10 Ways to Promote Your Book in the Midst of a Pandemic
With everything going on in the world right now, you may think that it’s not the right time to write a book, much less, promote your book, but that is not true. Although jobs have been impacted, social media has not slowed down. In fact, the amount of time people spend viewing social media is increasing. So I’d love to share some information on how you can promote yourself and your book during this time (especially for those who haven’t started writing).
Do you know the most powerful way to market your book?
Yep, you guessed it. Word of mouth recommendation.
It’s a free, highly credible, highly viral resource that helps to amplify your efforts to create interest and buzz about your work.
And all you really need for word of mouth marketing is a book worthy of sharing, and a way to get it into the hands of the people who will spread the word.
Well, it is simple, but not necessarily easy. The devil is in the details, right?
Although the concept is simple, the implementation is going to require some time and effort, especially in the beginning.
However, with a good plan, you’ll soon reach a tipping point where your fans begin to market for you in numbers great enough to really impact your book sales.
The best time to design and implement your marketing plan of action is before you even start writing your book. This is not the usual process of how most first time authors promote themselves, but it’s proven to work!
It takes time to build relationships, learn your readers' wants and needs, and develop a base of rabid fans that clamor for more.
Grow your readership as you write your book, and when it’s time to launch your baby, you’ll already have an invested and an eager audience waiting.
You may be thinking, this is great advice, except my book, is already written. Now what?
No worries! Even if you already have your book in hand, don’t panic! The process is still the same. It just may take a little longer to see the book sales come rolling in.
So, let’s skip past the year or two (or five) of blood, sweat, and tears that were required for you to pound out, edit and polish your masterful novel, and assume that it is indeed worthy of personal recommendation.
The next step is to get your share-worthy work noticed and shared by the right people. Here are a few key things to remember:
Focus more on discoverability rather than selling. Your work is important, so help those who can benefit from it, find it.
Accept responsibility for the marketing and promotion of your book. Even if you choose to outsource some of the work, your book’s success depends on you taking action.
Marketing and promotion is just an extension of your author platform. The lines between platform building and book marketing are often blurred.
Not every strategy will work for every author, so pick and choose what makes sense, adapt what you can, and after you’ve gone through the list, you may come up with some of your own marketing ideas to implement.
Promote and Market Your Book Like a Master
1. Identify your audience. This is a vital step in the promotion and marketing of your book, and–if done right–will make the rest of the process infinitely easier. Find out who your book appeals to, get to know those people well, and be where they are, both online and off. (Bonus points for authors who do this prior to writing their book!)
2. Establish a budget. How much money are you able and willing to spend marketing and promoting your book? Include everything from paid advertising to travel costs.
3. Create a marketing plan. Don’t skip this step! How much time can you devote to establishing and maintaining your book promotion strategies? What marketing tactics do you intend on implementing first? What are your goals and how will you measure them?
4. Get creative. Use your book’s theme, location, or time period for inspiration and making marketing connections. A character’s hobbies, occupation, lifestyle, values, and interests can be jumping-off points for developing promotional strategies. Brainstorm (with Google), companies, experts, businesses, organizations, or groups that you can approach for joint marketing ventures.
5. Tell your author brand story. Write an author biography that succinctly defines your reason for being; keep it to two or three short but memorable paragraphs that will resonate with your readers. Show some personality and give your readers a reason to care.
6. Make it easy to buy. Ensure that you have an author’s website or what I consider to be a landing page (one-page website) with a time that is easy to remember or the name of your book (or as close as you can get it). You don’t want it too wordy, but you want to be able to direct your potential readers to it! You can also share the link that goes directly to your listing at every retailer where your book will be available, such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
7. Link your book to trending topics. Write articles that tie your book topic or genre to current popular interests.
8. Get a professional and distinctive author photo. Use this image across all your social media profiles, on your site, at the end of your book (along with your author bio) and on your print materials.
9. Create a press release. A good press release will include the information needed for a reporter or blogger to understand the news value of your story. Make sure it’s clear what you are announcing, why the reader of the press release should care, and where they can get more info if they’re interested.
10. Get media savvy. Develop a relationship with local media, including radio, newspaper, and tv connections. Find an angle that hooks reporters and will benefit their readers or viewers. Pitch articles, interviews, and relevant blog posts.
Of course, you may not do all of these things immediately or all at once, but if you are considering writing a book, having a plan in mind of how you will promote it is a great start. Make sure that you use any time you have available to get started writing that book (even if it is only 10 minutes a day because every word counts)!