Don’t know where to start when it comes time to promote your book? Here are 7 steps to successfully planning a book marketing campaign.
- Sign up for social media accounts
Social media is a great place to market your book and find readers to connect with. In addition to your personal accounts (assuming you have them), you’ll want to start professional pages specifically for your book. This will not only make it easier to build a fanbase of people who are interested in your writing, but on Facebook you need a professional page to run advertising campaigns.Don’t feel like you have to be everywhere, either. There are some trains of marketing thought who say it’s best to be everywhere all the time in order to capture the most amount of fans and followers. But you’ve got to keep in mind how much time and effort it takes to manage one social media platform, let alone 7. Take some time to research which platforms you should be on, and choose just 2-3. Twitter and Facebook are great places to start. Twitter is a great place to meet readers and other writers, and Facebook lets you connect more with people you know and run ads on their robust advertising platform. Pinterest and LinkedIn may also be good choices, depending on your genre and familiarity with the platforms.
- Get a website for your book
Readers will want a place to go to learn more about you as an author and your new book. Set up a website that shares your biography, what your book is about, how fans can connect with you, and how they can purchase your book. If you set up a store on your website, you’ll be able to avoid paying fees to sites like Amazon.Make sure your website clearly portrays a high-quality photo of your book and other branding elements you’ve chosen, like fonts, colors, and more. Put the cover of your book on the front page and have a professional author photo displayed as well—this will help potential readers connect with you and start to recognize your author brand.
- Reach out to local media
It can be hard as a self-published, indie author to attract media attention. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Reach out to any local media with a press release about your book before you publish, so they have time to fit you into their editorial calendar in case they want to do a story on your book.
- Reach out to relevant organizations
Professional or non-profit organizations are also a great place to send press releases about your book, given that your book is relevant to their community and offers some kind of value. Don’t be shy if you’re unsure, either—it doesn’t hurt to send out a press release anyways. You never know what might spark interest.
- Run Facebook and Twitter ads
Facebook and Twitter are great places to run ads. Try running pre-order ads before your launch, and ads to purchase your book post-publish. Make sure the images for ad campaigns are high quality, and that your ad copy is clearly stating what your book is about, and how readers can buy it.
- Start an email list
Business 101 is starting an email list. Collect emails via MailChimp, social media, and live events to help grow your community. This will give you a direct line to readers and fans in a more personal manner (vs. solely posting to social media) throughout your promotional campaign. This is an especially good idea if you plan on writing more than one book or expanding your project.
- Post on your personal social media pages
Even though you have professional pages set up for your book, it’s still a good idea to post about your project on your personal pages. Be strategic about when you’re posting and the frequency—you don’t want to come off as spammy to your nearest and dearest internet friends. Friends and family are often a great resource for promoting your work, and posting on your personal page is a great way to engage them to help spread the word about your book. Use them (and their share buttons) wisely.