Does book promotion and marketing work? Yes, because the alternative is no book promotion, which naturally doesn’t work.
Measuring the results of book promotion and marketing is a very inexact science. If your measure of success is 1,000’s of immediate overnight book sales, then you will be disappointed.
Promotion is a long-term project and requires patience and the mindset that it is all about gaining exposure.
Sometimes it can feel like you are all alone, but with perseverance, people will notice your book, and your book promotion will pay dividends.
Your book needs to be seen
The more times your book is seen or noticed, the more chance you have of gaining sales.
The other aspect to consider is that yes, you love your book or books, but not every product brought to market succeeds.
No matter how much money Microsoft spends on promoting their smartphone, it will never sell like Samsung or Apple.
The hard truth with books is that very few new titles sell well, which is especially true for self-published titles.
There is no use trying to pretend that there is an alternate reality.
However, some books do succeed, or at least sell reasonably well.
In general, books that sell well are, first, great stories that are well written.
Secondly, they have been well prepared for publication with meticulous editing, proofreading, and formatting for each publishing version.
On top of this, they almost always have a professional, attention-grabbing book cover design.
But even with a great product, if no one knows about it, it won’t sell.
Book promotion and marketing options
Promoting your book doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money.
If you set your promotional goal as getting as many people as possible to see your book, then you can make a lot of progress without spending a cent.
Here are a few book marketing tips to get you underway.
Don’t overdo it, but let all your friends and family and other contacts know something about your book every week or so.
Set aside 30 minutes a day to build your audience on social media by following other people.
One or two shares on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, could send your book to thousands of new people. So make sure you have social share buttons on every page and post of your blog or website.
This is one big mistake by omission that I see on many author sites I visit.
Make social sharing of your site, posts, and book very easy for your visitors. Some will share, and you will reap the promotional rewards.
Blog, and comment
Having a blog is the number one priority for book promotion. But you might overlook commenting on other blogs. It’s an easy way of gaining free book promotion.
Any comment you make on other blogs is a link back to you, as your name at the top of your comment is a link to your blog or website. This also works on most newspapers that allow commenting.
Commenting, as one of your marketing tactics, is a simple, free means of getting a lot of exposure.
Yes, you do have time
If you think that you don’t have time to write blog posts, comment, add share buttons, follow people, and post on a few social media sites each day, then you have an option.
If you don’t want to spend your time promoting your books, then spend your money. But your time is usually much cheaper.
Paid promotion and advertising
There are so many paid options available to market your book that a list would be far too long to add here.
Suffice to say that the most suitable and successful paid options are Facebook Ads, Amazon Ads, and dedicated book promotion services.
Whizbuzz Books offers you an extremely economical one-year book marketing service.
The key to paid book promotion is to target real book readers, and if possible, in your genre, and not waste money on advertising to a general audience. This is why Google Ads are unsuitable, as they can’t be as narrowly targeted.
Whenever you spend money on advertising or promotion, think about your defined target audience.
With Facebook Ads, you can narrow down your target audience to just a few thousand. You can select by age, demographic, gender, job title, interests, and geography. It is why it is one of the best options for authors.
Broad advertising is very expensive and, for authors, a complete waste of money. Don’t spend big – spend a little, wisely.
Keep doing a little bit every day
Effective book promotion is a daily habit and not a one-off occurrence. Make a marketing plan and stick to it, but don’t expect miracles from day one.
Get your social media working for you, blog and comment regularly, pay a little to get wider exposure, and then hope your book is good enough to attract buyers.
Be honest with yourself
Lastly, be analytical. Look for what promotional efforts and tools work best and refine your plan if necessary. Take notice of reviews and feedback on your book and react.
Can you find ways to improve it? Is your cover attracting attention, or not so well? It is possible to republish an ebook or POD paperback in minutes, so never think your book is finished.
If you find an error, fix it immediately. Always look for ways to improve your product.
Think of social media promotion like old-fashioned word of mouth advertising.
But instead of just one person telling one person, one share can result in your message being seen by 1,000’s, so never underestimate its value.
For example, I shared a post on Flipboard once, which resulted in over 8,000 site visitors in 24 hours. Did I sell any books? I don’t know, but I do know that 8,000 more people know my name now.
Your book cover is the number one attraction and promotional tool you have for your book, so never be afraid to change, experiment, and improve it.
The second is your book description.
As this will be shared along with your cover, again, improve, change, modify and experiment with the text.
Pay special attention to the first sentence, as these few words are your hook to get people to click.
Yes, book promotion and marketing work, but never stop improving your product.