Getting your book noticed and increasing sales can be very difficult. Whether you are self-published or your book was published by a traditional publishing house, you will soon find yourself responsible for most of its promotion.
With the growth of online bookstores and many physical bookstores closing many authors are looking for new and innovative ways to promote and market their book.
Long gone are the days when authors could sit back and simply write then show up for the occasional book launch. Now, they have to be marketing and promotional experts.
So, here are five ways that many authors have used with great success.
- Write for other websites
Do some research and find websites that have a similar readership to that of your book. Offer to write an article that would appeal to those readers. Include in your bio your website and the link to your book at the end, but make sure that your article speaks to the needs of these readers.
If you have a book where one of the characters loves gardening, for example, find websites that have readers who would understand the character’s passion for vegetable growing, for example: A character they can connect with.
If you promote your book to a much wider audience you will increase your readership, of course. However, it is unlikely that your social media following and website visitors will be enough on their own to generate a lot of sales. By guest writing you are tapping into higher numbers, and increasing the people who are more likely to want to read your book.
- Blog daily
While providing great content for other websites in the form of guest posts is important it is also crucial that you blog each day on your own website.
You’ll need to know and understand how keywords work and then incorporate them into the heading, the sub heading and the first two paragraphs of your article. This will help search engines decipher what your website is about (remember search engines can’t understand words they only read them).
However, once they do they will know who your target audience is. That way they will send the right people to you.
Before this happens you’ll need to know who these people are and create content for them that they will find interesting. Don’t write about what you want to write about. Instead write about topics that the sort of people who read your books would be interested in.
People enjoy reading articles that offer a number of tips or steps to achieve something just like this article. So, if your book involves car racing why not write blog posts about famous car races, historical races and interesting women drivers or other points of interest that people who enjoy car racing will want to read about?
For a list of great blogging ideas click here: 101 Bog Post Ideas for Authors
- Create a kick-ass book cover
One of the most important things about your book cover is that it will become your logo and play a big part in your branding. Many authors don’t understand this and create complicated book covers that are simply too “busy” or are just too distracting.
Your book cover should be used in all your marketing materials and must appear on your website on every page. It should also link to your buy now page or at least to an online bookstore like Amazon.
The statement that says, “a picture is worth a thousand words” is truer now than ever before. And, this is why your cover is so important. It’s conveys thousands of pieces of information in only a few seconds. For example, the colours and images you choose tell your reader much about the mood, the emotional intent and other pieces of information that are often difficult to convey.
A potential reader will learn all of this about your book before they had a chance to read the blurb.
Getting professional help when it comes to book cover designs is crucial for the success of marketing your book. If the book cover is confused or even too dark, if the fonts are difficult to read because they are too small or squashed, then people are just going to be confused or not interested in your book.
Like many marketing materials bookmarks are the standard go-to product that is relatively cheap and easy to produce. Think about the amount of bookmarks that you’ve owned in the past. Are they the sorts of things you throw away easily or do you tend to just keep them?
People love free stuff and they treasure bookmarks in particular. So get some made up and ask if you can leave them in bookstores or newsagents, and give them out at every chance you get.
The secret to a great bookmark is to keep the design as simple as possible. Use your book cover or part of it on your bookmark and only include your website address. Any more information and the tiny bookmark will become crowded and again too distracting to be of much use.
The next step is to think about what you what visitors to do when they type your website address into a browser. Consider very seriously what you want them to do and see first.
Do you want visitors to buy your book, sign up for your newsletter or read your blog first? Be clear about what it is you want them to do first and create your website around that goal.
You only have a few seconds to keep them engaged and tell them more about your book. Again this is where images are crucial, and as mentioned earlier, in particular your book cover.
Find out if there are any conferences in your state that you can attend. Don’t limit yourself to just book or literary conferences though. Try to think outside the box.
If your book involves travelling or if it involves cooking these are other areas where you should be able to reach a much wider audience.
For example, one of your characters might show dogs for a hobby and this might lead you to finding a whole new group of readers that you might not have been able to reach before – dog lovers who love to read.
Keep in mind that most festivals and conferences schedule up to a year in advance, so be sure to do your research about costs and expected potential sales so you know if it is worth it.
Remember that like you, your readers have many interests and are at different stages of their lives. Some might have children or even grandchildren, they might have pets, they have mortgages and nearly everyone dreams of holidaying in an exotic place.
If you are struggling to reach readers in the traditional way think about what other things your readers like to do and try to make sure your marketing reaches them.
The more interesting and diverse your approach is, the greater your readership will become, and this can only equate to sales in the long run.
by Susan Day for Chick Lit Cafe
About Susan Day
Susan Day is an author of 20 fiction and non-fiction books. She’s also the editor of Enthralled magazine, a place for people who are in love with words.