Book Promotion And Marketing
There are hundreds of thousands of web pages on how to market your book with many claiming promises of sales beyond your wildest dreams with titles such as How To Become The Next New York Times Bestseller and How To Write A Million Dollar Blockbuster. However, the truth is somewhat more prosaic; there is no magic wand to propel you to viral super-stardom but you can certainly oil the wheels by creating awareness. After all, if no one knows that your book exists, who’s going to read it and more importantly, who’s going to review it? Reviews, word of mouth recommendations and the power of SEO are what create a presence in today’s publishing world, so here are a few steps I’ve taken in order to claw my way through the crowded mass of the Internet:
- Exploit social media with a vengeance
- Endlessly crawl the Internet for promotional ideas
- Create your own blog
- Maximise SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
- Encourage readers to review your book
Exploit Social Media
Believe it or not, social media such as Facebook, Twitter, et al, are your friends and generally speaking, don’t cost anything to promote your book. I created a Facebook page, invited friends to like it and regularly update it with posts related to my blog and any reviews I’ve received. Additionally, you can use Facebook Ads to boost your posts for less than $1 a day for as long or as little time as you wish. This is a tool I’m currently considering, especially since it can be targeted at specific demographics and geographic locations.
The general consensus appears to be that targeted ads are more effective than post boosts although they are a little more expensive. The reason I’m considering advertising in the first place is since I’m independently published, I don’t have the luxury of a large publishing house at my disposal and all the resources that would be available, such as advertising and promotion.
Although I don’t like Twitter one bit and don’t really get Instagram, I signed up for them both along with LinkedIn and post to all three of them when I remember, using multiple hashtags with gay abandon. The key here is to remain active and keep the various social media channels alive so that you keep getting noticed.
I also signed up to the Goodreads Author Program, a site that lets you review books, allows published authors to claim their profile page to promote their book and engage with readers. Goodreads has over 20 million members, 10 million books listed and is visited by over 20 million people a month. By setting up an author page and adding your books you’ll create even more awareness by encouraging readers to review your books over there, as well as at Amazon and other outlets.
Crawl The Internet
By this I mean visit relevant websites such as writing forums and blogs populated by people who have experience in how to promote self-published books. You’d be surprised at the wealth of information that’s available for free and it’s for that reason I was able to locate Draft2Digital, for example, which has resulted in the book being listed at over twenty-five different outlets. There are dozens of blogs that write about promotional ideas and once you sort the wheat from the chaff — without paying anything — you really can pick up some very good hints.
Create Your Own Blog
Blogs are still popular in spite of what the naysayers might say. Dave’s Computer Tips is a blog and has a prominent Internet presence which only came about following a lot of hard work behind the scenes. I created a blog at The Last British President for the simple purpose of establishing a presence that would get noticed and to promote my book, of course. Ultimately, I would like the blog to become a little more interactive with those who visit and as with social media, it’s important to keep it up to date with regular posts, new book reviews and more importantly, where visitors can buy the book. I show links to Amazon, Draft2Digital as well as Goodreads and social media– all of which help with that all-important Internet presence.
Maximise SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
It’s no good spending days and weeks creating a website if nobody knows you exist so it’s important to make tweaks behind the scenes so that Google and other search engines can find you. In my case, I use WordPress and by using an SEO plugin I tweaked the various website pages to include relevant words such as my name, the book title and any other terms that would make it easy to find both myself and the book during a web search. This can take time to filter through, especially if it’s a new website, but there are tools that will help you achieve this, such as Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster (handles Yahoo too) where you will need to confirm the sitemap and other details of your website so that it gets crawled accordingly. I won’t go into the details on how this is done right now but I can say that when I first launched my book website it was naturally nowhere to be seen by any search engines.
For example, if you type Dave’s Computer Tips into the Google search box (without the URL), you’ll find that this site appears at number one in the rankings on the first page. The other day I managed to get my site fourth on page two and today I was pleased to see that it now appears on page one amongst all the other usual suspects. My goal is to see it listed much nearer the top on page one. This is important because today many people don’t have a great deal of patience, not wishing to scroll through page after page of results, so when they’re looking for my book I’d like them to find it straight away.
Book Reviews Are Vital
This is a tricky one because you won’t always know who’s bought your book, especially after all your family and friends have read it. For obvious reasons, Amazon doesn’t tell you who bought your book but you can at least start with those who’ve already told you that they bought it, without being a nuisance, of course. I did this through Facebook and email which resulted in numerous reviews, all of which were positive, thankfully. I can’t stress enough how important reviews are in terms of overall acceptance, marketing, and promotion. The holy grail is, of course, to get people talking about it and recommending it to their friends but short of sitting in their living rooms and tying them to a chair, there’s not a lot I can do about that. In the end, the book needs to speak for itself.
- How To Self-Publish Your Book – Part One
- How To Self-Publish Your Book – Part Two
- How To Self-Publish Your Book – Part Three
- How To Self-Publish Your Book – Part Four
- How To Self-Publish Your Book – Part Five <<- You are here