Best Marketing Tips for Selling Your Book

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

When I started writing, my motivation was to make my readers feel something. I was so determined with that goal that there was a point where I said that even if that feeling was hate, I could be partly glad because I’d still made them feel an emotion.

My motives were noble, but they didn’t consider that the reading public can be ruthless and that not everyone would be willing to pay just to read me. (And not everyone would be willing to pay to hate my stories). Yet, a part of me wanted to believe that just by reading the synopsis of my books, people would give me a chance, as simple as that sounded!

Of course, I had my small group of avid readers who would read almost anything I published, among them, my family. Regardless, I knew they were not too many people, and whatever my motives were, I needed to get known by people who could be potential readers.

The truth is, no one will read your book if they don’t know it exists. For people to read me and to feel something, they had to buy my book. Although my intentions had not been that, I had to get people interested in my books and buy them, and that’s what marketing is all about.

What is marketing?

Marketing is about promoting products to get an audience interested in buying them. In addition, marketing seeks to analyze the market, considering the needs of specific sectors and offering them products that are in demand.

In the same way, marketing strategies can vary, including social media communication, advertising campaigns, and package design. All to get the public interested in a brand, but even more importantly, to commit to it. Once the customer is satisfied with your product, you want them to recommend you and remain willing to purchase your services in the near future.

What is book marketing?

Book marketing is how a potential reader will find out about your book. Everything included as a book marketing strategy is to convert people who are possibly interested in your books into readers and buyers of your books. 

There are different ways of achieving this, and how the author does it will depend on whether the author is part of a publishing house or not. If yes, marketing is usually the responsibility of the marketing manager.

On the contrary, if the author is self-publishing, most likely, they will have to do the marketing themselves or hire one or more people who are part of a publishing house to take care of it.

Depending on whether you are starting as a writer or not, one option may be more beneficial than the other. However, the strategies and tips I will give you in this article will work for both cases.

Why is book marketing important?

There are several ways in which someone can find out that you write and have a book. It can be through social media, emails, or word of mouth. For example, let’s take word of mouth. While you may initially get some readership, you will never get that far with word of mouth alone. Also, talking about your book doesn’t necessarily mean the people you tell them about it will read it.

Marketing your book is crucial because it is how potential readers will learn about your books on a large scale. With marketing, different tools allow you to show advertising campaigns to people with specific characteristics, all while considering those who may be interested in your content.

Best Marketing Tips

If you haven’t realized it until now, book marketing is essential because it allows people to get to know your book, buy it and read it. It also allows you to build a loyal audience that will stay with you when you publish more books.

Next are some of the best tips for book marketing! Whether you’re part of a small business or a large marketing group, these tips will help you keep up with the competition in today’s marketplace.

1. Start now

You probably think that because you haven’t finished your book, or that because you don’t have a cover yet, or any of those other details, you still can’t start marketing your book. That’s not necessarily true! The sooner you start, the better. 

Nowadays, the easiest way to do it is with a blog, and if that’s not necessarily what you prefer, you can make an account on a social network. The key is to grow your audience so that when the book comes out, you already have a pool of people possibly interested in what you have to say.

And you may ask yourself, I haven’t finished my book, so what do I talk about? Easy! Use it like you would use a social network. Share about your inspiration, favorite books, or the way you write. It’s one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to build your audience.

2. Identify your ideal reader

The ideal reader is the person who will love your book, and depending on the genre of it, your ideal reader may be one person or another. I understand that we all want everyone to love our book. However, when it comes to marketing, it’ll hardly work, and the reason is simple: your publications should speak to someone who loves your book, not everyone.

How to identify your ideal reader?

If you write romance, you might think: “My ideal reader is a woman because women tend to read romance novels.” However, that’s very unspecific. What are the subgenres of your novel? Is it explicit, or is it more for all audiences? How old are the main characters? Once you have that information, you can further narrow down your audience.

Likewise, remember your readers are people, not just numbers related to their gender, age, or tastes. If you find one person who likes your book, you can target your posts to that person, and you’ll find the task much more manageable.

3. Do your best work

I know that hearing how important marketing is can make you think it’s the only thing that matters. However, as an author, it’s up to you to do your best to make the final version of your book something you’re proud of. Everything you write should be of high quality! If you rush to get your book out just for the sake of it, you may miss a lot of mistakes while editing, and even if you see them as insignificant, your readers will notice.

In addition to your writing, be prepared to invest money in the book cover and proofreaders. And if you are a self-publisher and hesitate to hire someone else, please think twice.

