Secrets of Marketing Your Book

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You've written your book. Now What? It's not too late. Secrets of Marketing Your Book gives tips that you can use to get your book out there and get noticed. It covers book reviews, blog tours, social media, websites, blogging, and more. Ideally, you don't want to wait until your book is published. If you start developing your audience now, you will have buyers waiting for it. This book will show you how.

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Secrets of Marketing Your Book

  1. 1. Learning to FlyYour Book Writing the book is only half the work: It is book promotion that will help it sell. But for many authors, promotion—the most overlooked aspect of the self-publishing process—is ignored. Some people feel they only want to be writing, that time spent promoting is time they could be writing. While understandable, this is a self-defeating viewpoint. Promotion reaches potential readers, and readers lead ultimately, to more writing. Today’s internet provides an unparalleled opportunity for authors to distribute their work in an environment that has never before been available at their fingertips and for a relatively minor cost. If you have the expectation that marketing your book will take some effort, over time you can do well. Remember, self-publishing gives you total control over your book, including the joy of sharing your work and the creative satisfaction that is priceless. In the following pages, we will outline the basics of what you need to market your book successfully.
  2. 2. Plan a Marketing Strategy Who is your target audience? Your target audience are the ones who will be buying your books. Your promotion needs to be geared to appeal to this audience. Are you targeting teenagers? Business communities? First- time parents? Once you figure out your target audience, you can focus on writing catchy content on your blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, and the liketo appeal to that audience. What is your budget? Research the costs of (but not limited to): ISBN, Website design, promotional items (posters, business cards), and advertising. Where do you want to sell your books? Are you so focused on getting your book into bookstores that you don’t have time to pursue other avenues? Perhaps you don’t even know there are other avenues to pursue. The truth is non-bookstore retail options make up a huge part of the marketplace these days. We’re talking about places like Wal-Mart, Costco, airport stores, business stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, specialty stores such as Michael’s Crafts, Williams Sonoma, Toys R Us, Petco, Ace Hardware and many more that shouldn’t be ignored as viable outlets for your book. What are your goals? Do you want to publish in hard copy or e-book? It’s a great idea to start a marketing plan even before your book is published. Your plan will help you in defining yourself, your message, your audience, and how you want to sell your books. Things you should consider: Who am I and what’s my message? Once you figure out underlying message of your book and who your target audience is, it’ll be easier to market and promote your book.
  3. 3. Tools for Building Your Audience Marketing your book can be very tedious but the rewards are worthwhile. Here are some tools you will need to build your audience: • Website • Blog o Wordpress o Blogger/Blogspot o Tumblr • Social Media o Facebook o Twitter o Pinterest • Trade Shows • Book Reviews • Alternate Book Sale Venues The following pages will discuss how these tools will help market your book.
  4. 4. It Starts With Your Website A basic author website can be made with free blogging platforms such as WordPress, Blogger, or Tumblr. On a simple page we recommend a photo of the author and a photo of the book cover(s), along with biographical and background information. Those who wish to delve further, can also set their website up with an internal blog, allowing them to update their own page with news and events. How authors organize and design the content on their website is important. For those of you who are intimidated by that aspect of the process, consider hiring Merrimack Media to design a premium WordPress website and blog for you. We use WordPress because it has blogs built into the sites which can direct traffic to your website, and generate more interest for your book. Every author should honor themselves and their writing with a smart-looking, informative site that makes a reader come back for more. Sometimes a writer is willing to dabble in promotion, but is not sure how to maximize his or her efforts. For any writer, having a website is essential. An author’s website is the first place reporters will go when they receive a press release. It is the first place readers will go if they like the book and want to find out more. If an agent reads a stellar query letter, he or she will go to the author’s website to read more. And, without a website, authors would miss the traffic naturally generated online by people all over the world searching for a book on a particular subject. A good website helps generate sales.
