15 Frequently Asked Questions About Book Marketing & Publicity
Learn More About the Role of PR in Book Marketing
Book marketing and publicity are essential if you’ve recently written or published a book. Given the competition in the marketplace today, you need a well-planned PR campaign to help target readers find out about your book. Most often, a traditional media relations campaign combined with promotion online is what you’ll need to breakthrough. If you have questions about how it’s done, here are helpful answers from the pros at Smith Publicity. Ahead are 15 frequently asked book publicity and marketing questions and answers:
- Why do books need publicity?
Simple: How will people find out about your book without book publicity and marketing? There are thousands of titles released every day in the U.S. alone, making book publicity more crucial than ever. With an effective marketing plan, you can target your readership, create a buzz about your book, attract the media, and ultimately generate more sales.
- How do I get started marketing my book?
It would help if you started marketing your book at least six months before its release. In short, you want to generate buzz about your book and its release. Begin with social media and go from there. If your book has already been released, you still have time and available methods to market your book. You want to identify your audience and create a marketing plan to get started. Your book marketing plan will outline your budget and what strategies you will take to reach your audience.
- Why do I need a book marketing plan?
Whether your book is self-published or traditionally published, you need strategically planned marketing. A book marketing plan is a document that outlines goals and how you will achieve them. Your plan will identify the target audience and competition, summarize your strategies for attracting readers, booksellers, reporters, and outline your budget. With a focused plan, you can allocate your marketing budget appropriately. Consider these tips for creating a book marketing plan.
- Do I need to hire a book marketing professional?
While you don’t have to hire a book marketing company, it will help you achieve greater success. Book marketing agencies have the experience, resources, and knowledge needed to market authors and their books.
- Do I need an author website?
Every author should have an author website. Your website is the first place readers, media, booksellers, and book reviewers will turn to gather more information about you and your book. It should have a clean, easy-to-navigate layout and include relevant information about you and the book.
- What’s the best way to set up my author’s website?
Your author website should include the following pages at a minimum: home page, bio, excerpt, press room, events calendar, sample Q & A, and blog. On each book page and the home page, you should provide links to online destinations where people can purchase your books. Your domain name should be either your name or the title of your book. However, avoid using words that are difficult to pronounce or hard to spell. Make sure your website is updated regularly to include your current contact information and upcoming events. Also, provide social media buttons at the top or bottom for visitors to easily access your social profiles.
- How can I get the media to respond to my pitches?
When creating media pitches, you need to think like a journalist. Journalists receive tons of media pitches every day, so you need to make yours stand out. Rather than merely promoting your book, your pitch should discuss a topic that’s interesting and newsworthy and relates to your book. Now is the time to be creative; if you’re a novelist, you can draw inspiration from your book’s setting, plot, and characters to develop unique ideas for your pitches.
- Should I participate in trade shows and conferences?
Trade shows and conferences are a great way to increase your exposure and establish yourself as a leader within your industry or genre. You can build strong relationships with readers, book reviewers, booksellers, book distributors, publishers, and other authors at these events. If you’ve written a non-fiction book, you should consider applying to speak at the conference. At the end of your speech, mention your new book and have it for sale at the event.
- What’s the best way to market my book online?
There are many helpful online book marketing strategies. In addition to building your author website, you should create social profiles, an author profile on Amazon, and a blog. These off-site profiles should be connected to your website so visitors can easily access them. Like your media pitches, your blog and social posts should not be purely promotional. You should deliver meaningful and interesting content to your followers. You can be creative with the content, but it should somehow relate to you and your book. You must keep your profiles fresh and update them regularly. Click here for more tips on social media and blogging.
- Should I sell my book on Amazon?
Yes, definitely. Amazon is one of the top online platforms for buying books and provides numerous promotional resources for authors, such as the Amazon Author Central program.
- How do I create an Amazon Author Profile?
Amazon Author Central allows authors to create a biography, share media placements, upload author photos, claim your author URL, and direct readers to your social feeds. On Amazon.com, your name will show up next to your book title. When clicked on, the user will be directed to your author page, where they can learn more about you and your book, purchase your book and connect with you. Click here for more tips on creating an Amazon author profile.
- Does my book need an ISBN code?
Yes. Most bookstores require an ISBN, and library catalogs and search engines prefer them. Learn more about the importance of ISBN codes here.
- When is the best time to start a book publicity campaign?
Some publicists will tell you that summer, mid-fall, or mid-spring are bad times to begin a book publicity campaign. Many will say September and January are the two best times to release and start promoting your book. However, if you release your book at that time, you will be competing with a larger pool of books. You can lease and promote your book any time of the year, whenever you see fit. There are many reasons that launching a book campaign in the summer can work quite well, primarily because the competition is less. Consider these tips for choosing when to start your book publicity campaign.
- What is long-lead media?
Long-lead media are print magazines that produce their stories several months before publication. If you want to be featured in a specific magazine issue, such as the Christmas or Valentine’s Day issue, you must submit your pitch four to six months in advance.
- How can I get people to review my book?
Many readers and booksellers look at book reviews before purchasing a book. Therefore, you must generate online reviews of your book. You can do so by sharing the first chapter or two with your friends, family, and colleagues and asking them to write an honest review. You can also offer a promotion to people who write your book reviews.
Since 1997, Smith Publicity has successfully promoted self-published and traditionally published books across all genres. Visit us online to get started with us today.
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