In the first part of the interview we learned all about learning how to focus and ready ourselves to market our books and ourselves–the sooner the better. Building your brand needs to start now. It’s never too late… so let’s go explore the 12 Unique and Powerful Tips to help you succeed in marketing your book. (the SideBars are my comments and additions to Lacy’s list)
Lacy says…”I can’t say this enough…”
Get clear on your target audience and build a strategy that markets to them directly.
SIDEBAR: I just wanted to put my two cents in here because I’ve seen the dilemma of a writer not knowing their target audience. Keep in mind that the “audience” may be the one buying, or reading the book. So if you’re writing for children it needs to appeal to the parent/adult doing the buying and then in turn to the child. The success of books like “Go the F**k to Sleep” shows the targeting of the tired working parent who isn’t getting enough sleep. Frikken brilliant. Really look at your book. Who will it appeal to? Young girls? Maybe single adventurous older people? Like Lacy says, you really need to nail this.
Never stop promoting your book
- Post photos on your social pages
- Post quotes on your social pages
- Use your social profile images to highlight it
- Update your website
- Attend events
- Place the names of your other books in each book you publish
- Send out updates in your newsletters (if you have them)
SIDEBAR: I spoke with Lacy about social media platforms. She says the most popular are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There are many others but the main thing is that it doesn’t matter what you have if you don’t use it. It does take time, planning, and energy but get going on it and let it unfold naturally. Sometimes all you need to do is show a picture of yourself reading one of your books. The thing is … do something.
If your budget allows for it, pay for ads
It could be Amazon, social media, digital, etc. to promote your book—just make sure you target the ads to the appropriate demographic (your target audience).
SIDEBAR: Do your research. Check your analytics and if you don’t know what you’re doing, get help. Don’t just spend funds willy nilly.
Develop an online digital and social strategy
- Decide what platforms you want to use and how you will use them (content and frequency)
- Make sure you choose ones that you can actually manage
- Create a website! Even if it holds basic content, have somewhere central that you can put all book information (cover, description, price, purchase locations, blog, etc.) that you can direct people to.
- Make sure you have business cards with all your social media info and email (Keep your phone number off there as you don’t want strangers calling you and use a secondary email account (like gmail.com) so your private email stays private.
SIDEBAR: I’m so thankful for my website. Oh my goodness. The amount of times I’ve sent people there to not only read my stuff but also to get an idea of who I am. A website does not need to be expensive. There may even be free options out there but the thing is that you want it to reflect your personality and brand. I look at it as an investment.
Start writing …
- Look for other (written) opportunities to strengthen your brand and help promote your work
- Write articles
- Write blogs
- Write social posts
- Be sure to comment on group chats
- Engage with your readers
SIDEBAR: I really like this one. Don’t stop writing. Go enter a contest. Write a short story. Do an editorial for the local paper. It’s all part of who you are as a writer… It’s about building that platform. Getting your name out there and being visible. Keep going.
Look for speaking engagements …
- Expand your brand by being visible
- Create vlogs (video blogs)
- Speak on podcasts
- Get interviews with your local media
- Present at events that relate to your content
SIDEBAR: Sometimes we as writers forget that there’s a big world out there, But to be successful we need to engage with the world and the readers. You never know who’s reading your stuff or listening to you. I’ve gotten requests out of the blue to speak at a Summit or requests for reprints of articles. Always be ready to engage about your work. Include these things on your website. Check out my contact page and have your media kit prepped.
Build a network …
Find a group of people:
- launch teams
- reader fan base
- bookstore contacts
- local media
- associations or clubs you’re a part of or that relate to your book content
Use them to help you promote your book
SIDEBAR: Don’t forget your family and friends too. Ask them to follow your social media sites. Request that they comment, like, and share on a consistent basis. You don’t want dead-air so to speak. Keep the content circulating however you can.
Build a following …
- Create social community groups where fans can post about your work, engage with you, or ask questions and advice
- Attend events and engage with your readers in person
- Run promotions where you give a copy of your book away in exchange for likes/follows
- Start a newsletter that you can use to inform about the status of your book
SIDEBAR: The building of a following and therefore platform is crucial to any writer who is trying to market a book. With the idea of a newsletter, you can also have small give aways like Free PDF’s (people like free things…I know I sure do.) Because a newsletter goes directly into someone’s email they can opt out if they’re being inundated so don’t over do it and keep the selling to a minimum… informing is good…hard sell-no. Check here for more information on getting your newsletter and email list up and running.
Focus on gathering reviews
Try to get as many reviews as possible; the higher the review count on platforms like Amazon and Goodreads, the likelier you’ll get more people interested in and purchasing your book, and the better those platforms will start to promote your book to similar audiences
Send ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) of your book to your network, friends, and family, or offer them up through your social pages to your audience—try to get as many reviews as possible prior to launch
SIDEBAR: Bug those family and friends who read your book to go leave a review. I know as an avid reader I get so lazy about doing reviews but this is a reminder and I’ll go do a bunch tonight. Remember if you’re writing a review, it doesn’t mean you have to list the plot and be super specific. Be honest without being rude or critical. If that’s not possible then don’t write anything. See here how to do a quick review.
If you’re using a publishing company who’s helping you promote your book, don’t just sit back and allow them to do the work.
- Share their posts
- Ensure retailers are actually stocking your book
- Leverage off the name and brand of the publisher
- See if there’s another author of theirs that has a topic that fits your brand (but isn’t a direct competitor of your book) that you could do a potential joint promotional event with
- Most importantly, make sure you know what services are included as part of your fee to them and utilize them to their fullest (people often leave services on the table, because they’re too busy to look)
Find non-traditional vendors and retailers that can also carry your book.
If you’ve written a book about fishing, contact your local bait shops
If you’ve written a holistic/natural wellness book, reach out to your local grocer, yoga shops, or health food stores
You get my point…think outside the box (retailer)!
And Number TWELVE
Spread your marketing dollars and make use of the free tools out there.
- Hootsuite (to schedule and manage your social platforms)
- TweetDeck to schedule your tweets
- MailChimp (an email provider that you can run your blog out of)
- There’s also MailerLite
There are many free tools that can assist you in making your content or posts look more professional and polished. Ask other writers or marketers. Don’t be afraid to poke around and play with some of the tools.
Thank you so much to Lacy Lieffers for sharing so much valuable information. We should all be ready to go off and market our wares now. If you need help or would like a free consultation with Lacy contact her.
One Leaf Editing
and make sure you follow her on social media.
Follow me on: LinkedIn. www.linkedin.com/in/lacylieffers Twitter. www.twitter.com/OneLeafEditing Facebook. www.facebook.com/OneLeafEditing