Effective Book Marketing with a Strong Author Platform

By Guest Author, Khefa Nosakhere

Attention: new authors and soon to be authors. Book Marketing isn’t easy, nor glamorous or inexpensive. It’s work. Hard, extremely detailed work. But when done right, it is also highly rewarding.

Since my first novel – America, the “Beautiful” was published in April 2016, I have learned many valuable lessons regarding the best way to sell and market books. I am still on my journey. Early on I learned something of great significance – book marketing is a discipline unto itself! You must respect the process and take each step with care and determination. Many authors have said ads don’t work – I’m on the fence.

I do believe authors need their name to be known to readers of their particular genre. I have understood that two things sell books: reviews and media coverage. I highly recommend compiling a marketing to do list.

Rather than casting a wide net, the dedicated author must have a strategy, and a highly detailed battleplan to attract readers in their particular genre. You must stay focused! If you are a sci-fi writer and target any group other than science fiction readers, get ready for disappointment. One of the most important things an author can do is build a vibrant email list on their own website.

Marketing your book properly must be done in sequential order, you must know where your audience is and how to reach them. I would estimate that I read hundreds of articles and books, as well as had conversations with several book marketers, editors as well as fellow authors. It took me a full two years to conduct the research to reach a point of book marketing mastery. Whereas fiction and nonfiction books have different audiences, there is some overlap regarding marketing.

The best time to plan your marketing campaign is when your editor is almost done with the final edit. An author platform is vital to book marketing success.

Here are the main ingredients to a strong author platform:

  1. Effective author website (with high quality content and ecommerce)Strong Social Media Presence
  2. Guest blog
  3. Join professional writing groups
  4. Get interviewed (radio and newspapers! Better than TV for nonfiction)
  5. Volunteer with literary related nonprofits
  6. Brand Yourself – (see 1-6)

If you believe in the craft of writing, you will do everything in your power to get better. Read – a lot. I mean research historical events and figures. Read articles and everything you can get your hands on. It will broaden your horizons and hopefully your network. Take classes. Go to conferences. Find a writing group. Find a mentor. Live, love, laugh and cry – and use that to make yourself better.

Lissa Warren’s, The Savvy Author’s Guide to Book Publicity is one of my favorite resources. She is a former literary agent. Her advice is on point and expansive. Remember, selling one book is difficult. Readers don’t know who you are. Speaking of who, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the importance of your WHY. Why you write, and your identity is vital for literary success. It’s what authors fall back on. This is one of the major reasons I love quotes by sages from across the time continuum.

Your “why” will carry through the tough times and help you plan better for your next project. Be encouraged, be prepared, get the right type of experts to help you.

Above all – KEEP WRITING.

“ A Bookstore is a lousy place to sell a book”
Dan Poynter

Meet Khefa Nosakhere

Hometown Guest Author Headshot

Khefa Nosakhere is an adjunct English professor from New Orleans, Louisiana. His literary specialty is 20th century American literature and African American literature. His first nonfiction book, Institutional Racism and the Search for African American Identity and Masculinity in Selected Works of Richard Wright will be released in January of 2019.

About Becky Robinson

Becky is the founder and CEO of Weaving Influence, the founder of Hometown Reads, and a champion of the #ReadLocal Movement.

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  • Thank you for the advice and the resource recommendation!

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