Writing a good book is step one. The next step is getting it to sell. Gone are the days when the big publishing houses scheduled your book tours, television interviews, and radio spots. Exceptions are made for big name authors, of course, but most authors are responsible for their own marketing plans, and having a plan in advance may even assist in winning a publishing contract.
1. Put yourself in the spotlight.
No more hiding behind the keyboard if you want to make book sales! Be proud of what you’ve produced and tell the world. Not a single soul will know about your book unless YOU tell them about it, via social media, press releases, and publicity events. And just remember: You can’t please everyone so keep your target audience in mind. Don’t listen to naysayers; pay attention to the reaction of your fans.
2. Perfect writing press releases and newsworthy pitches.
What better way to tell the world about your new book than to write a press release. But to keep your press release from getting hidden at the bottom of the pile, learn how to write it so your book is seen as newsworthy. In media pitches, mention how you are also different from the competition and why you’re the best choice for interview guests. Yes, you want the publicity, but word your releases and pitches so it comes across as a win-win relationship.
3. Practice your scheduling acumen.
Scheduling interviews, live readings, book signings, your book launch party, and social media promotions takes lots of planning and a calm, patient personality. Add some traveling into the mix and you may want to consider hiring an assistant and/or travel agent to handle the airline flights and hotel reservations. National interviews can be cancelled or added at the drop of a hat so you may have to prioritize on the go. Always have a backup plan if a scheduled event is cancelled so your time isn’t wasted.
4. Continue connecting with your social media followers.
Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to connecting with your followers online. It’s all about building a trust relationship so your fans know without a doubt that you are credible and not trying to fleece them. Build that relationship, share parts of your life and/or business, be silly, and of course talk about your book. Just don’t hit them over the proverbial head with sales posts consistently. Show them that you’re a real person who cares about helping them more than about selling your book.
5. Start planning early and use a mind map to guide your marketing plan.
Nothing says unprofessional quicker than a half-baked marketing plan or, even worse, no plan at all. If you want to sell books and expand your reach, planning is vitally important. Start early by brainstorming your ideas and then decide which of these ideas you can pull off based on the date of your book launch. Consider outsourcing any tasks you don’t know how to accomplish so you can move forward with your marketing methods. Save those tasks that you love or at least know how to finish for yourself.
If you’re apprehensive about this solo marketing approach, consider hiring help, either an assistant with marketing and publicity experience or a PR/marketing firm. Keep your budget in mind but also weigh the benefits of each and decide which option will provide the bigger ROI.