Finally. After countless months of writing and rewriting, brainstorming and brain farting, editing and re-editing, your book is being published. The labor of your love is in your hands. It’s being sold on Amazon. It’s being shipped to Barnes & Noble.
Soon, hundreds of people will be reading your words, hearing your voice in their heads transporting them through the worlds you created.
If you can get anyone to buy it, that is.
With millions of books published a year, it can seem impossible to break through the milieu of paperbacks and reach your readers.
So what can you do?
Master Tips for Book Marketing
It might seem like topping the Amazon Best Sellers list is a matter of luck. In reality, there are a number of simple strategies you can implement to get your book in front of as many eyes as possible, boosting those sales.
1. Get social (media)
This one should be obvious.
We know everyone is on social media. It only makes sense that we should be promoting our books there too.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter (especially Twitter, it seems) encourage engagement with your audience and can be a powerful tool for book marketing.
But social media offers some even more powerful tools.
If you have an author page on Facebook, you’ve probably seen the little “Boost This Post” button next to your posts.
Boosting a post pushes it to a wider audience than your usual reach. You can even create niche targets based on age, location, gender, and the users’ likes.
And yes, these likes even include specific books and authors.
Is your book a dystopian political thriller? You can target users who have listed 1984 in their interests. Or let’s say your story follows a young girl who discovers she has magical powers. You could set a custom audience of users who like Harry Potter, Matilda, or The Spiderwick Chronicles.
This will put your boosted post in front of people who would be interested in your book.
And because you only pay when a person engages with your post, it can be a very effective means of advertising.
And while we’re talking about targeted ads…
2. Know thy audience
Think about your readers. What are they like? Where do they shop? What websites do they go to?
An outdated analogy, if you will: when was the last time you saw a commercial for an arthritis medication on Nick Jr?
Likewise, if your book tells the story of a teenage girl fighting against a patriarchal, religious government, it wouldn’t be a good idea to buy ad space on Foxnews.com.
Advertising takes time and energy. Don’t waste money advertising to audiences that won’t be interested in your book.
3. Give ’em a little taste
To get people to buy your book, you have to get them interested in it.
One great way to do that is to give away the first chapter for free. Many authors will publish the opening portion of their book as a free eBook on Amazon or Kindle.
For the reader, a free chapter is a low-risk investment. It doesn’t cost anything besides time. And even then, a single chapter might take just a few minutes to read.
But every so often, a reader will finish the free portion and be hooked. They have to get their hands on the rest of your book.
A free e-chapter is the hook and worm of book marketing. Just be sure to end the free portion with information on how to buy the rest of the book.
4. Give it away, give it away, give it away now
I know, I know. You didn’t pour your blood and sweat into this book to hand it out for free.
But strategic freebies can be instrumental in building buzz for your book.
Amazon Reviews are an incredibly important tool for book marketing. They encourage customers to buy your book, raising your sellers rank.
You can build your reviews section by offering a free copy book in return for a review.
If you meet a reader who is always talking about the books they’re reading, hand them a copy. If they love it, you can bet they’ll tell everyone about it. And with all the digital marketing tools, nothing beats good old-fashioned word of mouth.
Just be sure to give your book away to the right people. Otherwise, you are just wasting money.
5. Find your niche
When you list your book, what categories are you classifying it under?
You might think that casting a wide net would reach more readers, but that might not be the case.
Instead of just choosing the Fantasy & Sci-fi category, be a little more specific. Select as many sub-genres as you feel are applicable.
Narrowing your niche can reduce competition, bringing your book to the top of your category. After all, it’s better to be ranked in the top ten of Fantasy/Paranormal/Horror/Romance/Urban than to be buried underneath the top 100 of Fantasy books.
6. This time, make it personal
JK Rowling has ten million followers on Twitter.
She doesn’t get that number up by only posting about a series she finished ten years ago.
Your readers aren’t only interested in your books: they want to know you.
Document your day on Instagram. Livetweet your favorite TV shows. Let your readers in on the daily life of a genius author.
Promotional posts can lose interest very quickly. Personal posts keep your readers engaged.
7. Why not use a book trailer?
Everyone already knows the value of a movie trailer. Just watch the internet explode every time Marvel or Star Wars drops a new trailer.
In this age of visuals and videos, a book trailer can be a great way to create a succinct, easily shareable piece of promotional material.
A book trailer is one of the most valuable pieces of your book marketing. It can pique interest, create buzz, and generate sales.
Book trailers can be expensive, but did you know you can create a quality book trailer for free?
What did we miss?
Do you have a book marketing secret weapon that we missed? Let us know in the comments.