How to Promote Your Book: 7 Rock-Solid Strategies to Sell More
You have given your all to write the next book. You are highly satisfied with the results. So, what’s next?
Promoting your book, of course!
A great book with poor marketing strategies is a deadly combination. Just opening your book to a great launch is just a drop in the ocean. There are several other book promotional steps to get your book on the list of bestsellers.
Right now, there are so many books in the market, and it all depends on how you set yourself and your books apart from the competition. Book marketing isn’t the same as directly advertising your books offline and online. It involves various strategies of direct and indirect marketing to increase its exposure.
If there’s any skill that an author needs to ace apart from excellent writing skills, it is definitely book marketing. If you haven’t had the chance to learn the ropes of it, don’t worry. In this article, we will go through some of the simple ways to promote your book. These strategies do not need much technical expertise, just some of your valuable time.
The Book Promotional Strategies You Need to Increase Your Sales
All of the different ways to promote your book listed down here do not cost you much. However, it requires you to be consistent in your strategies to see the effect on your book sales.
1. Simple, No-Cost Guest Blogs
If there is one concrete way to get better publicity for your book, it is blogging. The secret here is to write for publications and websites where your typical readers visit frequently.
Do an in-depth search for these websites, find out topics that are common to your book and for the publication, and pitch the publication to write a blog on it. Make sure to keep the blog informational and relevant to the readers and include a few lines about the book. This works smoothly for non-fiction books.
You can use a book blurb to promote your book. The reader glances through the blurb and decides to buy the book. If you want to promote a fiction book through the publications, you can make use of the infamous bio. Once you have written some interesting blog for the publication, include your book name and the book sales link in the author bio.
Here is an example of a book bio.
XXX is the author of the popular book, ‘The Mystery of the Scissors’ and has written more than ten books in the genre of mystery, thriller and horror.
In case of any blog about promotional advice, you can include any promotions that had worked for your book and slyly include your book name and its link in the blog too!
2. Become Your Own Influencer
Instead of asking other influencers to promote your book, why don’t you become an influencer yourself? If you are serious about writing books, you can start your own blog, publication or podcast and become a reliable figure in your domain.
While blogs haven’t been around for a long time, podcasts are the next big thing. It doesn’t have a huge competition like the author blogs. With just a little investment for setting up the podcast channel and buying the recording equipment, you will be on the way to a good start. Choose any topic that you are familiar with and can talk on at great lengths frequently. As it is your own podcast, you can promote your books as much as you want!
Apart from the podcasts, you can start publications and YouTube channels. If you haven’t ventured into this area yet, it is best to choose one forum and build your fan base before branching out into another. If you are great at talking, you can choose between podcasts and YouTube channels. If you have a right screen presence and are handy at the video editing stuff, then YouTube is an excellent place for you.
3. Make the Best Out of Social Media Like No Other
Social media is a godsend for all those authors who are running on a tight budget. With the chance of exposure in front of all of the audience, social media can be a life-changer if it is used right.
You can choose to spend on social media and have a cap on its spending too. If you want to go the no-spend way and rely on organic social media exposure, you can do that too!
With social media, you are spoilt for options of book promotions. Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Goodreads can be used effectively to promote your book and author brand. There are several ways to promote your book on social media. Here are a few pointers.
- Choose social media platforms wisely and make use of the hashtags. Don’t crowd your hashtags as some of the recent social media engines do not favour such posts or accounts. Keep the hashtags minimal and relevant and rely on your content to increase the exposure.
- Post regularly and make sure to add something interesting to every post. Think from the audience’s point of view. They see several such posts every day and, therefore, think hard about what would make them look back and remember yours.
- Keep your posts interesting and engaging. Don’t repeat the same-old book promotional posts that ask readers to buy the book. Instead, create hype and make the audience curious about your book.
- It takes time and patience to increase your social media presence organically. Therefore, have realistic expectations, be regular and keep trying different methods to maximize the exposure.
- Engage with the audience. Social media is a great platform to talk with your readers, answer questions and discuss with other authors. Make it a point to reply to the comments on your posts as soon as possible. Similarly, if someone has mentioned your account, make sure to leave a small reply on it. If someone messages you personally, try your best to reply to them in a short time.
- Do not just rely on images and the usual posts. Once in a while, add videos, go ‘live’ with your big book reveal, introduce contests and hold free book giveaways to keep your interactions interesting.
4. Put Efforts into Getting Good Book Reviews
Book reviews are validations from readers and these are one of the vital signs a new reader looks for when searching for their next read. Reviews do matter in book sales. Take the example of Amazon book listing. It lists the books based on the highest reviews and ratings which means more exposure and more sales.
Unlike what some think, you actually have some power over reviews. You can ask the readers, who have read your book, to leave reviews. The next question many ask is, how can I know who has read it?
Well, you don’t necessarily need to pinpoint the person. If you can, good for you! If not, make use of social media and newsletters. They are high chances that at least some of the people in the list of your followers and subscribers have read your book.
Occasionally send out an email to your subscribers asking them to leave a review if they have read it. If not, use this opportunity to promote your book to those who are yet to read it. Similarly, include a few lines on some of your social media posts requesting the readers to leave reviews.
If you are directly selling your book, then you probably have their email IDs. You can save these email IDs and send emails to them asking for book reviews a month after buying the book.
5. Keep Looking for One Transformational Change
Have you come across authors who have struggled to hit that 1000-mark on the book sales, but had their sales skyrocketed by a little mention by Oprah? One such book is “Say You’re One of Them” by Uwem Akpan (Hachette). It registered a whopping 853% increase in the sales of paperbacks after being getting the 62nd place on Oprah’s Pick.
This is one such example of a transformational change that gives a strong push to sales. Sometimes, a mention by a great celebrity or another world-famous author can bring so much book sales that you have always dreamt about.
Getting on the radar of such people isn’t easy and requires targeted efforts. As you employ the regular book promotional strategies, keep trying to impress such persons with your book in parallel. Find out the team they work with, try to get your book across to them and let your book do the rest.
6. Build Long-Lasting Relationships
These relationships cannot be cultivated overnight and shouldn’t be just one-way. Start by striking conversations with a few influencers, authors, publication owners, editors and any others who can help with your book promotion. Don’t expect them to help you right away. Think about how you can help them and get help in return.
Aside from keeping it as a beneficial relationship, try to make it mean more than that. Be there for them when they want and develop a meaningful relationship with them, maybe become friends too!
This way, you can get your way into podcast interviews, write guest blogs for major publications and position yourself as an accomplished author in the industry. These relationships can help you with your upcoming book releases too. If your guest blog or podcast had a good reach, then you can just send them a copy of your new book and ask them to promote it if they can.
7. Give Them a Taste of the Book
Most people don’t want to buy anything that they are going to regret. So it’s up to you to convince them that your book is something that they are going to enjoy. When promoting your book, include a link to a free sample. Make sure that this sample is enticing to the readers and convinces them to buy the book immediately. This way, you can convince those people who are like a cat on the wall.
When you are promoting your book on social media, you can promote your book sample along with it. Please don’t be shy about it. Add the link to the samples in your newsletters, in your blogs, podcasts and video descriptions. Boldly ask the readers to sample the book before making a purchase.
On a Parting Note…
These are some of the essential book promotions that you should include as a part of your marketing strategy. The overnight success of a book is a thing of the past. Only with constant book promotions and intelligent techniques can you increase the exposure of your book.
Keep adapting to the current trends in the industry and make your own space in the market. No matter what happens, don’t give up on the organic ways to promote your book and work on creating a faithful set of readers.