Book marketing is tough work, and many authors don’t realize this until after their books have been launched into the world. I speak with authors every day who are frustrated, overwhelmed and unsure about what to do next. But I also speak with authors who have figured out how to make their book marketing efforts pay off in big ways.
How do they do that? They follow these seven proven strategies.
1. Know Your Audience
Trying to sell a book to anyone who can fog a mirror is the quickest way to author burnout. The reality is that it's easier to connect with a niche audience. Let’s look at this from a potential reader’s perspective. If you're a working mom who struggles to find enough energy each day, which book would you be more likely to read?
- 10 Steps to Better Nutrition: Strategies for Healthier Eating
- The Busy Woman’s Guide to Instant Energy: Easy Nutrition Strategies to Improve Health, Mood and Stamina
Lesson learned? Choose a clear target audience. Even if your book is already out and it doesn’t speak to a narrowly defined audience, you can begin focusing your marketing efforts on reaching your niche. Once you know who they are, then focus your efforts on solving their pain points. This is sure to earn you loyal fans.
2. Build A Solid Online Presence
The reality today is that we spend the majority of our time online, and that’s where potential readers are looking for books, content and solutions. Your online presence should include a professionally designed website with a blog and a social media strategy. As an author, you're an instant "AUTHORity" in your field. You can demonstrate this, and attract more opportunities, by investing in your website, updating your blog at least twice each week, and building a solid social media presence.
3. Embrace Speaking
As an author, speaking engagement opportunities will likely come to you whether you want them or not. And if you can develop your skills as a great presenter, you'll sell more books, reach more people and build your business. If you need some support in this journey, try Toastmasters and The National Speakers Association.
4. Leverage Publicity
Successful authors pursue media opportunities by reaching out to local and national news shows, radio programs, newspapers and magazines. And today, even more media opportunities can be found online through bloggers, Internet radio shows, podcasts and webinars. Learn how to pitch the media and what it takes to be a great source for interviews. Professional media training can be a valuable investment.
5. Develop Companion Revenue Streams
Books have a notoriously low profit margin. Depending on how your book was published, you may earn from $1 to $10 per book. No matter which end of the profit scale you’re on, you'll have to sell truckloads of books to make a living. Successful authors know that the book is a launch pad to bigger revenue opportunities. Use your book to generate income from consulting, speaking, classes, workshops, related services and downloadable information products. Even creating just one of these revenue streams can make that book worthwhile.
6. Hire Some Help
I don’t know of any successful author who does it all himself. If you want to grow your author career and your business, you'll need the help of other professionals, which can include a website designer, graphic designer, bookkeeper, personal/virtual assistant, publicist and marketing firm. Even if your budget is tight, investing in your future success will help speed up the process dramatically.
7. Prepare For The Marathon
While it’s great to start with some momentum around your book launch, remember that it’s a marathon, not a race. For long-term results, you need a long-term strategy and that involves doing something every day to market your books. Small efforts, implemented bit by bit, add up to big results over time. So commit to the process and know that you're always on tour, and always looking for new marketing opportunities. And don’t forget to have some fun along the way!
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