Over the last few months I have been sharing a lot of marketing tips, such as How to get Free Publicity, How to Create an Effective Media Kit, and Marketing in Minutes a Day because marketing is the single most effective method of selling books and it takes careful planning with a multi-pronged approach to be successful. However, thanks to Covid-19, I am seeing that some of the more intricate elements of the marketing landscape are shifting and changing. I want to talk a bit about what you can do if you are like so many I’ve seen who are struggling.
What has changed in Marketing?
I have been reading a lot of posts on social media, in author-focused forums, and in industry mags lamenting the damage Covid-19 has done to the book marketing landscape. Everything from release tours being canceled to indie authors (who have always championed online marketing while trad tends to snub their nose at it) have seen it harder to get stops for a virtual tour and everyone has seen their sales plummet, their keyword competition go up, and their overall advertising strategy not be as effective.
While some of the struggles of placements will be significantly reduced in the coming weeks and months as those who were laid off rejoin the workforce and have less time on their hands, they still have seen how many opportunities there are and will certainly continue to weave that into their marketing-while-working schedule. I know I did when I went back into the workforce.
I also suspect that we will continue to see trad authors taking advantage of more and more virtual tours. It is something that we’ve already seen YA and Fantasy trad authors taking advantage of more frequently and that shift will continue to grow.
So what is a small press or indie author to do as our free and low-cost options quickly outgrow our reach?
There are a lot of options still available to us. Do not despair.
Tap New Blog Markets
We all love book bloggers (I am one, so you’d better love us!) but more and more of the book bloggers are closing their review request doors for extended periods of time (I totally get it, I have 185 books in my TBR. at an average of 3 books a month, it is going to take forever for me to get to all those books.)
While I totally respect the “don’t pay for a review” philosophy, there are a lot of reviewers who are offering to bump your book up in the line for a fee. If that blog has enough reach, it is worth considering.
You can also look at blog-adjacent areas. Are your books geared to teens, what are some teen bloggers who talk about popular teen interests? Reach out to them and request a review.
Is your book about Fantasy? Reach out to video game or movie bloggers who focus on Fantasy. There are thousands. It is a unique take for them so they very well may give you a mention.
Think outside the box (or book, in this case) and target blogs that share an interest in your subject matter. Have a strong female character? Feminist bloggers LOVE showing strong female characters in culture. Your book qualifies. Break the mold.
Tap Other Resources
But you can also look at other outlets. Submitting to literary magazines and for editorial reviews is a tried and true method in the traditional publishing world.
There are a lot of sites popping up to allow you easier management of reviews, such as Netgalley, Reedsy, and online book club. Most of these sites will have a fee associated with them and there is a ton of competition, but if you have a compelling title, cover, and blurb you can get a lot of reviews.
Or you could consider a market that is being tapped pretty powerfully by a lot of brands from tech to cooking products and weightloss, but has barely been touched by the author industry.
You have probably seen on Bookstagram the hundreds of influencers hoping to get repped by one of the top 5 publishers, or the trend that booktube is always talking about the same YA books? That is influencer marketing at work and while the top 5 have tapped it pretty hard for YA, they have not realized the benefit of it for other genres for some strange reason.
But you can. Intellifluence is a great tool for you as an author to tap into the Influencer market and they give you access to over 36 million influencers.
I am one of those Influencers and man people are not taking enough advantage of that market. I’ve only seen a few nonfiction (mostly weight loss) books available so far. Which means that it is ripe for you to get in on.
Think Outside the Box
We always have new marketing strategies that gain ground and then get overwhelmed by everyone jumping on the band wagon (E-newsletters, Facebook launch parties, #writerslifts, you know what I’m talking about.)
Some are pulled from what other marketing is growing in other industries (like e-newsletters grew in the wake of e-mail becoming a hot marketing trend.) but others come from someone looking at a system and thinking up a new tool for that system.
So many book festivals are shifting to online and finding that online has been HUGELY successful (Which B2BCyCon already knew from 5 years of online events.)
So brainstorm from what you’re seeing and be brave and try something new. Whether it be seeding wildflowers with your name (or the name of your book.) like Robert Sheehan of Umbrella Academy admits doing.
let your brain run wild.
Want help with your marketing strategy? Schedule a free 30 minute consultation with me
Have an out of the box idea you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.
Until Next Time,