  5. 5. What Makes a Good Blog Post? Your blog posts should not be something you had for breakfast but something that will attract your readers. Blog posts help you show your expertise in your subject. Blogs are also useful because they give authors a voice, an audience, and a trail in Google to help promote their work. It’s a gateway for your audience to see who you really are through your personal words as you put your thoughts out there. What could you write about? • Use content from your books such as a line or a quote • Your writing process and tips for other writers • Your characters (if a work of fiction) • It’s okay to write an off-topic blog post. After you completed a blog post, think of an interesting and catchy title to your blog posts. Blog posts can help develop your expertise on the subject matter of your book and this allows people to see you as an expert.Also be sure to look at other author blogs, and then cross-link, enabling others to come to your blog. Once you have a number of posts, connect with your readers and make new ones to create lasting and meaningful relationships. Your readers could promote your books to their friends and family though the word of mouth.
  6. 6. Using Tags Always use tags! Tags allow others to find similar content within your blog. You candevelopment an audience through search words. Google Adsense enables your content to be viewed on their search engine to the public and it’s free! • The more tags and terms you provided, the more people will be able to search for your blogs. • The content of your blog posts should also reflect the tags assigned to it.Don’t just tag your blog posts with something, and not even mention it within the post itself. Google knows if you’re just putting a tag on without actually putting substantial content in your posts. You want your content to have a necessary amount of key phrases or terms that your target audience might search in Google. • Have categories and tags to keep your blog organized. Make it easier for not only yourself, but for your audience to find. Tags can make it easy for readers to find similar blog posts of yours with the same subject or term mentioned. For example, let’s say you wrote a post about gardening. Every blog posts you write about or mention “gardening,” you would put a “gardening” tag. Readers, interested in what you have to say about gardening, will click the tag to find out more in your blog. • Write blog posts with numerous phrases or words that would attract your target audience. If your book is about vampires, use words like “vampires,” “supernatural,” and “undead,” and create tags with those key words, that way, when a person googles “vampires,” your blog will show up in the search results. Remember, if you tag it, make sure you mention it! • The title of your blog posts should have the key term/phrase(s) as well.
  7. 7. Using Social Media Building an audience is a great way to market and promote your book, and you can do so through social media. For authors, it provides a way to connect, grow and engage with people, be seen as an expert in your field, and collect useful information about upcoming projects, book releases and more. Social Media is the most powerful and far reaching tool you can use to connect with others in building an audience. Through Social Media, 57% people “talk” online. 10% of all consumers research online before purchasing. 1 in 4 searches results in links to user generated content. It also allows authors a platform to promote their writing in a variety of ways. Authors should take advantage of the media in the forms of websites, YouTube, radio, TV, and reviews. Social media helps you reach groups of people interested in your book. Where? Blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus are all popular and useful social media outlets.
  8. 8. Promoting Your Book Through Facebook and Twitter Over 250 million people use Facebook and Twitter, and that’s one reason why you should use it to your advantage by promoting your book. But the only way to promote is to get people to see it. The following pages will detail how to get likes and followers on both social mediums.
  9. 9. A Facebook page is not the same as a Facebook account or profile. Facebook pages are generally for businesses, organizations, and brands, to share news and connect with people. Start a Facebook page and get those “Likes!” How do I get “Likes” on my Facebook page? • Post something that people would want to share to their friends and familiesthat they would want to like and follow too. • Be consistent. Try to post something everyday. • Use photos to catch their attention. • Keep it short. People often overlook posts that are too long. If people want to know more about what you said, direct them to your blog and/or website. • Ask them to like or comment! It shows that you care about your followers and their input. • Be entertaining. Use media that your readers would like, such as videos or a funny image. • Share content from other users or pages and they might do the same. Facebook can help build up interest in you and your book as well as staying connected to your followers and readers.
  10. 10. What you post or tweet says a lot about who you are. Responding to all tweets and postscould help generate a following. How do I get more followers? • Write a couple lines from your book and that may attract not only attention but also interest. People may follow you to learn more about your book. • You could also hold a contest for a free book if they like your page or follow you on Twitter. • Use hash tags. Hash tags are a great way to connect to people and a great way to find people to follow or them to follow you. You can also use trending hash tags that most people are using currently. • Tweet often. Post at least once a day about your area of expertise, or current events, or hobbies. • Ask people to retweet you to spread the word on upcoming events, contests, free ebooks, or release of your book. • Follow other tweeters! Search key words or phrases that are related to your subject or interests and you’ll find people to follow and who might follow you back. • Follow anyone who follows you. You might get a personal “Thank You” tweet and that helps get your name out in the Twitterverse. Don’t forget to the same! Sharing your content from Facebook and Twitter is easy. Put a link or button of your Facebook and Twitter page on your website and/or blog to get even more followers/likes! Once you develop a following, you can communicate with that audience about your events and news as well as get to know your readers.
