In the beginning stages of writing a book, it’s easy for writers to sink all of their energy into the storytelling. However, if you want readers to find your words, it’s important to consider how you’ll market your book long before it releases to the public.
If you have aspirations of authoring a book or are already writing one, consider these tried and true tips for new authors. Readers need your message. Here’s how you’ll help them find it.
Marketing begins long before your book releases. Brainstorm ideas for marketing your book and develop a solid plan before you deep-dive into the writing process. Ideally, writers don’t wait until their book comes out to start marketing their message. However, if your book is already on its way to publication, either traditionally or via self-publishing, it’s never too late to develop a marketing strategy. A late start is better than nothing at all.
Before releasing your book, make sure your website is fresh, up-to-date, and reflects the style and tone of your book. Make it easy for visitors to find your new work by displaying it front and center. You don't want your readers to have to search for the details about your book or wonder how to purchase it.
It’s also helpful to begin writing posts or articles about your subject to position yourself as an expert on that topic. Leave your readers wanting more of your helpful message, which you’ll satisfy with your new book. Keep your website updated and easy to navigate so podcast hosts and other influential writers can contact you easily for collaborations or publicity opportunities.
If you haven’t focused on building an online presence yet, this is the time to start reaching readers with your message and sharing about your upcoming book. The biggest push will be during the weeks leading up to publication and publication week, but forward-thinking authors bring their followers into the process and the message long before the book arrives on shelves. Use social media to build anticipation and direct your readers to the book when it is eventually released. During those crucial first weeks, it’s also important to remain a real person online and not just a salesperson. Do your best to be a human on the internet, not just a content machine.
If you want to be traditionally published and haven’t secured a contract yet, it’s helpful to enter the process with the appropriate expectations. Publishers expect authors to do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to marketing their books. They may provide some resources or a small budget for first-time authors, but you will be the primary person marketing your work. This often surprises many aspiring authors, but it is the reality of publishing today. When you accept that book sales largely rely on your efforts, it can understandably feel daunting at first. However, you can also let this fact empower you to make a plan and execute it well. Your publisher is a partner in your success, but the responsibility to market your book lies with you.
Readers connect with a person before they connect with anything you’re selling. Let your personality, your expertise, and your excitement shine through in your interactions with readers. Your updated website and your social media offer opportunities for readers to get to know you as a person and an expert on your message. When sharing about your book, be sure it reflects your sense of self and the personal brand you’ve already cultivated with readers. Don’t borrow someone else’s methods unless they align with how you already show up online. Be authentic and be you!
Marketing a book is not a solo endeavor. Your publisher has already partnered with you; however, it’s important to look for opportunities to collaborate with others to spread the word about your book. Reach out to podcast hosts, write articles for other blogs or online publications, and ask fellow writers to share about your book with their readership. Keep in mind that much of this work will need to be done before the book’s release date because most people plan their content in advance. Get creative and brainstorm ways to tap into other audiences, and don’t forget to pay it forward to the person who partners with you or the next newbie author who comes your way.
Are you a writer seeking publication, but you’re unsure of your next steps? Join us at The hope*writers Conference this November! You'll get an inside look at the publishing industry from editors and agents, plus have a chance to ask our expert panel your most pressing questions about publishing and marketing your work. Click here to purchase your ticket today.