application of hues. Usage of high contrast shades would give a bad impression. The writing part on the front page should have the title, the subtopic (if you need one), and the author’s name. Following the text hierarchy will gain the reader’s attention. It is found that the right usage of images and texts can improve the visibility of your book by up to 50%.
- Back Cover
Once you have succeeded in attracting people through your front page, they will overturn your book to read other major details. The color combination and word formatting are vital in the back portion as well. The back cover can include a blurb, reviews, author bio, and barcode. A blurb is a short passage written about the lead character or chief event in the story.
This crisp description intends to popularize your book. Feedback given by top authors or websites can make a huge impact on the reader’s mind. Reviews and blurbs are the two essential areas that could inspire a person to buy your work. The author bio, barcode, and ISBN can take up the bottom portion of the page. In an eBook, your blurb and author bio are put in the description part.
The spine is the middle part attaching the rear and front covers of a book (where all the pages are bound). The spine is the only portion visible when your book gets placed in a bookcase. Thus, it should contain the most valuable information like the writer’s name, the title, and your publisher’s logo. Your masterpiece can be easily spotted by employing a distinct style in the spine region. The book cover must be a sneak peek for the readers. The cover should enlighten people with information on genre, protagonist, and storyline.
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4. Marketing Through Online Platforms
Marketing techniques for books do not end with niche research and book cover development. Virtual promotion is another key strategy to sell your books. In this technically advanced era, connecting people has become simpler. Individuals across the globe are bridged to one another with the help of information and communication devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
The most frequently and abundantly used connecting device is smartphones. A mobile phone was seen as a luxury product, 20 years ago. Now, 83.4% of the world’s population is equipped with this smart gadget. This has created a situation where more than 65% of the people use the internet on daily basis.
Thus, the possibility of reaching out to all your customers has increased. While a book is marketed on online platforms, the promotion cost and manpower can be significantly reduced. To achieve this, you must earn knowledge in various concepts such as website building, social media activeness, and email marketing.
Let us assume a bird without shelter or a homeless guy. What do think about their state of living? They won’t have a personal space to accommodate their stuff. The same situation will occur when you don’t have a website. Most authors think that a website is not required for book promotion.
They believe in social media platforms and e-commerce sites. Yet, that marketing could not be sufficient for higher profit margins. An official site would enhance your followers. The site contains information on the author, books published, and plans. By analyzing your website, the reader can make decisions at ease.
Writing articles or blogs on relevant topics and linking your Amazon page is the best-known practice to attract traffic. Engage your potential readers through creative pop-ups (– like release date countdown, discount on pre-ordering, or author-signed copies for the first 100 books). You can also do guest blogging on a well-known site to grab attention to your book.
- Social Media
Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn are not just messaging apps. These platforms can also be used for advertisement purposes. Writing a book and publishing it will not gain you an audience. You should take efforts to make your work visible.
Posting your cover page on your Instagram feed, writing down a great tweet, creating a Facebook page with your loyal readers and following related LinkedIn profiles are some of the proven activities to promote the book.
Yet before carrying out these tactics, an author must identify his/ her target customers. If the target is fixed, marketing strategies can be manipulated accordingly. In recent times, the usage of pertinent hashtags and segregated advertising plans are the two important methods to expand your visibility.
Emails are not a new concept for us. The practice of mailing can keep you connected with your subscribers. For example, the readers would be informed about the new books published, coupons, and other services. You may think that email marketing doesn’t fit in today’s competitive world.
Yet, still many people check their inboxes. The analysis of open and click-through rates will give the actual success percentage. The email content should at least take the person to read through the title and blurb of your book. You can use this application to convey your heartfelt thanks (for purchasing or reviewing your book). This act could define you as a sensible person. Also, this 100 to 200-word mail can increase your web traffic.
5. Get Help From Influencers
Another significant way of book marketing is to collaborate with influencers and celebrities. An influencer is a person who can fascinate many people. Thousands of readers could be inspired by just a short email, social media post, or blog mention by these promotional giants.
The only job you have to do here is to locate people (with a huge fan base) in your niche. After which you can brief about your profile bio and request them to market your book. When your book is accepted and reviewed by these influencers, a lot of people would talk and write about your story.
So, it’s better to discover many such promotional heads and get reviewed by them. The ultimate focus of marketing is to reach users. This task is done flawlessly while the influencers come into the picture.
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6. Choose Your Distributors Wisely
Where to sell my books? That’s the question every author has. Early books were sold only in printed form (hard copy). Authors now have various options to market their written copies. Thus, you can reach out to retailers and websites as per your budget and necessity. Amazon’s kindle can be approached for direct digital book publishing.
Printed or a hard copy can be availed through Creative Space. When you opt for international selling, you have Apple’s iBooks. Here, the books are marketed at different price ranges based on the location. So, you must compare and identify the perfect distribution channels to promote your work (especially for a self-publishing newbie).
Frequently Asked Question
Q1. What do you mean by book marketing?
It is the collection of methods or techniques needed to promote a book. The marketing is done by a team or a person. It creates hype among retailers and customers about the book. The goal of the book promotion is to increase sales. The marketing strategy must be pre-planned and executed at the right time.
Q2. What are the top book marketing strategies in the current trend?
There are numerous ways you can avail to market a book. Identifying and executing the right methods is the key to victory. The best marketing strategies are as follows.
- Research your follower’s social status and their interests.
- Selecting the most loved genre.
- Analyzing your competitors to procure vital strategies. You can get knowledge on why and how their methods have worked in increasing potential readers.
- Creation of dramatic book covers – with images and short book descriptions.
- Promote the books through virtual platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, an official website, and LinkedIn.
- Get reviewed by influencers in your niche.
- Sell the books on different online sites and physical stores.
Q3. Why promoting a book is important?
The ultimate focus of an author is to get a profit through his/her work. An increase in sales is seen only when the book gets enough visibility. This can be done with the help of marketing strategies.
The implementation of book marketing strategies has gained eminent success for self-published books. In this virtual world, reaching out to your potential readers has become a much easier job. This connection drives your book among many people around the globe. So, it’s how you use the above-mentioned promotional techniques to popularize your work.