How To Market Your First Book
Marketing a book is complex and learning to market your first book can be overwhelming. Authors freak out about it.
Many authors just want to write and do not want to bother with being involved in the business side of their writing. But the reality is if you want to be a successful creative, marketing is essential.
Those very first steps
What might be the first few steps for getting started with marketing your book?
You are a first-time author, yes? You are starting out with no track record, yes? Then you need to be inventive to get the word out about your book.
Who is your book for? Does your book have a defined market? Who do you think would want to read or buy your book?
1. Start an email list
Ask yourself – who do you know in your own circle of influence that might be interested in learning about your book and possibly purchasing it?
Brainstorm and come up with a list of names.
- People you know in your immediate circle of influence
- Friends on Facebook
- People in groups you are part of
- People with whom you share common interests.
Make a list of their names, email addresses, and mobile phone numbers. Double-check with these people that they are happy for you to have their details. Also, check that they are happy for you to contact them either by email or by phone.
You are doing this before you even get into the business of email marketing with an autoresponder and associated legal issues to do with privacy laws.
I’m simply suggesting that when you want to market your first book take baby steps to get the word out.
Once you’ve started with a list send a personal email to these people telling them about your book. Don’t forget to provide a link as to where they can buy your book.
Do not at this stage send out a bunch of emails in a group; they might just end up in the recipient’s junk mail and you don’t want this to happen.
Keep these first emails very friendly and personal.
Once you’ve started a names list you can then graduate to setting up an email marketing platform with a website or landing page, an autoresponder and a lead magnet to capture more leads.
2. Have a book launch
When starting in self-publishing authors are usually interested in one thing – sales. By taking those first few baby steps offline it is possible to get immediate sales.
Organise a book launch. This could be as simple as inviting a few people to your home to tell them about your book or you might even meet at a coffee shop or club.
A book launch can range from a simple, low key gathering in the home to a more formal event held at a public venue.
Book launches, book signings, author talks, author interviews on community radio, promotional flyers, and personal networking are proven and tested methods for marketing your book which can be leveraged to your advantage once you focus on your target audience.
Other methods of marketing
After you’ve taken these first baby steps in the offline space you can start exploring other methods of marketing. Build your author platform but this will take time. It’s not something that happens overnight.
Building a website
Your website is your hub from where you communicate with your readership. You’ll set up a lead magnet, have an autoresponder, write blog posts, and send out broadcasts to your email list on a regular basis. You’ll include an author bio, a sales page, social media links, blog posts, and contact details.
You’ll be wanting to get reviews both editorial reviews and customer reviews for social proof.
A social media presence is important with a Facebook page, a possible Facebook group, being part of other Facebook groups, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest.
You may be interested in setting up a YouTube channel or starting a podcast.
An area commonly neglected by first-time authors and which starts prior to writing the book is Market Research. Make sure you are writing a book that has a potential market. You don’t want to go to all the effort of producing a book only to discover that no one is interested in your book. It has no market.
Other prepublication marketing tips include designing a stunning cover, deciding on a keyworded title, and paying attention to an attractive interior. There is the business of selecting appropriate metadata like the title, categories, keywords and book description.
If you brainstorm all the various ways you can go about marketing your book it is possible to come up with at least 40 if not more methods. It is too overwhelming to cope with all of them at once.
When starting out keep it simple by taking baby steps. The best place to start is with your immediate circle of influence.
Master one marketing method at a time. Then move on to the next. Over time as you learn you will grow your repertoire of marketing methods and find out what works best for you.
To learn more about writing, self-publishing, and marketing your book ACCESS HERE the How To Become A Self-Published Author subscription program which consists of weekly online lessons that educate, motivate and inspire.
Author and Coach