by Kellie Rendina
New ideas about how to market self-help books coincide with the continuing growth of the genre. Increasingly, self-help authors like Marie Kondo and Jen Sincero are well known to many people. In the United States alone, the personal development industry takes in almost $10 billion annually. As a result, self-help book marketing is a hot topic because these titles have enormous sales potential. For both traditionally and self-published books, authors and publishers ask how you promote a self-help book in today’s crowded space?
Top 5 Suggestions for Marketing Self-Help Books
We Smith Publicity recommend that you hone in on your book’s target audience and highlight for them what makes it (or you!) different from the rest:
- Be Newsworthy to Get Media Coverage: The first step self-help book publicists take is to identify a unique or even controversial angle an author has to separate them from others. What topics can you discuss in the media that are trending right now? What new perspective can you offer on an age-old topic? Do you have noteworthy credentials? What vertical markets can your concepts or strategies be applied in?
- Write Bylined Articles: Penning bylined or how-to articles for media outlets that don’t provide traditional book publicity coverage is a great way to establish yourself. Soon, you’ll become a go-to thought leader in your field, increase your online discoverability, and plug your book in the byline. Your published articles also serve as the perfect content for your website and social media posts (more on that below!)
- Develop a Well-Rounded Digital Platform: Self-help & wellness authors must have an established author website and active social media presence. Aside from the credibility it offers, an excellent digital platform is needed to support the amplification of book marketing and publicity results. When you have an article published or another interview under your belt, posting these on your author website and across social media showcases your credibility and increases your overall visibility online.
- Avoid Common Mistakes: “As I say in my book…” While it may seem counterproductive to avoid mentioning your book in media coverage, trust us. There is an important balance to strike. During an interview or throughout an article, avoid phrases such as “as I say in my book.” They can come across too heavy-handed and turn-off for your audience. Let book promotional mentions occur organically or, toward the end, throw in something such as “for more information on x topic, you can check out my book.
- Emphasize Key Messages Succinctly: The average on-air time for national TV/morning shows is only three minutes. Try to be as concise and hard-hitting as possible when discussing your key points during an interview. Producers typically sit down with you beforehand to do a practice run to see what the interview flow and timeframe will be like. Before it begins, you’ll have an idea of the format.
There is no doubt that both the challenges and opportunities for marketing self-help books are enormous today. While some authors try to go it alone, it’s nearly always more successful when engaging a professional book publicity firm. If you’re ready to find out more about self-help book promotion, please visit our Self-Help marketing page.