  11. 11. Trade Shows Depending on what genres and topics your book covers, trade shows/fairs may be an alternative way for you to promote and present your book. If your book covers gardening, it may do well in a gardening expo or a flower shop. • Participating in trade shows allows you to meet your target audiences face to face. • A great place for networking and meeting new people. • Provides more exposure to your book. • You sell your book at retail, with nothing deducted. Book expos, similar to trade shows, are also a great place to exhibit your book.
  12. 12. Blog Tours What are book blog tours? Blog tours is a virtual tour where a group of bloggers will promote and/or review your book. Some blog tours are organized by someone and they sometimes charge a fee, so be sure to do some research. There are bloggers who will promote your book or give you an honest review so make sure you read the fine print. Here are some book tours that offer no fees: Blogtour.org: http://www.blogtour.org. All you have to do is sign up! Rockstar Book Tours: http://www.rockstarbooktours.com/p/authors-and-publishers.html. Over 600 bloggers signed up to be blog tour hosts. Covers mostly Young Adult. Magic Appreciation Tour and Book Sale: http://www.magicappreciationtour.com/FAQ.aspx. Typically focused on fantasy books and authors. A place for networking with other authors.
  13. 13. Get Your Book Reviewed It is important to get your book reviewed as it can up your sales, generate interests in readers, and generally put yourself out there. There are numerous places where you can get your books reviewed, including Amazon.com, Kirkus Reviews, and in newspapers. But some places require a fee, while others are free. Research where you want to get your book reviewed. Book Slut. http://www.bookslut.com/contact.php Authors must e-mail for invitation to submit review. Compulsive Reader. http://www.thecompulsivereader.com/p/review-policy.html. This site also accepts article submissions. Historical Novel Review. http://www.historicalnovelsociety.org/the-review.htm. This reviewer specializes in Historical Fictions novels and perspective reviewers must be Historical Novel Society members. Metaphysicology Online Reviews. http://metapsychology.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_index.php?idx=about This reviewer is especially helpful to fiction, self-help, and popular psychology authors. Authors can request more information using feedback form. How to get your book reviewed on Amazon: Contact Amazon Top Reviewers: http://www.amazon.com/review/top-reviewers. Look for the reviewers who often post reviews of books similar to yoursand contact them. Here is a list of sites where you can get your book reviewed: Blogcritics.org: a useful source for obtaining reviews. You can send your book release notices, press releases, news announcement, etc., via e-mail and a reviewer or reporter will contact you. Contact Eric Colson at ecolson2003@cs.com
  14. 14. Get Your Book Reviewed Once Written. http://www.oncewritten.com/About/GettingYourBookReviewed.php. This site is particularly helpful for first time writers in the fiction genre as they only post recommendations, not reviews. Reader Views. http://www.readerviews.com/submissions.html. This site offers authors the opportunity to be interviewed. Roundtable Reviews. http://roundtablereviewsadult.blogspot.com. The reviews from this site are based on the question: “Would I be willing to pay list price for this book, why or why not?” contact Tracy Farnsworth at roundtablereviews@gmail.com to seek a review. Science Fiction & Fantasy. http://www.sffworld.com/forums/forms.php?do=form&fid=4. This site also accepts film, game, and article review submissions. Science Fiction. http://www.sfreviews.net/faq.html. This reviewer accepts small press titles. The Romance Reader. http://www.theromancereader.com/faq.html. This review site seeks paranormal, erotic, and category romance reviewers. By getting reviews for your book, you are generating traffic and followers.
