5 Ways to Market Books More Effectively
A successful book starts with an effective book marketing plan. A new title cannot succeed in today’s publishing world without defined goals, careful planning, audience identification, and determining target media markets.
If an author just “wings it” and launches a book with no plan, disappointment is a certainty.
Here are five essential tips for developing an effective book marketing strategy.
1. Define Your Marketing Goals
By first defining goals, you can reverse engineer and then create your book marketing plan. Since every author and book is different, defining goals will shape a book marketing plan. The marketing plan for someone who sees writing a book as a hobby is very different from someone who plans to use a book and media coverage as marketing tools for their business.
Establish what your goals are:
- To sell books?
- Develop your author brand?
- Use the book as a marketing tool?
- All or some of the above?
Knowing what you want to accomplish by publishing a book impacts how you will market it.
2. Know Your Target Readers
Marketing is really about knowing your audience – readers who should be interested in your book – and determining who they are and what they want and need. When writing a book, you should keep these things in mind and shape it accordingly. Although there is always overlap in the audience for every genre, you can identify the core target market.
Like the self-published book marketing plan itself, identifying the audience requires several steps and serious research. Many authors look to support from experts at book marketing services agencies to help them define these steps, create the plan, and execute it.
3. Develop Book Promotion Plan Elements
Whether you self-promote or seek professional help, consider the time, money, and energy necessary to promote a book entirely. Determine the publishing route (self-publishing, traditional, hybrid) and format (eBook, print, print on demand, or a combination). Whether a self-publishing marketing plan or a traditional marketing plan, do your research before deciding.
Creating a website is imperative in every book marketing plan. Writing a blog is central to branding and outreach. Not only should you start your blog and keep it current, but you should also seek out blogs with similar target audiences and solicit opportunities to guest blog.
Creating platforms on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube can help you communicate with your target audience. You can form relationships that you can potentially turn into book readers and buyers. Remember that you likely don’t want too many social media platforms if you can’t keep them current. Two platforms, based on your book, are typically sufficient.
NOTE: If you can’t keep social media platforms current, it’s better not to have them!
Also, podcasts have become very easy to create and distribute. For as little as $50 a month, you can have a quality podcast automatically distributed through outlets such as iTunes and others. Check out www.Spreaker.com as an example of podcast creation platforms.
4. Determine the Best Media Targets
Publicity and book marketing is defined as using the media as a conduit to spread the word about a book to the general public or specific target market.
Like reader audiences, no book is suitable for every type of media.
Carefully determine the correct media targets. When marketing a business book, for example, has clear target outlets – business publications and, more importantly, vertical market outlets that cater to the book’s topic. A book about gardening shouldn’t just be pitched to gardening-related outlets but also lifestyle, home design, and others.
Determine your media targets, then compile targeted lists.
5. Implement Your Book PR and Publicity Plan
Once your book is released, all of these elements should ideally be running on all cylinders.
Creating an effective book marketing plan and then executing it are significant commitments, and you’ll need to educate yourself on all of the elements if you go it alone. Working with agencies that provide book marketing services can be highly cost-effective, save time, and prevent the novice from making crucial mistakes. Ultimately, the author must have a high level of commitment as the book’s success will depend on their level of involvement in each stage of the process.