For a self-published author, marketing may seem like a daunting task—it’s at least half the work of self-publishing! And it is important, because the effectiveness of your marketing strategy will ultimately make or break your book sales. With a quick Internet search, you’re sure to find lots of clever marketing advice, hacks, and tricks, but the best way to plan your promotional efforts is to start with the basics. Focusing on these key, must-do elements will help you build a sales-boosting marketing strategy.
Building Block Basics Of A Successful Marketing Strategy
1. Start early!
Remember: You can’t market if you have no one to market to. Many authors think it’s premature to promote a book when it hasn’t yet been published—but that’s exactly what you should be doing! Launch an author website with a strong call to action (include a teaser or giveaway!) and let your future readers get to know you, giving them even more reason to read your book. And one of the best ways to hype your forthcoming book—and stand out from the crowd—is to have a professional book trailer.
2. Determine your target online audience.
Do you write in a niche genre? Is your book specific to its locale? Do your themes speak to a particular age group? Answering these questions will allow you to pinpoint your target audience. Once you’ve compiled a profile for your ideal readers, research the types of advertising they best respond to. For example: If your target audience spends more time on Twitter than on Facebook, put most of your promotional efforts and resources into Twitter. If they tend to respond to visual advertising more than written, use videos instead of lengthy press releases and blog posts.
3. Don’t forget to promote in person.
In-person marketing can be as important as online promotion—especially for books that target an older demographic! Devote time and energy into getting the right events for your book: speaking engagements, signings, etc., and see if you can make your book available in brick-and-mortar bookstores. Start small—target a local market first, and slowly grow your outreach efforts from there. Be sure to use the right print materials (flyers, posters, giveaways, etc.).
4. Have your “elevator pitch” ready to go at any time.
You never know when you’ll come across a prime advertising opportunity, online or in person! Be sure you’re ready for it with a quick, intriguing pitch for your self-published book. An elevator pitch (so named because it’s short enough to deliver on an elevator ride) hits all the major points of your book and ideally wins you a fan with minimal time and effort invested. You should definitely have this pitch written, memorized, and rehearsed for flawless delivery at a moment’s notice.
5. Most importantly, don’t give up!
Remember, marketing your self-published book is difficult—but not impossible. Even if it seems all your efforts are failing to yield any measurable results—keep trying! Maintaining a consistent advertising presence is among the most important tactics for building sales. That initial trickle of only one or two books sold may suddenly turn into a deluge!
QUESTION: What’s the single most helpful thing you did in marketing your self-published book?