Book marketing can be overwhelming at first.
 
There are hundreds of types of marketing out there. Some more reliable and useful than others.
 
The key is to follow these three rules:

  • Always focus on keeping it simple and professional. 
  • Do the basics right before you try and over complicate things. 
  • Never over-sell to your following.

However, outside these rules, there are multiple options for creating a marketing strategy but what is best?

This article will help you discover the best book marketing practices for self-published authors. These strategies will help you propel your book sales and grow a long-term dedicated readership.
 

Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the best practices when it comes to book marketing

By creating quality, consistent content, you can create a dedicated readership who look forward to your content. The content could be blog posts, videos, or even podcasts. What is most important is your content stands out. It must be unique.

Create relevant content to your book genre; this will attract your desired readership. The goal is not to sell your book through the content but to stimulate interest in yourself and your writing. Always strive for excellence — quality over quantity when it comes to content marketing.
 
Once you have attracted a following, look to grow and connect with your readership. A great way to do this is by creating a mailing list and adding a capture form at the bottom of your content. From here you can market your book. This strategy creates genuine connections and is the best way to establish a long-term fan base.

Content Marketing


Credit: https://www.simplifie.com/marketing-blog/what-is-the-content-marketing-cycle-and-how-can-it-help-you

Email marketing

Content marketing is often combined with email marketing as a way to capture and develop a mailing list. Once the list is gathered, you can market your book to them.
 
Use this five-email structure over a two-week period when looking to secure a sale.
 
Email 1: Start by welcoming them to your group, society, community; call it whatever matches you. 

Email 2, 3, and 4: Next, explain the process you took to make the book, tell them about the hardship of writing and also your inspirations, ask them a question, get a response. Do this over three emails. You are trying to build trust and connection. This is building on all the hard work you put in over social media and your website. 

Email 5: Finally, you send the big one — the whopper. Write an email asking them to buy your book. Be direct. Say why you think they will love your book. Be honest. Perhaps copy in a couple of reviews. Put in a link to your Amazon page. Remember to tell them you’d love to hear their feedback. People love to be heard. Be creative and thoughtful. 
 
Use email marketing services to create pre-written email paths for new sign-ups onto your mailing list. This means you can write out the above five emails and prepare a schedule for when they will be sent to new users, saving valuable time and effort. As well as this, email marketing services allow you to create professional templates and track analytics and data.
 
Creating a monthly newsletter is an excellent way to connect with your readership and keep them updated with the latest news and upcoming events. Share exclusive information and content with your mailing list, create a V.I.P like community.
 

­­­Social Media

Social media is commonly used by businesses to market their products and should be utilized by book marketers’ as well.
 
Social media enables an author to instantly engage with their readership in a way no other marketing practice does. Social media is the hub of engagement. The hub of networking. 

Promote a genuine, consistent persona and never contradict yourself. Use posts to share your thoughts and missions and promote other writers work. This will gain trust with your readership and increase the chances of them joining your community.

Like content marketing, social media should be used to stimulate interest in yourself from potential readers. Don’t over-promote on this channel. It may put people of buying your books and ruin your reputation. Focus on building genuine connections and remaining transparent and consistent with your content and views.
 
Use the features social media websites offer to your advantage. Live videos to instantly share and engage with your audience. Create events such as book clubs and workshops to gain interest and awareness of your social media account. Generate polls to come across easily approachable and show your following that you are interested in their opinion.
 

Advertisements

Advertisements should be used with caution when book marketing. If you have the wallet, paid advertisements can dramatically grow a readership if all the correct steps are in place first.
 
Google AdSense can be combined with content marketing to increase your content’s reach, although if your blog posts are poor quality or website looks unprofessional, buying ads may be pointless.
 
Think about it.
 
When you attract all these potential new readers but they visit your platform and don’t like what they see. They are bound to avoid it in the future.
 
On the other hand, if you have great website and blog with plenty of quality posts the newfound audience will stay and join your community.
 
The same goes for Amazon Advertisements. Potential readers could click on your book page but not buy your book because you haven’t thought about pricing or not gathered enough reviews from Beta Readers. Every step must be in place before you consider advertising.
 
Facebook advertising is one of the best out of all the social media platforms, with in depth analysis and plenty of options to target desired audiences.
 
If your social media account offers no clear identity for readers to connect with and comes across robotic and forced, you will see no increase in following. Before purchasing social media advertisement, you must make sure you are providing quality content on your platform already, along with an excellent profile picture and clear existing engagement with fans. This will provide incentive for readers to join your community.
 

Influencer Marketing

Influencers run the modern online world, especially on social media. Try and connect with existing authors within your book genre that are loved by fans. Money that would be spent on advertising may be better of pumped in influencer marketing in some cases of book marketing. If you are in a niche genre, it may be difficult to find your desired readership. Using influencer marketing, you can quickly make yourself seen by fans of your book genre.
 
Consider approaching a micro-influencer blogger who published ‘to-be-read’ or ‘influential author’ lists. Even small bloggers who have minimal following may be better than nothing and could kickstart your readership’s growth. Contact local papers and radios, go the extra mile to be seen.
 

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla book marketing is using a unique, marketing strategy which gets people talking and grows interest in yourself or book. Guerrilla marketing can be anything on a scale of extremes. Surprise engagement with fans to shocking tweets and commercials.
 
Use guerrilla marketing as a costless way to grow your fanbase. If you get lucky and catch a viral post, the reward could be fruitful. Just be careful. Don’t go over the top. Don’t be too controversial. A bad reputation is difficult to shrug off.
 
One idea would be creating a unique book trailer which is funny or shocking. Developing an audiobook and giving it away for free to your mailing list for 24 hours. You could even consider making your book free on launch for a week. Anything to get people talking and the hype started around your novel.
 
For more guerrilla marketing ideas visit here.
 

Beta Readers

Beta Readers can have three main purposes. Gaining quality reviews on your books which will increase the chances of a book sale. As well as getting your book out there and read by people, which will begin the process of growing your writing career. They can also provide quality feedback in which you should document and use to grow your writing.
 
Another book marketing practice would be to join a book club. Goodreads offers many groups to join on their website focused on different book genres and societies. You can use book clubs to get your own book read by people as well as network with other writers and readers.
 

Final Thoughts

Book marketing best practices don’t have to be expensive. In fact, one of the best strategies are competitions. Consider creating a short story, set within the world of your main book. Give this away for free or in a competition. This will rapidly gain interest from potential readers and start the hype around your book.
 
If you are thinking about investing in advertisements, make sure you have optimized all of your author platforms to achieve maximum engagement. Remember never over to sell your book and focus on building genuine connections with your readers. Too much promotion can ruin your reputation and effect book sales.