Years ago, I believed that as long as I could do all the work myself, it would save me the most money, but most of the time, it’s better to hire an expert to do it for you. You will save time that you can use to do what you do best: writing. And, speaking of your book cover…

4. Develop a compelling book cover

Although it may not seem like it, having a book cover that catches the attention of your potential readers is one of the most essential things when making marketing strategies.

You’ve probably heard that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we both know it’s a saying that’s easier said than done. Believe it or not, your potential readers may dismiss the idea of reading your book altogether if they don’t like the cover.

The cover is the first thing people see! Not the title, not the synopsis. A good book cover keeps the essence of what the book is about and attracts those people who are interested in it. The elements of a book cover include typography, image and author information. Together, they must have a certain harmony in order to be attractive to the potential reader at first glance.

5. Consider asking book reviewers for feedback

In an era where social networks have become part of our daily lives and a tool for advertising, one of the ways to promote your book is to ask book reviewers for their opinion.

Book reviewers tend to have a following of people, also readers, who follow them on social networks and are familiar with the new books that come out.

Even so, keep in mind that not all book reviewers will respond to you in such a straightforward manner. For the same reason, beyond trying to get them to read your book because they are doing you a favor, try to connect with the community! The easiest way to become part of an online community is to interact with it.

6. Establish specific short and long-term goals

What do you want to achieve by marketing your book? Maybe the first thing that comes to mind is “I want to sell books,” but that goal lacks specificity. How many books do you want to sell? How much money do you want to make from your stories, and in how much time?

When I first started setting goals that specific, I thought it would set me up for failure, and if I didn’t achieve them, it would be discouraging. However, contrary to my beliefs, setting goals like this helps you focus.

How to set a goal?

A goal might be “I want to sell 1,000 copies of my first book by the end of the year.” That would be a long-term goal, and you can start strategies for short-term goal setting to help you with that. For example, some short-term approaches can be advertising or social media posts, all with the aim of meeting the long-term objective.

7. Think of your book as the product your business offers

As I said at the beginning of the article, when I started writing, my main interest was having a group of people, even if small, interested in my writing. It was good motivation, I know! However, it kept me from seeing my writing for what it also was: my business. Especially true for self-publisher writers; there’s a point where you stop being just a writer and become an editor, marketer, and manager at the same time.

On the other hand, if you see your writing as a hobby, that’s fine too! But if your goal is to earn money from your writing, you need to change your mindset.

So, starting today, see your writing for what it is: your business.

8. Create your brand

To create your brand, you must ask yourself what image you want to give to those who follow you. Marketing experts recommend that this image needs to be consistent over time and convey a specific message. In addition, some things to establish within your brand include a logo, brand colors, typefaces, brand tone, and a website.

How do I create a brand?

For example, you can start by having a logo. Additionally, you can hire someone to make you one since it’s an investment that will last for years. However, there are other investments that require constant payments, such as a website, and in case you can’t immediately invest in a website or blog, I would recommend having a social network where you actively upload content.

It is essential to have a brand, and the reason behind it it’s related to the earlier tips: you need to see yourself as part of a business where you are the boss, and your main product is your writing.

In addition to gaining credibility, establishing a personal brand helps you gain the public’s trust and, in turn, makes you stand out in the marketplace.

9. Consider using online advertisements

To start a marketing campaign, one of the things you need to be clear about is the use of paid advertising. This type of advertising, especially online, has become one of the most widely used marketing tools, and the reason is simple. Although a physical advertisement has a great reach, nothing guarantees that people who see the ad will be interested and buy the product.

With online advertising, this situation changes since you can choose a specific audience. In addition, online advertising gives you more insight into who saw your ad and, in turn, find ways to get more people to see it.

It is much easier to find people who are interested in your books when you show the advertisement to people with characteristics, whether in gender, age, or personal tastes, who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer.

Conclusion

Marketing works for any product you want to offer, including books. Book marketing has become indispensable, a tool that lets you know how successful (or unsuccessful) a story will be. Nowadays, with social networks it is easier and cheaper to advertise your book, allowing you to increase your sales while building your brand.

If you see your writing as a business, you will be on the right track. On the other hand, if you see your writing as a hobby, you are also on the right track! There is no wrong answer as to how you want to approach your writing. 

If you’re looking for more writing inspiration, give us a follow on Instagram or Twitter.

Finally, remember that the only way to improve your writing is to practice and keep reading. So, have a great read!

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