It’s easier than ever to become a published author. With today’s technology and with all the self-publishing platforms out there, it doesn’t take much to self publish a book.
When you go this way, the most difficult part it the promotion, because without a publishing house you lack some very important resources. As an independent publisher, marketing your book online and offline can be a challenge or a struggle.
Surely, you can hire an agency for book marketing services, but if you don’t have the budget, you can try to do everything yourself. This article will teach you how to get publicity for your book online.
1. Get your book noticed by running an effective ad campaign
You’re a book publisher, not an advertiser, so chances are that you haven’t done any online advertising campaigns yet. You might not even know how/ where to start. Like all beginnings, starting an ad campaign can be quite intimidating. So start small, with a small budget, until you get the hang of it. With online advertising it takes a lot of testing, trial and error, to figure out what works and what doesn’t. So don’t go all out with a big budget straight from day one.
There are many advertising platforms that you could use for book marketing.
If you have no idea where to start, I suggest starting by running a small Facebook ad campaign for your book. It’s one of the most user-friendly ad platforms, in my opinion. Here’s a guide to Facebook Ads for indie authors.
2. Use social media platforms for book marketing
When someone says social media you probably think about Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, instantly. But there are other social platforms that can get your book noticed, some of which you may not have used before for promotional purposes.
Pinterest – This visual social media channel is loved by many people around the world. It’s a great place for visual communication, for collections, and for organizing ideas. Fashion retailers are using Pinterest to drive sales, but I believe book marketers can get a slice of Pinterest revenue as well. Wondering how? Your writer platform made a list of creative ways to use Pinterest for book promotion.
Quora – The Q&A website is a great platform to interact with potential readers and get the word out about your book.
Reddit – Many marketers are intimidated by Reddit because they don’t do it right. However, Reddit is a great place for promotions. Learn how to use it and you’ll be a happy publisher. There’s a subreddit for almost every book genre you can think of, so get into those communities where your target audience is.
Use Youtube to publish interesting book promo videos, interviews, and AMA sessions, and other similar videos.
3. List your book on free book advertising sites
Even though they are not book advertising sites per se, these book platforms can be used for promotion. Create book listings on Goodreads, LibraryThing, Booktalk, Wattpad, and Scribd because these are places where books meet readers. Isn’t that a great place for advertising a book, freely?
In addition to these free book advertising sites, I strongly encourage you to use comment sections on publishing blogs and book-centric sites to start conversations with others, without sounding spammy. There’s a thick line between smart marketing and spam. Don’t be a spammer!
Another great way for self-publishing marketing is guest posting. Some publishers accept guest contributions, which is a great way to earn publicity.
4. Attend and/or speak at events
There are many publisher conferences, book trade fairs, and other events where you can meet other fellow self-publishers and learn from their experiences. You will also meet other parties involved in the publishing process, who can help you distribute or market your book. Readers are also usually present at book fairs, which is an occasion to meet them and make yourself known.
If there’s a speaking opportunity, take advantage and apply. Find an interesting subject that you can comfortably talk about and make that subject tie in with your book. Mention your book and where it can be purchased.
5. Build an email list by offering a freebie
Freebies are an awesome way to promote your book (and anything else too, for that matter). You probably want to make money with your book, so you’re not willing to offer the entire book to readers for free. You have to make a living, right? There are other ways to build an email list by offering freebies.
You could offer 2-3 chapters for free to those who subscribe. This is a smart strategy because the freebie will act as a hook, bringing the readers closer to the purchase decision.
Most publishers make a dedicated page on their websites to collect email addresses.
Once you have a decent email list you can start sending interesting newsletters to those who subscribed, regarding your books, research, or other topics that might interest your readers.
6. Connect with influencers
Influencer marketing is a growing trend, so you can initiate a marketing collaboration with a powerful influencer from the publishing industry. Maybe you could interview/ partner up with a famous author, or get them to mention you on one of their social channels. Influencers have huge numbers of followers, so if they tweet about or mention you, that message will instantly reach thousands of potential readers.
7. Make an interactive book presentation
Book presentations are a fantastic way to introduce a freshly released book to your audience. Publish it in the form of an online brochure, and be sure to include the following items to make your book presentation more engaging:
- Short, interesting author bio
- Author picture
- Book reviews
- Short description of the book
- Author interview in video format
- Links to buy the book
A great example is this interactive book presentation.
Other important self-publishing tips for authors
Make a book marketing plan
Planning is an essential part of any activity, because as Benjamin Franklin said, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. Marketing your book is no different. Take some time to do your research and learn how to write a marketing plan for your book, because it will help you a lot.
Here are a few tips that should be detailed in your book marketing strategy:
- Define your target audience
- Make a list of distribution channels
- Get reviews from influencers
- Advertising campaign details
- Budget and timeline
More details for making an effective book marketing plan can be found here.
What other tips do you have for self-publishers? Please leave a comment sharing your own self-publishing tips for authors.