As an author, you may feel that completing your manuscript was the most important milestone. However, marketing and launching your book is the crucial next step in order to reach your desired audience. In the final installment of eBooks2go’s Marketing for the Novice Author, we are going to offer you a blueprint on how to execute your campaigns.
Reach Your Marketing Goals
Before you can even evaluate your promotional efforts, benchmarks need to be set. What is your campaign’s goal? To build your email list? To sell 200 books? Once clear goals are in place, you can then use the steps in our Strategy 101 post to create a marketing plan that aligns with your main objectives.
For most beginning authors, the goal is to simply generate awareness and get people talking about your work. Word of mouth is still the most effective marketing tool around. There a variety of ways you can announce your release.
- Social Media
- Press Releases
- Blog Tours and Interviews
- Book Launch Events
- Paid Reviews
- Goodreads and NetGalley Giveaways
- Print Ads in Magazines or Newspapers
- Book Trailers
Making the Right Connections
When searching for bloggers and reviewers to target, take into account how many reviews they have, where they post their reviews, and their social media following. How many people seek their opinion? Can they be considered an influencer? Be sure to keep an open mind about who you contact to review your book. They don’t have to necessarily be a “book” blogger. For example, children’s book authors should try and obtain a review from a popular parenting blogger. Acquiring a recommendation or a glowing review from a trusted source will help you go a long way.
Incentives: Giveaways, Contests, etc.
Everyone loves “free”, so consider offering freebies or giveaways (see https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/about). If you are a fledgling author, giving your book away for free gets it out there to be read, which is the most important. If you aren’t willing to offer free copies, consider gift cards to Barnes & Noble or Starbucks. Writers struggling to think of contest ideas can download our master list here.
Analyze. Target. Engage.
Stay connected with your audience using social media. We highly recommend using a social media management tool such as HootSuite or SocialPilot to monitor your social activity. It will also allow you to automate your posts and keep an online presence to remain relevant.
Additionally, utilize analytics tools like Facebook Insights to monitor and increase engagement. Identify which posts are receiving the most “likes”, “shares”, “retweets”, “comments” and “clicks”. This is important in order to ensure that people are visiting your page and to determine what type of content your fans like.
Don’t be afraid to initiate conversations with your fans or fellow authors. After all, it is called “social” media. The more you engage with your following, the more likely your fans will continue to visit your pages.
How many times have you searched something on Google? Search engines lead to discovery, and what goes into the search engines are keywords. In your case, these will be words or phrases related to your work. Once a month, you should search for a book related to your work on Amazon’s and Barnes and Noble’s search engine. See what phrases pop up as you type in your search. This drop-down menu is showing you the most frequent searches on the site related to your inquiry.
Another handy tool is Google’s Keyword Planner. This will help you identify the right keywords for your author website, as it will provide monthly and yearly search trends on Google for relevant terms.
Holding A Book Launch Event
Virtual Book Launch: (Facebook live video):
For those of you that don’t utilize Facebook (Is there anyone left that doesn’t?), it isn’t used just to reconnect with your high school classmates anymore. Facebook can be a valuable networking and sales tool, so if you don’t currently have a Facebook account, create one for yourself. It only takes a few minutes, and you’ll be glad you did. Make sure to keep it professional and free of political views or other divisive topics.
A virtual launch event is a free, expedited way to spread the word to family and friends that your book is published and available for purchase.
Visit your local library or bookstore, and request a date that you can host a book signing/launch event. Hand out a predetermined number of free autographed copies with an enclosed request for an emailed review, which you can add to your website (if they are positive, of course!). If this is your first published piece, the library may be the most feasible option until you are well-known.
Never be Afraid to ask for Help
Everyone’s marketing needs are unique, and what works for someone else may not work for you. eBooks2go is committed to helping you make the best decision possible. If you need assistance navigating through your options or are simply overwhelmed by the idea of orchestrating a book launch event on your own, consider purchasing a marketing package.
If you need help with developing a marketing plan, email our Marketing and Social Media Coordinator to schedule a free consultation.