By Dave Durden
Writing and marketing a new book is no easy task.
For new authors, who have probably juggled the demands of creating and completing a lengthy project along with their day job, it may feel like the finish line has been reached when the ‘publish’ button is finally pressed. In reality, the race has just begun.
A quality book with a clear audience in mind is an absolutely essential part of publishing success. However, what really counts is making sure the intended audience is able to discover, purchase, and spread the word about the book.
Read on to discover the whys and hows of book marketing for authors.
Competition Necessitates Book Marketing
As the number of competing books increases, it simply means that you have to do more to make your book stand out from the rest.
The book itself is, of course, the starting point.
It’s important that your book is written to either entertain fans of a specific genre in the case of fiction or solve a particular problem in the area of nonfiction. Your book should also be revised and edited carefully, and have a professional-looking book cover.
It can be tempting for published authors to cut costs at this stage by skimping on editing or a book cover designer. This is a mistake.
These activities are not costs so much as they are investments. By getting them right at the start, authors stand to make a better level of profit in the long run. Taking this long-term approach is a fundamental principle behind a successful book launch and book marketing.
Readers Want The Sizzle As Well As The Steak
The modern self-publishing market has left readers overwhelmed with the choice of reading material on offer. It’s possible to buy a book about almost anything from almost anyone.
Authors shouldn’t underestimate the importance of their own personal brand when attracting book buyers.
Think about it.
All other things being equal, would you rather buy a book from a faceless, no-name author, or an author who puts their personality out there and allows readers to get a taste of who they are, as well as what they write?
By connecting with readers on a personal level, as well as literary, you have a chance to build a long-term fan base who will anticipate your next book and spread the word to their fellow fans.
Here are some easy ways to get started with author branding and a marketing plan.
More reading: 20 Ways To Promote A Book In Ten Minutes
1. Social Media
Social media is a great chance for Indie authors to connect with their audience, as well as their fellow authors.
It’s important to use social media in a deliberate, measured way to market your books.
Some authors fall into the trap of signing up for every platform imaginable and investing a ton of time and effort into social media, without ever knowing exactly why.
For new authors, it’s better to start with the basics.
Create a Facebook page which fits with your existing branding. This will allow you to connect with your fans directly on the most popular social network in existence as well as networking with your fellow writers.
Establishing a presence on Facebook is also important if you wish to add to your marketing effort and use Facebook ads further down the line.
Aside from Facebook, Twitter is the other essential social media platform to get started with. It’s an easy way to stay in touch with fellow authors and fans and to find new content and inspiration.
If you create both a Facebook and Twitter account, try and brand them cohesively. Use similar images, similar language.
2. Author Website
Building an author website is an essential aspect of book marketing with a lot of benefits.
A lot of the hangups authors have about creating a website are easily overcome.
Websites can be made with no technical knowledge whatsoever. Plus, there is no need to make an elaborate masterpiece.
A clean, simple site is all that’s needed for authors to connect directly with their fans, promote their latest books with a few blog posts and build a mailing list.
3. Author Bio & Author Central Page
Put yourself in the shoes of a book browser looking for a book on Amazon.
If you come across a book that looks interesting, you’ll probably check out the book reviews, look at the cover, and find out a little bit about the writer of the book.
A lot of writers find their author bio to be surprisingly hard to craft. It’s difficult to strike a balance between promoting yourself in a way which isn’t abrasive, showing your readers a little something about what makes you tick, and doing so in a way which is engaging.
If you need inspiration, you should look at author bio examples. These will give you an idea of the structure and tone that other authors use when writing their bio.
Don’t ever copy someone’s style directly. Take inspiration from it and put your unique twist on it to make it something that’s truly yours.
To make the most of your author bio, you should feature it on your Amazon Author Central page.
This is a great platform offered by Amazon which allows you to feature an author photo, allows book buyers to follow you, and even lets you add editorial reviews to your book’s sales page.
As Amazon is the dominant player in the publishing industry and retail market, it makes sense to market yourself as strongly as possible on its platform.
Building A Long-Term Author Future
You’ll notice that none of the book marketing tips and ideas found here are intended to create short-term hype or buzz.
Instead, they are long-term approaches to connecting with readers, building your author identity and, ultimately, selling more books.
Book marketing should be seen as a marathon rather than a sprint. It requires a strategic, big-picture view. Your efforts compound over time.
The bottom line is that book marketing cannot be overlooked. Books don’t sell themselves.
As the ebook marketplace continues to become more crowded than ever, every day you ignore book marketing is another day you’re putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage.
If you put your heart and soul, your blood, sweat and tears, into writing a book, you deserve to give it every chance of success.
Smart book marketing is the best way to make that dream a reality.