Writing a book takes lots of hard work, sleepless nights, creativity, patience, and…pain. But what if all these things don’t pay-off when the book finally hits the market?
You might be a better storyteller and writer than J.K. Rowling and Nicholas Sparks, but it doesn’t guarantee that your book will become a bestseller. This is a harsh truth, especially if you are a debut author and choosing the self-publishing path.
That’s where the role of book promotion comes in. You must have a solid plan to market your book that can help you reach as many readers as possible.
See, you have to understand that most of the publishers are very budget-conscious when it comes to publishing a new writer. You wouldn’t be having morning show interviews, big advertisement hoardings, massive book launch event at crossroads, or full-page ads on literary magazines, to announce the release of your book.
Despite everything, if you have set the right book marketing plan, things will work better for you. It will surely help you to gain new readers, and eventually boost the sales of your book.
Book marketing ideas: How to market your first book?
If you are an author wondering how to market a self-published book, then your search ends here.
1. Cultivate a brand persona
Right after signing the contract with the publisher, you need to work on creating a brand for yourself. When people will come to know about you and your book, they will look forward to knowing more about you. What is your background? Things that inspired you to write the book? The type of books that you like to read?
What you need to do is get in touch with book bloggers and ask for an interview. Tell them why they should interview you. Share the interview with your friends and followers so that people will see you as a brand. Start building an audience and stay in touch with them.
2. Build author website
Most of the new authors don’t have a website. But it is a key to build and establish the brand persona. And this is not a thing to be considered optional.
Your website will work as a home for your books, your write-ups, and about you. Here, people can learn everything about you and your work. You can promote your book here, have links to your interviews and book reviews, and positively impact the website visitors.
Here is an example of the author website. Nicholas Sparks is my favourite writer, and he is making the most of his site.
An author website should have the following information:
- About page for your bio
- High-quality photo
- Excerpts from the book
- Promotion of the book with links to buy it
- Book reviews
- Contact page to get in touch
- Links to social media handles where people can easily find and follow you
Even a one-page website will work for you. If you are ignoring building a website thinking that it will cost a lot and need the help of technical people, then you are absolutely wrong. You can build a website on your own in a budget of around INR 2-3K per year.
Suggested reading: How to build a website on your own? (5 easy steps)
3. Get in touch with book reviewers
A couple of weeks before your book is released, make a list of the book reviewers and bloggers. Just ensure that these reviewers read work from your genre. Book reviews will maximize the reach of your book and influence the readers.
It is all the more special because a high number of reviews can optimize the visibility of your book.
Ask and convince the bloggers to read your book and write a review. Marketing of the first book will need your hard work and efforts. But every copy purchased will be worth it.
4. Make the most of social media
You don’t have to worry if your followers’ list is not long. Keep shouting out loud about your book on every platform with proper hashtags and links, so that more and more people can see your posts.
Make the use of ads on Facebook and Instagram.
You can target a specific audience for your ad so that only the people who might be interested in your books will see the ad. Facebook makes this possible by analyzing the accounts that have listed books and authors as their favourites.
Social media tips for authors: Book Marketing Ideas
- Be active on every platform and analyze what people are saying about your work. Respond to comments and ask questions.
- Retweet/reshare/repost the photos or stories shared by your readers. If someone has posted the review of your book on social media, appreciate their review. If it’s a positive review, don’t hesitate to share it with your audience. It not only helps in building the credibility of the book but also makes the readers feel appreciated.
- Make the most of Instagram stories by putting engaging content, like polls and questions.
- Create thoughtful content. Don’t make people feel that you are just trying to sell your books. Give them the reasons to buy your work.
- Make a weekly schedule for the posts that you will be sharing across all your profiles. It will help you to be consistent.
- Consider going live at least once a week. When you go live on Instagram or Facebook, people get to see you and ask their questions directly.
- Share your favourite quotes from the book in the form of stories and posts. When you share these, don’t forget to use the trending hashtags so that the post can reach a wider audience.
If you don’t know which hashtags are right for you, then try out this tool called All Hashtag. Just enter your keyword, like a book, quote, etc. and get top or trending hashtags.
5. Attractive book cover
“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
Well, this is a very famous proverb, but almost everybody judges a book by its cover. The appearance matters a lot and directly impact the decision of consumers.
It doesn’t mean that you should have the best book cover in the world. But it shouldn’t be bad looking, cheap, and unprofessional. The people should feel that it is designed by a professional designer. On shopping sites like Amazon and Flipkart, a good cover can attract the people who are browsing through the books category.
Following are a couple of examples of some simple yet professional book covers:
6. Collaborate with fellow writers
Promoting other authors to get yourself promoted is one of the best book marketing ideas for self-published authors. This co-promotion technique is used by many writers who write books in the same genre.
You should get in touch with similar authors and promote your books together. You are having some readers, and the other writers are some more readers. The collaboration will help in getting new readers who like to read the genre you write.
This is called ‘sandwich technique’. This technique is mostly used by radio jockeys and music channels to make people familiar with new songs. What they do is play the favourite tracks of people during an hour and add a couple of new tracks between the songs that the people already like. This works perfectly for them.
Below is a picture of some bestselling Indian authors who write the same genre. If you are book geek who loves reading Indian writers, then you know all these authors— Durjoy Datta, Novoneel Chakraborty, Sudeep Nagarkar, and Ravinder Singh.
7. Contact influencers
There are plenty of influencers available on social media platforms who have thousands of followers. These followers are the fans of the influencers and are impacted by the things they do.
For example, if the influencers post a photo of them reading a particular book, the fans might feel that they too should be reading that book.
This works well for most of the authors. But this can be a little concerning for the newbie authors who are low on budget. However, you shouldn’t stop working on this. Get in touch will influencers and ask if they can negotiate. Also, seek only those who can really help you accelerate your book sales. Let them know about the hashtags that you would prefer in their posts.
I’m not sure if Akshay Kumar, in this photo, has picked up this book as part of influencer marketing. But if you are his fan, you will also want to read this book.
These are a few of the best book marketing ideas for self-published authors that will help you boost the sales of your book. If you have already hit the market, don’t wait any longer. Just use these ideas and reach more readers. That’s the aim of putting so much hard work in writing the book. Right?
I hope you found this article useful. If you know of more good book marketing ideas, feel free to let me know via the comments below. I would love to add them to the list.
Virendra is a passionate reader and writer. He is currently working for two leading IT media portals. This blog is where he shares everything, whether it is a book review, technical article, author interviews, things he has learnt (and still learning). He also writes about his take on this world through unique, helpful and odd stories.