With so many possibilities — unlimited possibilities, really — it can be hard to know where to focus your book marketing efforts. That includes both time and money. Whether you DIY your book marketing or hire a book marketing/publicity firm, these three tips work for just about every author-entrepreneur:
- Start early.
- Don’t ever stop marketing.
- Understand the importance of reviews.
"With so many possibilities — unlimited possibilities, really — it can be hard to know where to focus your book marketing efforts." - @jodibrandon
Some people announce early in the writing process that they’re writing a book for public accountability. Another effect can be people asking for information about the book (and not just “How’s the book writing going?”). Honestly, it’s never too early to start book promotion, but you DO want to be strategic about it. As book marketing expert Rachel Thompson says, “The trick to pre-marketing is understanding what you want people to know about you, your book, and your brand.”
You don’t need to share EVERY detail about your book, but you want to share enough to pique people’s interest.
Use your cover.
As soon as you have a cover, breadcrumb it on social media and to your email list. The graphic image will stick with people more than just the idea that “Jodi is writing a book.”
Don’t ever stop marketing.
Unlike a typical course launch, which has a “cart close” date, book marketing is evergreen. That’s not to say you’ll always be putting in the hours (and expense) that you do during your book launch — but there is ALWAYS something you can be doing to market your book. Typically the process ebbs and flows: a big push at launch, followed by more low-key ongoing efforts. Some authors plan one bigger marketing push each quarter (a blog tour, maybe) with smaller efforts in between.
Think about untraditional marketing opportunities, too, like your book’s one-year birthday, or a cover refresh. These are built-in marketing opportunities that many people don’t take advantage of.
Understand the importance of reviews.
There is no such thing as too many book reviews. There’s also no such thing as a bad time to get reviews. You need book reviews before publication, after publication, and always. (Sounds exhausting, I know!) The book reviews–book sales connection is undeniable. Amazon doesn’t allow book reviews before a book is released, but Goodreads does. Early reviews can be used in marketing materials, on your book sales page, on your author website, and more. Social proof is a concept that business owners understand well, so think of book reviews in the same way.
"The book reviews–book sales connection is undeniable." - @jodibrandon
Obtaining book reviews can be less than fun, because we don’t like to bother people. Asking for a review can be non-sleazy, though. “If you liked the book, I’d love for you to leave a review.” Easy, right? Not everyone will, of course, and that’s okay. But the more you can get, the better your results will be.