February 11, 2019
I’m asked quite often for ideas on how to market and promote a book once it’s been published. I always make it clear that I’m a writer, not a marketer. That said, there are a few things I’ve noticed that some of my more successful clients have done that have helped them sell lots of books. Here are five winning ideas on how to effectively get the word out about your book:
1) Social media, social media, social media. This can’t be overstated. This is the main avenue of marketing these days. This is today’s version of word-of-mouth, which is always the best advertiser. If you don’t know how to navigate Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn or any of the other social media platforms, Google around and find a service who can do this for you. There are plenty of them out there.
2) Amazon reviews. This is critical. Get a copy of your book in the hands of everyone you know and tell ‘em to write a review on Amazon. I have read where Amazon claims that its search algorithm doesn’t include number of reviews, but I’m skeptical. I believe it’s a factor. Either way, potential book buyers like to see plenty of reviews, so make sure you’re getting them. When I quarterback the publishing process for my clients, I always make sure to submit the book to Amazon with appropriate keywords, too. That way, when a visitor on Amazon searches for a similar type book, the odds increase that he or she will find the client’s book.
3) Free talks. Here’s the thing I’ve noticed with my own book: with a book in hand, you’re an automatic expert or at least a person-of-interest. It’s instant credibility. You can volunteer for speaking engagements in a wide variety of places to different groups or organizations, or in libraries, or bookstores. People are always looking for interesting speakers and someone who’s written a book is always given serious consideration. You might find that the book launches a speaking career for you! You can sell a bunch of books at speaking events, but, more importantly, you’ll help bring attention to it.
4) The press. I always include a press release for my clients’ books which can be run through a press release distribution company (like prweb.com). They’ll blast it out to hundreds of media outlets. Still, I would further recommend personally sending it to local newspapers and even TV stations. They’re always looking for good human-interest stories. Addressing it to a specific name will be much more effective.
5) Contacts. Get the book in the hands of everybody you know who holds any influence. If you get somebody to tweet about the book, for instance, who might have a twitter following of thousands of people, that’s a lot of free exposure. Think of all the “influencers” you know, or maybe even friends of influencers. Each gets a free copy!
Naturally there are other means of promotion, too. You’re limited only by your imagination, but these five ways represent a good starting point. For a good source of ideas, I’d highly recommend How to Market a Book, by Joanna Penn.
Good luck with your future bestseller!