30 Ways to market your book
There is a saying that ‘you can’t start marketing your book too early’, so let’s begin with some things to do before your book is published.
- Build a database/email marketing list, including family, friends, etc. Badger those that are willing/knowledgeable to write reviews on Amazon etc.
- Prepare a ‘factsheet’ with a high-impact graphic, which contains a summary of the content, your bio, how people can purchase, price and ISBN, etc.
- Get your key messages right (find the value to customers)
- Make sure you sell the benefits of your book, not the features – readers want a problem solved, their objective achieved, etc. How will your book help them?
- Position your expertise – be credible and specialise. What is your USP?
- Write a press release and get in touch with local media – they will want to know ‘your story’, more than about the book!
- There are media opportunities before you publish, when you publish, and after you have published.
- Look for speaking opportunities – groups plan their speakers 6+ months in advance (quite a lot of evidence that the conversion rate, ie books sold, can be high on these occasions)
- Look for opportunities in local newspapers … but also professional, business and community magazines etc (somewhat hard to do in Oxford, where there is nothing new to being a writer). Offer to write something for them, mentioning your book.
- Prepare your administration: dispatch notice, invoice, envelopes, stamps, etc.
- Contact independent bookshops and local libraries. Ask to stock, offer to do talks, etc.
- Also try writing groups, clubs and associations, specialist websites, etc.
- Plan your book launch – invite the right people as well as friends
ON PUBLICATION and POST PUBLICATION
As above, plus…
- Hold a book launch (partly just to celebrate the occasion, but also to invite people you’d like to influence).
- Advertise selectively
- Exploit free publicity
- Use networking opportunities: business, sport, community, school, employer, etc. Look for customers buying for themselves, and those buying as a gift for their family and friends.
- Share your expertise through speaking engagements
- Publish articles, mentioning your book
- Have a stall at relevant exhibitions
- Offer copies as prizes for raffles, to community events (gets you free publicity) etc.
- What about having a website?
- Use social media
- What about a blog – virtual tours, interviews, reviews, feedback, etc.
AS SALES PROCEED …
- Measure what works
- Do more of what works – Tweak as needed – Stop doing what doesn’t work
- Promote any successes that you have, recording testimonials eg on your website or on a sales flyer, etc.
- Ask new customers where they heard about your book / Understand why people buy
- Make a connection with customers
- Learn to love selling!