Just as how marketing is crucial and essential in selling products, it is also the same for those who want to publish their own work. With the help of various online platforms, you can write your own book and self-publish it. However, to gain exposure not just as a writer and to sell your books, you need to have effective marketing strategies. You have to incorporate both traditional and Internet marketing strategies. But this is easier said than done especially since there are various marketing activities that need to be done and executed well.
Essential Things to Consider
Prior to start working on the marketing plan, there are essential things that you have to take into consideration. For one, is your book ready for launching? Keep in mind that your work will compete with millions of other books written by other authors from around the globe. As such, you should always strive for excellence and only the best. Aim for craftsmanship as well as quality. Second, you have to set the marketing budget. Since you have started selling, you have to set the amount you need to shed out for the marketing activities. If you have already finished your book, the next step is to start creating plan. So, how do you go about it? How do you create a solid marketing plan that can engage your target readers to buy your work and increase sales?
Here is a step by step by guide in creating a marketing plan:
Step 1: Provide the complete description and purpose of your book.
Before you start promoting your book, you need to clearly define the description and purpose. For instance, it is a sci-fi book, a romantic novel, an inspiration book, etc? You should be able to answer the following questions:
What book are you promoting?
What is its genre?
How is it different from other products?
Knowing what kind of product you offer makes it easier for you to target the right market and helps you concentrate on areas and avenues where you should market your book.
Step 2: Know your target market.
Before executing any marketing plan, you have to know your target market. As such, it is essential that you at least conduct research on the demographic aspects of the product. Knowing your target market allows you to focus on readers who can be potential customers. For instance, if you are selling a romance novel, your target market is mostly women. Those who enjoy light reading and romance like women in their 20s or early 30s. Once you are able to know your target market, you know the ideal reader who will purchase and read your work.
Step 3: The Use of Marketing Tactics and Strategic Actions
After defining the purpose of your book and once you know your target market, the next step is to finally undertake strategic actions and the use of marketing tactics and avenues so you can start marketing and selling your book.
One of the most effective ways for your book to gain exposure is through advertisement. There are various websites and platforms where you can advertise your work. Some of the best sites for advertisement include Goodreads, BookGorilla, BookBub, KindleBoards and a whole lot more. You can pay $600 for a 30 day trial period. The advertisement consists of sending traffic to the sales page of Amazon for the launching of your book and for the “free promo’ days. The advertisement will make use of the front cover photo and the book description.
With millions of people now using social media to access information, this is an effective marketing vehicle and tool not just for businesses but even for writers to sell their books. Social media can be used as a supplemental marketing activity. By making use of famous social networking sites like Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and a whole lot more, you get to keep in touch with your target readers. The people connected to you in your social media accounts can definitely help you promote your work.
Use of Blogs
Many of the different products of different kinds use the blogging platform. Have you come across a blogging site where the blogger writes about a certain product? You can also use this in promoting your book or you can also find an author who can create articles and submit them to various blogs. Through these blogs, more online users and readers get to know about your book. They will then be directed to the sales page of your book.
Interviews and In-Person Appearances
To draw more readers to know what your book is all about and to get them purchase it, you have to relate and interact with your target readers. From interviews to in-person appearances, there are lots of ways for you to interact and personally market your boo. You can go for live interviews or you can go for podcasts and blogs. The interview questions will revolve around the subject of writing and the other details related to the book. If you have the opportunities for in-person appearances, you can have more flexibility and you can also entertain more questions so that readers can know more about your book.
Another great way to draw more readers is through the use of email list. There are certain sites like Livehacked.com that has about 4,500 people in their email list. When they send email blasts to users, your book can be mentioned and placed.
Word of Mouth
The combination of Internet marketing and the conventional way of marketing can generate the results you want. As the author of the book, you can ask your friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances to share your posts and other details of your book on their social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Other online users connected to your friends and families who are interested to purchase your book can be your potential client.
Things to Do Prior to Launch
Before you finally launch your book in the market, you have to do the following activities. First, you should finalize the eBook versions of your work. Next, you should also create follow-up emails and blog posts needed for your blog tour. If you have the chance to do interviews and in-person appearances, you need to prepare interview questions and answers,
Four to five weeks before the book launch, you have to buy and schedule the advertisements. Then, you should finalize the print giveaway copies and most importantly the print versions. This is also the period where you can start submitting the blog posts for your blog tour, scheduling tweets, Facebook posts and other social media posts.
One week prior to launching, start reviewing the marketing plan as well as the publish dates for the guest posts and blogs. Start sending the launch week email to your target readers and create a spreadsheet where you can track and monitor your sales progress.
Finally when the launch week arrives, you can start creating emails for your friends and family to let them know that your book is now readily available. Announce your launch date through email. By now, you will start receive comments and discussions. You can respond to these comments and discussions. This is also the perfect time for you to start your Facebook posts.
After Launching Your Book
One to two weeks after you have finally launched your book, you can start reviewing the sales. If you aren’t able to meet the realistic sales targets you set, you can redo and change your advertising strategies. Continue responding to comments and to blog tours. A month after the book launch, you can run your first free promo on Amazon.
Even if you have already started getting volumes of sales, you should never stop with your marketing efforts. The initial stages can be quite tough and really challenging considering that you have budget constraints and you are relatively new in the industry. But eventually once your book starts to gain momentum, more and more people will get to know about your work. By utilizing creative marketing campaigns and strategies, you can further boost your sales. Doing so can double or even triple your sales.
Encourage Readers to Provide Reviews/Feedback
As a writer, you have to keep on constantly improving. You should always strive to improve and learn. You should always strive for perfection. Even the most famous writers never stop learning and improving. The best way is to know the comments and feedback of your readers. What do readers think of your work? What can they say about it?
It also helps a lot to encourage your readers to give feedback and reviews to your work. These book reviews can boost your sales especially if your book continues to get good and positive reviews. This is an indirect form of marketing that can surely help your work to attract other readers to purchase your book. Your customers serve as marketing vehicles.
Amy Cowen is an editor and writing specialist. She manages her own team of writers at Aussiewriter and writes her first book on Crimean Tatars’ deportation issue, preparing to self-publish it. When she faced a problem of creating a marketing plan, she gained a lot of knowledge on this topic. Today Amy is happy to share a few ideas with you.