To create your author name as your brand and increase your book sales, you must work actively with a marketing plan. You must reach out to your readers and create a community online, but how do you do it?
When you have written a book, you are very overwhelmed by it. A project that has taken a long time to push through is finally done! But now it is time for phase 2 – marketing the book. It is reaching the right target group with their life’s work.
There is a wealth of ways to market your book, so which method is right for you and your writing? Sometimes it can even be that the alternatives are so many that you do not know where to start. So let’s review the most effective ways to promote your book and what you should focus on right from beginning.
The following seven elements are essential to each author’s marketing plan – these are the necessary steps on which you base all your marketing. They are also steps that you can get started with before your book is published and completed.
IDENTIFY YOUR IDEAL READER
This is almost the most important thing of all – finding your ideal reader/target audience! Everything comes back to your readers! Once you know who you are trying to reach, you need to find out how to reach them and where they are online. To find your ideal target group, you need to think about who you think would like to read your book.
If it is a children’s book, you are directed to find parents of a certain age, grandparents, preschool teachers, preschools, etc. After all, it makes no sense to target those who, for example, are interested in medical information in that situation right? If young people are targeted, then a newsletter will not work on this target group, you will have to focus on the social media platforms that the target group is on.
SET REALISTIC GOALS
Whether you want to sell as many books for a certain amount of time or be in a best seller list – make sure you set a goal. If you do not have a clear destination in mind, you can never map your path to get there. It’s ok if your goals changes along the way. You have to start somewhere. We all need to have a goal to pursue to push ourselves forward with our plans.
If you don’t know your goals yet, I think you should basically start somewhere, such as I will sell 10 books in 3 months. Then also answer: How should I get there? What do I need to do to reach that goal? We all have to start somewhere! Sound basic but has to be done.
SET UP A MARKETING BUDGET
Of course, there are costs associated with marketing. Time is also a cost. Think about how much time you can devote each week to promote your book. Even think about how much money you can spend each month on advertising on Facebook / Instagram etc.
Don’t forget to take into account cost of creating your website and the help you would need. Plus, budget your domain name (what your website should be called) hosting and the platform on which you will build your website.
CREATING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA – HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLATFORM?
The short answer is choosing platforms where your readers are. But, you think, how do I know where they are? Well, do some research. For example, you will find many statistics on internet that come out every year. They tell you which target group is where and give you other functional and useful information about all the platforms.
Unfortunately, to succeed on Facebook, you have to pay for traffic, preferably in the beginning, until you get a bunch of followers.
You can get started and create a page, post every day, and share the fun with your followers, to create engagement. If your commitment is not enough (that you don’t make as many posts), you won’t get any organic reach. So, publish posts that your followers see as exciting and want to engage. Make posts where you, as a follower, would love to comment; then, you are good to go.
Facebook is the best tool available for targeting ads to precisely the right audience you have. When you advertise on Facebook, you can also link it with Instagram so that you simultaneously advertise on that platform.
The other platform you can use is Instagram. You can share pictures that you associate with you as an author, your book, and your plans in the future. If you love sharing visuals and share everyday life to create engagement, this is the perfect platform for you! However, you can’t get links on Instagram posts. The only place you can add a link is in the profile of your account.
What’s great is that you can add up to 30 hashtags relevant to your post, which will spread the word about your post under these hashtags.
This is a platform to use for website links and to sell products, as it acts as a search engine. This means that you create a pin, optimize it for search results, and get traffic to your website or book page every day. But like all social platforms, Pinterest also requires you to be an active user on the platform. Which means you have to be online every day.
You can schedule your pins with a scheduler such as Buffer. Then you can plan your posts and make sure they are published even if you have no time to engage with platform every day.
Video is seen as the best way to connect with people online, as it creates a more personal touch. People see you and get to know your personality through video. If you can create good value around your book and yourself, which are worth watching, I would encourage you to check out this platform.
Other platforms: Snapchat, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc.
There are so many more social media platforms out there, and more is popping up. But you don’t have to be active on all of them. Start with one at a time and then gradually develop your presence over time.
If you have written a book aimed at companies, LinkedIn may be the best platform for you. If you are targeting a younger market, you can get a Snapchat account. If you are writing picture books for schools and parents, it may be better to focus on Facebook. Do what’s best for you and your book.
Content tips for social media:
- Why you have chosen self-publishing.
- The post tells everyone that you have signed the book agreement
- Where are you in the process?
- Post the cover of the book and who you worked with (maybe it is a well-known artist, graphic artist, or photographer), get ideas
- Funny GIFs, memes, or quotes that is relevant to your book or your personality
- Events around the book
- Posts about where to find the book how to get in touch with you
- Short videos about your book and you
Remember that you want to be where your readers are!
BUILD A WEBSITE
Everything you do online should lead to your website. This is why you should build a website that is optimal for your target audience. You can start working on the website even before the book is published, to to use it to post where you want to market your book, blog, tell where to buy your book and get the word about who you are and what your book is about.
We strongly recommend that you have a fully functioning, published website at least six months before your book comes out!
If you do not have a book coming out yet and, it is at least a good idea to buy your domain name to be sure no one is buying it before you. (Most author sites choose a URL / domain that is the author’s name, but for some of you, that option may not be available.)
Add A Blog to Your Website
Ideally, as a complement, to your website is a blog. Your readers can find out more about you and your books and get a feel for what kind of book you are writing and encourage excitement before the book release.
It also gives you content to share on social media so you can get traffic to your website.
Start sending out newsletters
Collect email addresses from your website and social media so that you can send out newsletters. It’s perfect for promoting your book, where to buy it, what it is about, telling you who you are, etc.
Thanks for reading 🙂 Sandy Kohen