As I wait for my book to be formatted I am now moving into the marketing phase which I’m finding quite fun!
A year ago I would have dreaded the marketing phase, thinking that my job as an author is to only write.
But to be a business minded author (which is my intention) means I need to also take responsibility of how I will get this book to market. I need to think like a publisher.
Like any business I have run in the past, It’s not just enough to do the work. An entrepreneur needs to think about how they will reach their audience.
And in my case, it means I need to think about how I will reach my potential reader.
As I kick off my marketing plan I have prepared, in today’s post I share with you what I am learning about marketing my first self-published book:
1). Understand the basics
You need to focus on the reader first and foremost as they are the buyers. A book sale is made up of this formula: Sale = book + reader. Focus on the reader always.
2). It’s never too late or early to start marketing
Set up your mailing list now even if you don’t have many subscribers. Your list will build over time.
Set up your blog now even though you have no readers yet.
Every successful book and author started off with no readers and no traction.
3). Learn from the experts- have a marketing plan
Create a marketing plan like Rachel Abbott did.
Rachel was the best selling indie author last year and she explained at the London Book Fair how she set aside time to create a dedicated marketing plan and more crucially, followed it! This included thinking about things like:
- Who is your audience?
- Where can you find them? Where do they hang out?
- How can you turn them into super fans?
- Go niche not wide: select 2-3 channels, test, feedback, then move on.
Marketing can be overwhelming. There is a temptation to do everything and seek advice from everyone. That’s why it’s important to select 2-3 channels, test, feedback, then move on
But remember, all advice is autobiographical. What may work outrageously well for one book and the author may fall flat with you.
So to start off small but focused. Test them, collate feedback and then make an informed decision as to the next steps to take.
For example, I am planning on promoting my book via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook in the first instance. I may also try out Amazon Ads. I will see what the results are before I move onto FaceBook Ads for instance.
Doing things in this bitesize manner will help save your sanity, stop you from burning through your marketing budget and also allow you to make informed decisions.
You will need to be patient to wait for results to filter back to you.
4). Do you have an author website?
It’s not enough to have just had a Facebook page or other social media presence.
As an authorpreneur, you need to own your own assets and this means having an author website which belongs to you. This is your base.
If Facebook shuts down tomorrow, people could still find you and your books if you have your own website. This should be the main hub you direct all your readers back to.
5). Optimise your amazon author page
This means mamking sure you add reviews to your author page, a bio and keywords. I am yet to do this and will share my findings once done.
6). Is your book in the right categories?
Again check your book is listed in the right categories. I also need to do this when I set up my page. As an example, my categories will most likely be:
- Business and small business
- Career advice
Check out the full list of categories available on Amazon here.
7). Do you have a Killer blurb?
8). Have you included Reviews/ quotes?
If you have early reviews then it’s a good idea to add them to the book or to your Amazon Author page. At the very least, you should have them on on your website where you are also promoting the book.
I have captured my early reviews of the sample chapter to my mailing list sign-up page which you can check out here as an example.
9). Do you have a good cover?
Does your book cover:
- stand out / eye-catching?
- looks professional?
- Can titles be read clearly even as a thumbnail image?
- fits the genre/ category of your book?
10). Have you signed up to author central?
If you are publising to Amazon (which I am planning to do) then you need to create an account on Author Central. This is where you will also upload your book details.
11). Have you claimed your books on Goodreads?
Goodreads is a social netowrk for book lovers and is also owned by Amazon. Once your book is published, give it a few days and then check for your book to appear on Goodreads. Here you will need to ‘claim’ your book. Then connect your blog to your Goodreads account and this will act as a new marketing channel.
This is also a great pace to do giveaways and promotions as well as connecting to other readers and potentially finding reviewers.
12). Give away book for free- reader magnet/perma free book
Most indies give away their first book for free. In my case, this is my first book so can’t give it away for free. Instead I am giving away the first chapter for free in exchange for an email sign-up.
This is to build a readership and build a relationship with my readers.
13). Paid Ads
I am considering using paid Ads to promote my book and have heard Bookbub is the best. However you need at least 15 reviews with 5 stars. I will consider this once I build reviews for my book.
Do you have any marketing tips to share? Please join in the conversation by posting a comment below or like and share.
Related & Recommended Posts
- Reedsy Free course on book marketing
- Amazon categories
- Blurb reveal for Escape The Cubicle
- How to write a killer blurb that sells your books
- Amazon Author Central