  15. 15. Sell More Books 1) I will regularly plan my work before taking action, and then assess the results of my efforts. Book marketing can be as simple as PIE if you Prepare before Implementing your plan. Then Evaluate your progress and make necessary changes. Listen to the webinar, How to Create a Functional Marketing Plan for 2013: www.premiumbookcompany.com/pri vate/Planningfor2013.wmv 2) I will keep up with changes in my chosen field. The publishing industry is changing rapidly. The topic on which you wrote your book is changing as well. People in the media will ask your opinion on these changes, as will people in the audiences of your personal presentations. Be prepared with accurate answers. See my article “Never Stop Learning” among many other free articles at http://tinyurl.com/85o9f3k 3) I will seek new places in which to sell my book. Most authors try to sell their books through bookstores – bricks and/or clicks. You can increase your revenue and profits significantly with sales to non-bookstore buyers. These can be retailers (gift shops, supermarkets, discount stores and specialty stores) or non-retail buyers in corporations, associations and schools. 4) I will consistently market my book. You cannot rely on your publisher or anyone else to market your book for you. You have more knowledge, passion and motivation than anyone else about your book, so do something every day to promote it. Remember Brian Tracy’s quotation: “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” 5) I will not give up. Success in this business is a long-term endeavor, reminiscent of the Chinese bamboo tree. If you plant a seed and then nurture and water it for a year it will grow two inches. In year two, if you care for, nurture and water it, the tree will grow two inches. In year three, if you care for, nurture and water it the tree will grow two inches. In year four, if you care for, nurture and water it the tree will grow two inches. Most people give up at this point, thinking it’s no use and takes too much time and effort for such little results. But in year five, if you care for, nurture and water it the tree will grow 80 feet. Think about this when doing your book marketing, and never give up. I wish you success in your book-marketing efforts this year and beyond. Brian Jud, Executive Director of APSS (Association of Publishers for Special Sales), author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books, and Merrimack Media’s sales consultant, offers some great tips on how you can sell more books:
  16. 16. Your Marketing Plan Checklist 1. Name of my book? 2. Who am I and what’s my message? What is the underlying message of your book? 3. Who do you think would be interested in reading your book? 4. What is it the take-away from your book? 5. Who is your target audience? 6. Where can you best reach your audience? 7. What is your budget? 8. Where do you want to sell your books? 9. What are your goals? 10. Do you want to publish in hard-copy or e-book or audio book? 11. Checklist for Marketing  Website  Blog  Social Media  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest  LinkedIn  Trade Shows  Book Reviews  Alternate Book Sale Venues  Press and Media
  17. 17. Market My Book (please!) HOW MERRIMACK MEDIA CAN HELP: Publicizing Your Book The most important – and often most challenging – part of self-publishing is getting your book into the right hands once it’s published. The dizzying process of publicizing and marketing your book can be nearly a full time job in and of itself, and most authors don’t have that kind of time. Merrimack Media can help you create and execute a press and publicity plan for your book including putting together a press kit, contacting reporters, organizing a book tour, getting your book to reviewers and other outreach strategies custom to your book and its audience. Ideally, creating buzz for your book starts months before you publish, so don’t delay. Here’s a sample program: • Teach you how to use and maximize Twitter and Facebook • Build your WordPress website and blog and teach you how to use it • Create a press kit with one sheet, author bio and press release • Email press release to appropriate outlets • Organize a couple local book readings at bookstores as well as alternative venues • Put together a blog tour for your book • Create Google alerts for your book and your name • Follow up with bloggers you contacted to get reviews • Send books to top Amazon reviewers • Get you interviews on book/author related BlogTalkRadio shows • Do book giveaway on Facebook and Twitter to build awareness • Devise other outreach and marketing strategies including maximizing blog content to build your audience I’M INTERESTED. HOW DO I GET STARTED? Great! Contact Jenny and she’ll send you a social media questionnaire to fill out and then guide you through the process of customizing a program that works for you and your budget. 978.710.8075 jenny@merrimackmedia.com www.merrimackmedia.com
  18. 18. Content of this ebook was provided by: Jenny Hudson Leigh Medeiros Brian Judd Danny Shain Jamie Dinh

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