Book Marketing Basics
Book marketing doesn’t have to be difficult, time-consuming, or expensive. In fact, with a consistent schedule, it can become part of your daily workload.
This article explains the book marketing basics. It explains how you first develop a clear online identity and then concentrate on growing one social media platform. It shows how you must engage with your audience, grow connections, and support your community, whilst creating quality content yourself. From there, you can use your social media platform to push your readership onto your author website, capture them to a mailing list before directing them to Amazon to buy your book.
Find an Identity And Stick to it
If you wish to create a sustainable, long-term marketing strategy, you must present a consistent online identity across all potential readers' interactions. This is most important when interacting on social media, but is also relevant when constructing your website, writing blog posts, and formulating emails.
Providing a consistent online image is one of the book marketing basics.
If you are able to present a consistent online identity, it will attract like-minded readers (who enjoy the genre of books you write) to your content. Then, over time, these potential readers will consume your content, sign up to your newsletter, and, eventually, buy your book.
Rather than trying to convince readers who may not be interested in your book to buy your work, your goal is to attract like-minded readers that already love the type of books you write. In doing this, you are not trying to 'sell' your book, you are trying to create a consistent message that will attract appropriate readers.
This is a huge shift in thinking and will mean that you will not be sending out ‘buy my book’ social media message or forcing yourself into a ‘hard sell’ mindset.
These readers will love what you are writing, be attracted to your online identity, and eventually become followers and fans.
Think about your values, goals, and missions as an author. If you are a supportive figure consider actively supporting charities, perhaps start a fundraising event. If you are more of a ‘guru’ like author, consider links to universities and academia.
Keeping to the book marketing basics is the best way to create a genuine connection with readers. Be yourself, don’t try and force a persona you are not, it won’t last.
Focus on One Social Media Platform
With the vast amount of social media platforms available for authors, the temptation is to interact on as many as possible. This is a mistake. Try to focus on one main platform to start off, creating more accounts on social media websites further along the process.
One quality post is always better than five poor ones when it comes to book marketing. Time is precious and it is important to correctly focus your attention as a book marketer.
As an author, Facebook is a great place to start. Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world with 2.45 billion active monthly users. Its fast-changing social media platform with the average post typically not lasting longer than a few hours on a user's home feed. Due to this, it is essential to have a clear strategy for promotions and engagements that will maximize the user's attention and make your posts stand out on such a chaotic platform.
The overall goal will be to create a rhythm to your social media content. If you publish regular content at a similar time each week, you will be providing your potential readers with valuable information, you will also be building trust in you and what you are providing. Since this content will match with the potential readers' mindset, they will naturally be attracted, and over time find their way to your books.
When it comes to Facebook, the most efficient way for a writer to connect with their readers is by creating a page account. Not only does it provide greater insights as well as more features (such as being able to create groups and polls), it also is much more professional than simply posting from a ‘user’ account. Some writers fail to separate their career from their personal lives, creating a Facebook page is a great step to solidifying the distinction.
Creating a page is simple.
Visit the create button tab from your user homepage and follow the instructions from here.
Once you have grown your Facebook it would be a great idea to create a Facebook group within your page.
To do this simply press the ‘groups’ tab under community on the side of your page’s profile.
Groups can be private or public, one suggestion could be creating a public group where your active readers could join and discuss your books. You could share your new ideas with them in this group, which would make your readers feel like they are part of an exclusive community, fitting your identity.
Social media is a fundamental book marketing basic and should be used to network with other writers as well as creating a community of readers. Engagement is the key to success. Never ignore a comment on your posts, share, and support others' content within your community.
If LinkedIn is your preferred social media platform, then this article will give you an insight into how to use it for book marketing.
Interlink Your Author Platforms
Your author platforms are a combination of online elements that will allow you to capture potential readers' interest, turning them from visitors into fans and then into readers.
This platform is the backbone of book marketing and is the difference between success and failure.
Your platform consists of four key elements:
- Mailing list.
- Social media.
Each of these elements must be carefully structured to work in tandem and push towards the same goal.
When it comes to marketing the easiest way to think about this platform is to start with your social media. The role of social media is to use your online identity to attract like-minded readers; they will see your content and begin to follow your online presence.
