5 Book Marketing Ideas to Actually Sell Your Book
If you’ve just succeeded in figuring out how to self publish a book and putting it out online — congratulations! But you might’ve also figured out that it’s not exactly roses and violets from this point forward. “Okay, I’ll publish my book and then readers will automatically flock to it by themselves!” …said no-one ever.
Cue book marketing for self-published authors. In this post, we give you five book marketing ideas that might just do the trick for your book. Let’s dive in.
Twitter, Schmitter. Can you really condense your personality into a bunch of 250-word tweets? And it’s safe to say that Facebook isn’t the most popular these days, either, given the wringer that it’s going through in the news cycle.
Enter the sleeper option: Youtube.
Here’s why you should think about marketing your book on Youtube:
- It’s already the second-biggest search engine on the Internet
- It’s one of the fastest-growing social media platforms today
- The book community is increasingly using Youtube to discuss and review books (the most popular BookTubers boast over 250k subscribers each)
Then there’s the plain fact that marketing on Youtube can be exciting. You can create a much wider variety of content through it. Think book trailers, author interviews, author bios, and reviews of other books.
Youtube won’t be for everyone — it takes time and dedication to grow your channel, and you’ll want to research your target demographic to make sure that Youtube is a place that they frequent. But if you can check all of these boxes off, it’s got great potential to grow your audience.
While I’m talking about media promotion, can I put in a word for podcasts? It’s always easier to speak from personal experience.
The publishing start-up Reedsy recently launched a podcast, Bestseller, which follows a debut novel’s journey from an idea in an author’s head to a listing on Amazon (and is hosted by none other than yours truly). The show is intended to help aspiring novelists lose the “aspiring” adjective and start writing, but for the first-time author that the podcast follows, it helped in more ways than one.
Shaz Kahng, the subject of Bestseller, was a Global General Manager at Nike Cycling before she left the rat race to write and self-publish her very first novel. In other words, she knows a thing or two about marketing. And, undoubtedly, Shaz knew that going on a podcast to tell the story of writing her book would also be great press for the story itself: her novel, The Closer.
Podcasts are sometimes ignored in favor of traditional outlets, but they’re a rising influence in today’s society. Self-publishing podcasts like Bestseller are always looking for authors with firsthand experience in the industry to tell their stories. And for the nonfiction authors out there, take special note: many podcasts have built-in audiences who might just be tailor-made for a book on a similar topic.
Granted, this is easier said than done, since there’s no guarantee that a podcast exists for your niche. But if there is, we recommend reaching out and seeing if the podcast is open to the idea of reading — and featuring — your book. It would be worth it.
Conduct a giveaway — with rare items
Sure, we all know the concept of a giveaway already: give away something of value (an Amazon gift card, your book, etc) to drum up buzz and capture people to read your book.
But what if you think outside of the box for your giveaway?
Amazon gift cards are great and all, but that’s exactly the problem: everyone wants one. That means that the demographic you attract for it might not necessarily be interested in your book afterward — which would mean a failed giveaway.
You’d be able to attract your target audience much more effectually if you offer something that’s rarer and, at the same time, entirely relevant to their interests. If you’re writing a science fiction or fantasy novel, for instance, it might be a good idea to give away a ticket to a convention. In the same vein, a one-on-one coaching session would pull in the appropriate people for your book on career management.
If you really know your audience well, a good prize shouldn’t be too tough to figure out. The only question that remains is the best way to implement it. In which case, go this way.
You might scour far and wide for the best advertising spots to place your book, but sometimes that might be closer than you think!
If you’re stuck on places to promote your book, think of your community. It’s easy and often free.
- Advertise at a popular grocery store in the area
- Donate to a nearby school
- Stop by the public library
This will get people reading and talking about your book — and what better start could you ask for than that?