These book marketing tips are for self-published authors, traditionally published authors, and writers not yet published. These ten ways to market your book will fire up your journey to the bestseller list.
“If you really want your book to fly, you need to know that the reality of the publishing business is that publishers print and distribute,” says David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber. “The author has to be willing to market their book, because no one else will.”
“We’re looking for authors who will work hand-in-hand with us and find promotional opportunities for their books,” says Pamela Krauss, editor at Clarkson Potter. You don’t just need a great book idea to get published – you need to find your own ways to market your books.
1. Create a brand name. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen is The Adventurous Writer (that’s me!). Jack Canfield is Chicken Soup for the Soul. What’s your handle, your shtick, your brand name? Pick something that appeals to you and projects the image you want for your writing career or company.
2. Repeat yourself. “Repetition is key to creating a brand names,” writes Kremer in 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. “If you decide to try to establish your company name as a brand name, repeat it in all your ads and feature it on the covers of all your books.”
3. Find creative ways to use your business cards. I love this tip for marketing your book: on the back of your business card you could print a brief book excerpt, your book cover, the table of contents, the characters, a rave review, or your elevator pitch.
4. Leave your business card in unexpected places. Leave your card with the tip for the waitress, in the envelope if you pay your bills via snail mail, in library books, in the change room at your gym, or in the bathroom at parties. Be generous!
5. Give talks at all types of places: libraries, writer’s clubs, garden parties, churches, book fairs, colleges, schools, civic groups, senior citizen’s groups, PTA’s, chambers of commerce, businessmen luncheons, workshops, conferences, cruise ships – anywhere that welcomes speakers.
6. Blog about your book sales – and share your marketing tips. An even better tip for marketing your books is to blog about your book as you write it – like Gretchen Rubin is doing with The Happiness Project. This tip is perfect for writers not yet published.
7. Specialize in your topic. The more specialized you are in your genre or field, the easier it’ll be to keep writing and selling books. Specialization allows you to market your books together and build a strong network.
8. Set a marketing budget before you get published. This is a “you have to spend money to make money” book marketing tip! “Have a clear plan of how you intend to spend your advertising dollars, reserving the major portion for your prime markets and media,” writes Kremer in 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. “Word of mouth is still the most cost-effective way to advertise your books, but set aside at least one-third of your marketing budget for promotion and publicity.”
9. Create relationships. Whether you’re marketing your first or fifty-first book (though if you’ve published 51 books, you probably don’t need to spend much time marketing!) – remember that successful writers create relationships with readers, freelance writers, reporters, magazine publishers, book sellers, book clubs, bloggers, teachers, etc. George over at Tumblemoose is a master of creating relationships and community (in fact, I’m going to ask him to write a guest post for me right now).
10. Get comfortable with media interviews. My first two radio interviews were horrible because I was nervous and not having fun — and I expect my first couple of television interviews to be almost as bad. But if I want to be a successful writer, I need to get comfortable doing live interviews.