Ten Tips for Marketing Your Book
Writing a book and having it published has been one of my greatest joys. I spent years developing my writing skills by taking courses and reading everything I could get my hands on. However, one thing I never really learned about was how involved I needed to be in the marketing of my books.
I’ve learned much during the past year and although I’m not an expert I would like to share ten tips that I found to be beneficial for marketing books.
First and foremost, you need to start planning and budgeting (money and time) for your book release as soon as possible. At least six months prior to the release you should put your plan into action. Your publisher will give you a certain amount of books for free, but keep in mind you may need extras to submit for reviews and awards. It’s also important to collaborate with your publisher and agent/ publicist (if you have these) and listen to their sage advice.
- Social media is a great way to share your books. You want to have these set up well in advance of your book release so you have a good following. Some sites also offer promotions for a small fee. For example, I have run promotions on Facebook for $10 for a month of promotions. You can also pay to have someone send out daily tweets about your book/books on Twitter for a minimal fee which I have also done.
- Develop a website and videos dedicated to your books and writing. Although you can set this up yourself you may want to consult with an expert. The key is to keep it current, make it appealing, and grow your audience.
- Reach out to bloggers, local newspapers and news stations. Many of them love to highlight local authors.
- Book reviews and awards are quite beneficial and you need to prepare in advance because some reviewers only review books three months in advance of the book release. Some are free and some require a fee. Some reviewers will accept your galleys and others want hard copies. You should also encourage the people who buy your books to write a review. It’s helpful to develop a chart with all the guidelines, deadlines, and fees.
- Many bloggers also offer book reviews. Some are free and some require a fee so you need to spend time searching for reviewers who review your genre and fit into your budget.
- Good Reads, Reader’s Favorites, Amazon’s Author Central, and Hometown Reads offer a variety of services for all genres and setting up an account is free. If you’re children’s book author I recommend joining the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCWBI). This one does have a fee but it’s well worth it.
- Author’s visits are very important and usually involve book readings, discussions, and book signings. Potential sites include bookshops, schools, libraries, and community groups.
- Although you may be contacted by one of these sites you should also reach out to potential venues with personalized emails. You can also purchase give away items, for example, postcards, flyers, pencils, bookmarks, and stickers. Remember to bring a sharpie for your book signings and think about how you want to sign your books.
- Advertising and Book Coops/Displays can be beneficial but do involve fees. Story Monsters LLC reviews children’s books for free if you submit but a review is not guaranteed. However, they charge reasonable rates for competitive book awards, advertising, an author booking site, and book coops.
- Hosting a book release party can really help build excitement about your book/books. You can do this at your home, a friend’s home, or a community center. You can ask your friends to bring at least one friend so you can have a good attendance.
I truly wish I had known more about the marketing aspect of book publishing prior to my book releases. I missed out on several book reviews and awards programs as I didn’t really develop a comprehensive plan and budget prior to the release of my books. I also underestimated the amount of time and money it would take for me to market my books. I hope you find this advice helpful and wish you all the best on your writing journey.