I’m not a marketing expert, but am proud to say that after countless hours learning about the subject, I am now the proud recipient of an Author’s Marketing Certificate.
I’ve gained marketing advice from some of the best in the business. Through this training, I’ve learned that marketing involves three main things. 1. Creating your brand and promotion. 2. Getting people to want your product. 3. Getting people to buy it. Of all the marketing trainings and workshops I’ve attended, several things seem to be consistent in regards to book marketing, no matter who the trainer is.
- People say, “never judge a book by its cover,” but this statement is a lie. People do. Your book cover is the initial selling point for your book. It needs to be professionally designed and needs to attract attention.
- Your sales pitch. What is the one sentence that will make people interested in your book? Find it and perfect it.
- Book signings and readings. You must make public appearances. Let people see that you are “real.” Set up book signings or readings at bookstores, bazaars, and public libraries. Some venues are more open to this than others, so do some research and shop around. Find the best matches for you.
- Attend book festivals. What better way to meet potential readers than at a book festival? Readers go to these events looking for new authors. Make an appearance and get people interested in what you write.
- Hand out bookmarks. I’m not talking about excessive, pointless swag here. I’m talking about a useful item that has links to your social media sites or website so potential readers can get in touch with you. There is no point in handing out bookmarks if they don’t have your contact information or social media links printed on them.
- Speaking of social media, you must be active on social media. If you haven’t already, create social media accounts. You don’t have to have a profile on every available site, but in this digital age, you need to have a presence online. Personally, I get the most interaction from Twitter, but choosing the right social media platform(s) is a personal preference. If you aren’t comfortable with a particular platform, get trained by someone who knows how to use it.
- Videos. I admit, this is one aspect of marketing I need to work on, simply because being in front of a camera gives me anxiety. But research has found that people watch videos when they are online. To get the most from social media, create videos and post them on your profile. This creates interest and will get you more profile views.
- Become a member of local writing organizations. Not only do they offer support to you as a writer, you can also learn from experts about the craft of writing and gain information about local events, such as book signings, conferences, and critique groups. You might even make a few friends along the way.
- Donations. Donate your time, money, and books to worthy causes. Offer book giveaways and donate to local libraries, bookstores, or other literacy programs.
- Think outside the box. I think this is the advice I’ve heard the most. There are billions of authors out there. If you want to sell books, you have to stand out in the endless sea of authors, blogs, books, and social media sites. What are you doing that is different than what every other author is doing? Don’t be afraid to be unique. The uniqueness is what draws people to you. And once you draw them in, you may create a potential reader.
“The people who think they are crazy enough to change the world are the ones who do.”