The next step is to move these potential readers from your social media to your website. The best way to do this is with blog posts. If you can write well-structured blog posts that appeal to your potential readers, they will move from your social media to your website to read your content.
One mistake many writers make with their website is they assume that it will be a place where they are convincing their potential readers to buy their book; this is not the case.
Once at your website, the next step is to capture these potential readers. The best way to do this is with a mailing list. Your goal is to convince the readers to provide you with their email to continue talking to them over the long term.
There are many ways to attract readers to a mailing list, but the most effective is to offer something for free in exchange for their email. This could be a sample chapter of your book or a free short story. It will depend very much on your readership.
Once your readers are part of your mailing list, you can begin your ongoing conversation with these readers. Over time, you will strengthen your relationships and increase the amount of permission they give you to communicate and promote to them.
The jigsaw's final piece is a link from your website, or social media, to your Amazon page.
This is the place where readers will be buying your book. Readers will not go to social media platforms, or websites, expecting to buy a book. However, when they click on your Amazon page, they're going to understand that they are visiting a shop that will sell them a book.
This is, therefore, a different interaction.
You must ensure that your social media, blog posts, and all other interaction points with potential readers have direct links to your Amazon page.
You must make it easy for the reader, at any point, to move from one platform to Amazon.
Audit your platforms and general web presence. Delete any unwanted social media posts, make old accounts private or deactivate them. Go through your website and check for broken links, implement a more appropriate color scheme. Always look to improve and develop your author platforms.
If your online identity is presented effectively and consistently, you will attract readers who are already fans of your genre. This means that over time, as they begin to strengthen their connexion with you, it is only a matter of time before they find their way to your book and increase your sales.
Create an Irresistible Amazon Page
It is important that once you have done the hard work of getting potential readers onto your Amazon page that you secure the sale. To do this you must optimize your book page as well as an author page.
Evaluate your book page. How many reviews does your book have? You should aim for at least ten good reviews. Anything lower than this you are asking a reader to take a risk. You are looking to have enough reviews that indicate to the reader that your book is worth a read. Don’t worry about very high or very low ratings. Readers are looking for a decent average.
How are your books priced? How does the price compare to other books in the genre? If you have multiple books within a series, consider dropping the price of the first book. A reader is more likely to buy the rest of the series if they are enticed by the first one.
Consider Amazon’s kindle unlimited scheme, this is a great way to quickly grow a readership. One downside of this is Amazon do require exclusivity of your book, find out more here.
The information included about your book should be enticing and leave the reader wanting to find out more. Make sure you categorize your books within the correct genre, if they are a series then all the main categories of the books should match. Include at least two genres for each book, this helps get your book seen by a wider audience.
Take advantage of Amazon’s look inside feature. Give away the first chapter for free on this, a reader is ten times more likely to buy if they are drawn into the start of the story. Amazon also offers a feature of listening to an audio clip from the book, if you have one include this as well.
Your Amazon author page can be equally as important as the book page itself. Upload a professional, high-quality photograph that matches your identity. If you are more of a joker, then connote this through your profile picture. Use Amazon’s author updates to upload pictures relevant to your books or even better book trailers (if you have one). One interesting suggestion would be to create hand-drawn sketches of main characters, scan them into a PDF and upload them onto your Amazon page. For more ideas on how to optimize your Amazon author page visit here.
Adhering to the book marketing basics set out in this article will guarantee long term success.
It is important to skip none of the basics, each being equally important.
Your identity must be consistent throughout all of your platforms leaving little confusion to your readership. Don’t contradict yourself on social media and within articles on your website. Create a clear set of messages and values and stick to them. Create posts on social media that ask questions and encourage engagement, make sure your readers know you are interested in their opinion.
When it comes to mailing lists, don’t force the sale. Don’t sell in every email, only occasionally. When you do sell make sure you provide high-quality content alongside the promotion in the email so you’re not to ruin your valuable reputation and come across spammy. Finally, make sure your Amazon page is optimized fully. Don’t poorly categorize or fail to take full advantage of the functions Amazon offer.
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