You worked hard on your book, navigated the publishing maze now all that is left to do is wait while it flies out the door. Yet the days go past, the weeks, months. You begin to despair. Why isn't your book selling? This isn't how it was meant to be.
One of the biggest marketing mistakes new authors make is subscribing to the ‘create and wait’ mentality of expecting readers to somehow find their book in the crowd. There's a lot of authors out there and you are really going to have to stand out in order for your reader to find you. Here’s a few key tactics we've identified to get you on your way:
1. Identify Your Target Market
Who does your book appeal to? How is your book different to other similar books? Where is your target market of readers found? Remember even if your book has broad appeal it will have a definite target market. No book is for everyone.
2. Clarify Your Goals
Just as no two books are the same no two marketing plans should be the same either. It’s important to clarify your goals at the beginning. Do you want an increased local following? More print sales or to expand your reach online?
3. Build a Marketing Plan
Your goals, identified target market, skill set, time availability and budget will shape your marketing plan. Make sure to factor in setting up or reviewing your author website, choosing social media channels, establishing a social media schedule, setting up a good reads author page, building a Facebook author page and reaching out to your target market both online and in-person. Set a timeline for actions to take place so you stay on track.
Networking is vital to a successful book launch. This should be included in your marketing plan and begun begin as soon as possible. Pre-launch is ideal to generate buzz about your upcoming book. Consider sending out advance copies for reviews, contacting media sources, using Netgallery to promote your work and contacting writing groups.
5. Keep going
Most book promotions involve a noticeable delay between the work and the results. It’s said that people have to up to five touchpoints to make a sale. Often it takes time and persistence to increase your visibility. Stay in touch with your target market as much as possible. How are they finding the books they buy? Always seek better, more effective ways to promote and market your book.