Marketing is the single most effective method of selling books. That was emphasized in our post ‘The Upset of the Book Marketing Landscape—and What You Can Do’, which also touched on how the pandemic has changed the book marketing landscape. For example, the pandemic has shut down release tours, leaving authors one less marketing strategy to employ.
Then again, release tours are just one component of book marketing, which ought to be multi-pronged if it is to be effective. A multi-pronged approach is even more crucial moving forward in light of the many marketing strategies that you can now employ. And here are some of the best:
The obvious option here is to self-publish via Amazon—as Israeli author Mike Omer has been doing since 2016. In fact, Omer’s first book, Spider’s Web earned him enough money to quit his day job as a computer engineer and become a full-time author instead.
Alternatively, you can start your own store on Amazon, and it is easy to do yet extremely beneficial. Some of the benefits of starting an Amazon store include its low start-up fees and the site’s wide reach. When you become an Amazon seller, you gain access to the over 100 million Prime members of Amazon, whose collective spending in 2019 comprise 45% of all online spending that year. Having your own store lets you tap into that massive market, and potentially boost sales!
You can use Amazon Advertising, too, wherein you market your book on Amazon. All you have to do is sign up, choose the type of ad you want to buy, pay a minimal fee ($1–$5 a day), upload your book’s cover, and write a 30-word marketing hook for it.
Take Advantage of Free Publicity
Now, even while on Amazon already, it is critical that you still look for and maximize free publicity. And as outlined in ‘How to Get Free Publicity’, the key to this strategy is simply to ask around.
Ask your peers to feature you in their social media or blogging platforms—and reciprocate the favor when the time comes. Reach out to your local paper or library, or even your alma mater. Ask help from anyone and everyone. Then, expand your network and keep asking people to put a good word out about your book.
Be on Social Media
Lastly, use social media! For the most part, it is okay to be on multiple platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Just remember that there are pros and cons to joining each one, so choose wisely.
Facebook, for instance, is best leveraged if you have the budget to run paid ads. Instagram, on the other hand, will require a level of creativity in making visuals, while YouTube will necessitate speaking in front of a camera. The key is to choose the platform you are most comfortable with and then master it before moving to another one.
From there, engage with your audience as often as you can. Share your writing inspirations, give overviews of what your book is about, and provide insight into your creative process. Hold contests, offer discounts, and share fan-made content. In other words, give your audience compelling reasons to check back infrequently, and to buy your book eventually.
Pursue Those Reviews!
Rob Dircks is a self-published author, whose first book, ‘Where the Hell Is Tesla?’, sold 10,000 copies in its first 12 months. One of his secrets to success is relentlessly pursuing reviews, as the more thoughtful reviews you have, the more your book gains credibility. To do this, you need to get in touch with as many advanced reviewers as possible prior to your book launch so that the reviews will be available by then.
Actively look up reviewers on Amazon, Goodreads, and Audible, too, and offer a complimentary copy of the book (plus a small token) in exchange for a review. Lastly, include a clear call to action at the end of your book encouraging readers to share their thoughts on your book. Emphasize that dropping a review can help independent authors gain exposure and boost sales.
Now, if all of the above is too much work for you, feel free to get in touch with us for additional help. You can also check out the Marketing Tips section for more tips on how to best market your books. If you’re looking for a chance to do a virtual convention, check out LitCon2021
BIO: Rose Patterson is a freelance journalist, creative writer, and part-time editor. She is also an aspiring author looking to publish her own novel in the future.