Marketing is one of the toughest parts of being published. Whether you’re traditionally published or doing it on your own, it’s likely that you will have to promote your own work at some point. The more work you put into marketing, the more sales you might make.
This article looks at eight different ways you can market your book. These methods won’t necessarily guarantee you sales, but help you to get started
1. Know Your Market
Understanding your market is key to making good sales. Part of this is knowing your target audience. Do you write for children, young adults, or adults? If you know your audience, you can market your work with their interests in mind.
The more you learn about the trends of your genre and your audience, the better. Knowing where people connect, what stories they like, and what kind of marketing they engage with is important. An uninformed writer misses out on marketing tricks, so do your research!
2. Utilise Social Media
Social media is great for marketing
Social media is one of the best marketing tools around. Publishers and agents often advise writers to build an author platform and they suggest this for a reason. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social channels are great places to promote your published works, so don’t simply dismiss them!
In order to successfully engage with these social channels, you need to create a regular online presence. Posting once a week isn’t enough, but every day can be time-consuming. Research which days and times are best for posting and find out what other authors are doing. You’ll soon find your own schedule and style.
Social media allows large numbers of people to view and engage with marketing material. There’s no better way to connect with fans and other writers from all over the world. You can share your ideas, create events, and promote your published works. The online community is vast, and you never know what you might learn from being a part of it.
3. Organise Events
Events are another great marketing tool
Events are one of the most successful ways to promote your writing and grow your community. Face-to-face events are far more memorable than online conversations and meetings. They allow for interaction, letting potential buyers and readers see who you are.
Readers like to know about the author behind a novel as this makes the purchase and the story much more personal. Book launches, signing events, readings, talks, and author Q&As are some of the more common events authors and readers attend.
Aside from events that are pitched at readers, you can join or create gatherings for writers. The online writing community is vast, but you may also find local book or writers groups in your area. However you choose to grow your community, you’ll find that being surrounded by like-minded people gives you energy and confidence, both in your writing life and beyond.
4. Run a Website and Blog
Whilst websites gain little attention unless you’re a well-established author, it’s always useful to have one. There may be occasions when a publisher, reader, or employer looks you up and having a website shows you’re professional and serious about what you do.
As with social media, a website and blog can be time-consuming. Having both is a good idea as they tend to naturally feed off one another. As a general rule, posting weekly or fortnightly is acceptable, but anything less may struggle to gain interest.
5. Gather Book Reviews
Collect as many reviews as possible
Book reviews are a great way to increase sales. People buy products based on reputation and the more reviews a book has, the more likely it will sell.
Buyers don’t want to invest in a book with only one or two reviews, so make sure you get your friends and family to write some for you.
Reviews are commonly placed on Amazon and Goodreads, where you can set yourself up with author pages. Beyond that, sites such as Reddit or more niche sites for specific genres are worth considering.
6. Run Promotions and Competitions
Promotions and competitions are great ways to grab the attention of potential buyers. People love discounts and prizes, so setting up some events can be a fun way to stimulate sales.
If you are traditionally published, you will have to discuss this with your publisher, but for self-published writers, discounts can be set on Amazon. Likewise, if you do all your own marketing, running quizzes and prize-winning events online is a good way to get your writing noticed.