Authors love writing. Promotion, not so much. If the idea of book marketing makes you cringe, relax.
Here’s a vital tip. Promote your way; a way that’s fun for you. If you don’t make it fun, you’ll avoid it, which is a tragedy for your books, because they won’t get the exposure that they deserve.
Firstly, let’s talk about your paid and free promotional options.
Book marketing: paid, or free, which is best for you?
Use both, if you can, but when you’re marketing a new book, begin with free and low-cost options.
Two reasons I suggest you begin with free options:
- Ideally, if you’re a new author without an audience, you’ll start getting the word out before you complete your book (see below.) This means that you have nothing to sell yet, so it’s pointless to use paid advertising.
- Free promotions are a way of doing market research: you’re gathering information about the market. Once you launch your book, this information will be invaluable.
Now let’s look at how you can get creative.
1. Go crazy with eye-catching images on social media to build awareness
In today’s marketing world, it’s all about the images, because there’s so much advertising and content that you need images, otherwise your promotions are overlooked.
If you’ve yet to build up your social media accounts, please do that — follow others, so that they’ll follow you. Just a little time each day is time that will pay off for you in the months and years ahead.
Suggestion: Adobe Spark is free, and helps you to create wonderful book marketing images.
2. Get attention with a book trailer or two
What’s a book trailer? It’s a mix of images, text, and audio: think movie trailer.
Here’s a collection of book trailers from Random House. As you’d expect, their trailers are highly professional. Do a search for “book trailer” on YouTube, and you’ll find many indie authors with dozens of them.
Adobe Spark makes creating short trailers easy — and free. (BTW, I have zero connection to Adobe, I just think that Spark is an ideal product for marketers.)
3. Think local: local organizations are always desperate for speakers
I’m always pushing writers to market themselves locally. The same applies to book marketers.
Spend a few minutes looking up local organizations; your local library will have a list. Call organizations, and offer to speak. Remember to tailor your presentation to each organization’s specific focus.
For example, if you write vampire romance, a chat about your vampires won’t interest business groups. However, a business group might be interested in a presentation on selling on Amazon, or about marketing online.
4. Freebies work, BUT do be strategic in how you use them
Ah freebies… As I said in Book Marketing And Freebies: How To Escape The Tyranny:
“Free” has never been a solution. It’s only a strategy. Making stuff free in order to get readers works for some authors, and fails for others.
Offering freebies, as a marketing strategy, has tanked over the past few years. There’s so much free content, that readers have become wary. “Free” has become another word for “worthless.”
That said, if you’re a new author, considering enrolling your books in KDP Select. This makes the books free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers; it’s an excellent way to promote your first novel or three.
5. (Important) Start marketing your book while you’re writing it
Newbie author? DO start powering up your book marketing before you need it. That is, build your followers on a social media platform, and create a mailing list.
Here’s the reason: the more you can push your book in its first weeks, the better. Amazon’s algorithm rewards sales when your books are new.
Book marketing when you’ve got a big catalogue of books…
How do you market your books when you have many books? Several authors have asked about that, so I’m working on a blog post which will help. Watch for it.
In the meantime, I have one word for you: series.
In conclusion: start marketing your book(s) TODAY.
Keep marketing — and have fun with it. 🙂
Do you enjoy writing and publishing your books, but find that marketing them is a challenge? You're not sure what works, so your efforts are muddled, half-hearted, and inconsistent.
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