Minimalist book marketing is simple. It is about eliminating the non-essentials, honing in on your ideal reader and doing away with what isn’t working. It is about ignoring overly complicated marketing approaches, setting out a simple plan that fits your needs and establishing genuine relationships with your readers.

 Although the term minimalism is currently trending, as Instagram-cool as ironic t-shirts, avocado and beards, it’s often a misunderstood concept. Defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as ´extreme sparseness and simplicity´, minimalism is essentially a rejection of the superfluous in exchange for that which offers value. It is doing more with less, and an ideal approach for indie authors to adopt when it comes to book marketing. Keen to free up time and resources? Here is what you need to know about book marketing minimalism.

Focus Where it Matters

All book marketing revolves around your ideal reader. Know who your ideal reader is, where they are found (online and off) and what content interests them. Instead of trying to do it all, and spreading yourself across innumerable social media channels, identify how your reader is likely to find you, what they want from your books and how you can keep them engaged. Produce content, blog posts and events, that offer your readers value. Condense your efforts to a few social media channels, find those where your readers are likely to be found and that you enjoy using. Aim to be genuine in your interactions. Adopting a persona that is not true to who you are is difficult to maintain and ultimately destined to fail. Talk to your readers about their preferences. The better you can clarify the mindset of your ideal reader the easier it will be to promote your books in ways that appeal to them.

Action Steps: Try this easy exercise for identifying your ideal reader. Based on your findings, review how you are reaching your readers. Is this in a way that works for them? Concentrate on two or three social media channels that are popular with your target audience. Assess your marketing content. Do your blog posts, writer events and book marketing activities offer your readers value? What could you produce to ensure long-term engagement?

Keep it Simple

The essence of minimalist marketing is simplicity. Eliminate any ineffective actions you are currently taking and focus on what is working. Not getting much love from Twitter or feeling like your Facebook group is a ghost town? Time to ditch it and move on. Much like Hemmingway’s policy for eliminating excess words, minimalist marketing is about cutting away the excess to focus on value-giving elements. This means regularly assessing what is and isn’t working and remaining flexible in your approach. For regularly carried out activities, such as welcoming new readers to your email list or posting to social media, consider where you can implement systems and automation to streamline the process. Free tools, such as Buffer and Hootsuite, can help you plan out and synchronize your scheduling and post in advance, saving time and stress. Aim to find what works for you and your readers.

Action Steps: Assess your current book marketing to gauge what is and isn’t working. Which actions are achieving the best results? Look over your analytics to see how readers are finding your work and interacting with you. Are you spending time on promotional efforts that are failing to deliver? Which regular actions can be systemized and automated, without detracting from the reader experience?

Avoid Distractions

Book marketing can be overwhelming. Seemingly every day we hear about some new tool or strategy that we absolutely must implement. Yet, while there is merit in experimenting with new approaches it is important to stick with what is working for you. Scattering your efforts by jumping on every emerging trend means stretched resources, ultimately making it difficult to gain any real traction. Book marketing is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. What works well for one author, might not be a suitable fit for your target market. How you reach your readers, keep them engaged and the metrics you use to measure effectiveness should be based on your own goals.

Action Steps: Examine your book marketing strategy, if you don’t have one take a look at what you have been doing up to now. Assess your short-term and long-term book marketing goals. Ask yourself: What am I trying to achieve with my writing? Why am I marketing my books? It is easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves with others and adopting their visions of success, even it looks nothing like our own. Stay focused by building your own reader community and creating amazing marketing content and books that speak directly to them.

Make it Sustainable

Many authors are under the illusion that they have to spend hours on marketing every day in order to be effective. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Like writing, the key to marketing is consistency. Too many authors approach book marketing with a sudden burst of activity, posting four times a day, then find this isn’t sustainable and drop off the radar a month or two later. Although every new tool and trend promises overnight fame, book marketing is a long-term strategy where quality and consistency count. Pace yourself and make it manageable.

Action Steps: Use a journal, online program or app to plan out your book marketing activities. Develop a content calendar to set out what you will post in advance. Set a schedule with small, regular efforts that you can sustain long-term.

Final Thoughts

Minimalist book marketing enables you to concentrate on activities that are in line with your goals. It means eliminating the unnecessary and focusing your attention where it counts, avoiding distractions and planning for consistency. Ultimately the simplicity of minimalist book marketing results in a more efficient use of resources, increased productivity, streamlined marketing and more engaged readers. Leaving you with more time to write and, after all, what author doesn’t want that.

For further reading on book marketing minimalism:

The Marketing Minimalist Manifesto

The 6 Laws of Minimalist Marketing

The Art of Focusing On Your Own Shit (video)