How do book readers decide to read your book? They don’t. You do. How do you get them to want to read your book?
Through marketing. Whether you self-publish or go the traditional route, you must market your own book(s). Traditional publishers may purport that they will market your book – but it’s much the same as what some of the Print-on-Demand (POD) publishers do. They put it on Amazon and Barnes & Nobel, provide the title to libraries, academic institutions, and book sellers. It is still primarily up to YOU, the author, to get your book before the public. YOU must let them know it’s available, valuable, and worth the read, and whether it’s educational or entertaining.
They Must Want What You Have
In order to want something, you need to know it exists. One definition of marketing is convincing people to want what you have. How readers know about books has changed massively with the growth of technology. With all the modern technology tools available, authors no longer have to rely on a single-minded source (like a book publisher) to tell us about books. A good CEO (the self-published author) knows how to find avenues to market their book and get it before their readers.
Sell Your Dream
Marketing for an author is selling your reader on a dream. You have the power of words. As a wordsmith, you must craft the logline (a single-sentence summary of your book) into a hook that will draw that reader in. Make them crave more of what’s tucked between its covers. “Marketing isn’t optional for the self-publishing author–it’s absolutely vital,” says Kelly Schuknecht, marketing advisor with SelfPublishingAdvisor.com. How else will new readers know that your book exists? How else will they know where to track it down and buy it? You can’t sell readers your dream if they don’t know it exists.
Six Marketing Pointers
Here are a few ways to help sell that dream and market your book.
- Pitch it to the right audience. Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes that new authors make is believing everyone in the world will love their book. Wouldn’t that be lovely? Truth is, people who love the genre you write will love your book. Fantasy/paranormal lovers may not pick up a nonfiction biography. Romance readers may not like horror. That’s okay. Each group has a particular genre. Search them out, and pitch to those readers.
- Find different avenues to market your book. Schedule book signings at libraries or craft fairs, read aloud at libraries or schools, set up a free giveaway of the e-book to draw attention to the next, print banners, bookmarks as giveaways, business cards; do a press release; have a launch party either in person or online. Do an online book tour.
- Set up an online presence. Do you have a website for your author page? Amazon, Create Space, Goodreads, Smashwords, and others offer a free page. You can also set up a Facebook author page. Do interviews with yourself or your characters. Make it fun and appealing. Sink the hook.
- Advertise online. Get your book into all the various websites that will take your book for no cost. Here are a few: Bookfinder, Goodreads; GalleyCat Facebook Page; bookdaily.com; indiebookoftheday.com; ilovebooks.com; bookangel.co.uk.
- Be engaged. Respond to readers on platforms they love and in your genre. Send out the occasional tweet; engage in Facebook or LinkedIn conversational groups. Guest blog on other authors’ sites if permitted. Get your name out there.
- Give back. There are a lot of fun ways to do this. Consider giveaways, donations, free webinars or live chats, speak at other writers’ groups. There are many ways in which you as an author can interact with your readers. If you offer your book for free, put it on Twitter with a #freebook hashtag to get a lot more action.
“You can’t sell readers your dream if they don’t know it exists” beautifully put!