No matter what you’re marketing, two things remain true: it’s important to market through mixed media, rather than depending on one single tactic; and you have to be consistent. When marketing the first book you’ve published, you aren’t likely to already have an established following of readers — now is the time to build one with a marketing campaign. Thus, you’ve got to structure a campaign out of a mixture of efficient marketing tactics, and keep at this campaign specifically. Is it time consuming? Yes — but you could always invest in a book marketing team or a publicist. Whether you do it yourself or have a team helping you, though, you need to stay “with the times” and keep track of the most effective marketing efforts in the digital age.
Indie bookstores are useful for two reasons. For one, most have at least a small following of loyal and frequent customers. Secondly, they’re always looking to host events as a way to get people to their store. If you offer to do a reading, a book signing, or even a workshop at your local independent bookstore, you’ll get access to at least a small group of potential readers in a very intimate and interactive environment. It’s a good feeling to help out a small business, and it’s even better if you can get a few more authors on board to make it a larger-scale event with more potential sales.
Pitch, Pitch, Pitch to Traditional Media Sources
One reason that living in 2014 is a curse is because traditional media now has to be competitive with online sources and, therefore, they’re much more picky with what they choose to cover. However, if your pitch does get picked up by a popular radio station or magazine, you get the benefit of being discussed by a source whose information is most likely to stick with potential readers. Pitch to NPR, pitch to the New York Times — don’t be afraid! This is part of the reason, though, that it might be a good idea to invest in a book marketing company with established connections.
In the digital age, online reviews are king. Most online shoppers don’t buy anything unless it has decent reviews, and books are no exception. Luckily, Goodreads is on your side. Since Goodreads is one of the biggest sites for book reviews, it’s important to have a good presence on this platform. The site lets you host giveaways through which you can give out a physical copy of your book and, since the recipient will obviously be a Goodreads user, you can then bank on the fact that your book will be getting a review. This is one of the most low-risk ways to promote your book.
If you start up your own blog, you’re going to run into the same issue as with writing a book: you need to work to gain followers. However, you can also always pitch your story to blogs with followings. Whether you use it as a way to publish a poem or short story, giving readers a taste of your style, or just discuss the history of the book you’re promoting, it’s a great way to reach out to avid readers without taking too much of a risk.