A book, like everything else we create or produce in our businesses, needs to be marketed. A book is the ultimate evergreen product: Once it’s released, it’s ALWAYS available. And thus, it needs a strong marketing campaign that focuses on the launch, the short term, and the long term.
“Marketing a book is a marathon.” — Carrie Wilkerson
When to Start
My best piece of advice for book marketing is to start early. That’s right. Don’t wait until you’re finished writing to start thinking about marketing. That’s way too late. Most book marketing experts say that six to nine months is a good time to start dropping teasers. But isn’t that when you’re writing? Yep. If you’ve been following for a while, you know a couple things about me:
Breaking Down a Marketing Plan
You’ll have a marketing push on launch day and surrounding that time (before if you do pre-orders) and for the first couple weeks or month. Then, most likely, sales will slow a bit and you decide how much effort you want to put into book marketing. Every author-entrepreneur handles this differently. What I did when I self-published my book in late 2016 was a launch day push followed by a holiday promotion. For 2017, my plan has involved a big activity of some kind each quarter (like a blog tour or a week-long Facebook live series) as well as one smaller marketing task per day. Some days that’s creating or posting a social media graphic with a new reader testimonial; other days it might be updating my author page on Amazon or submitting my book to a contest. The WHAT isn’t as important as the fact that I’m doing SOMETHING each day.
Think you won’t be able to think of anything? Check out this list of 30-plus ideas to jump-start your marketing planning.
Others hire a book marketing firm to handle book marketing so the initial push lasts longer. Obviously this is a more hands-off approach, which works for some and isn’t preferred by others. Consider what your goals are for writing your book (check out this post for a refresher on the most common goals for author-entrepreneurs) and let that (or them) dictate your marketing efforts. Is your goal financial? It’s all about sales, then, so you’ll want your book to stay visible. Is your goal credibility? Perhaps for your initial sales push you want to earns “Amazon bestseller” status so you can use that in your promotional materials to obtain speaking engagements or guest blog posts. Your book marketing plan should be tailored to your book goals.
How Much Is Too Much?
With marketing, you want to think about consistency. As long as you aren’t being too sales-y all the time, there really is no such thing as too much marketing. Focus on how your book helps readers versus readers making a purchase. (This isn’t rocket science, right? This is how we should approach all marketing, whether it’s for a course, a product, a service, a book, or something else.)
“The most efficient marketing is consistent marketing.” — Shelley Hitz
If you’re thinking about writing a book as a tool to scale your business, or if you’ve already started one, it’s not too early to think about book marketing and get a jump on the competition. Download A Month's Worth of Book Marketing Ideas for Author-Entrepreneurs to get the creative juices flowing today!