I learned the hard way: when you publish a book (self or otherwise) YOU are responsible for marketing it. But marketing a book isn’t like marketing potato chips. There are different channels and tools to use. With the increase in electronic books these days, there are some new resources worth looking at.
1. Turn Paper into Digital
By simply making your book available via Kindle and other ebook resources, you expand the reach of people who can buy and read your book. Kindle books are remarkably easy to market: all a customer has to do is click a link to download. This makes your work easier than having to convince them to drive to the bookstore to buy it. Kindle Direct Publishing provides a comprehensive guide to help you format and market your Kindle book.
2. Use Amazon to Your Advantage
It’s hard to remember life before Amazon, isn’t it? Many authors don’t realize the amount of tools available to them, just on their book’s page. If you’re self-published, you should have access to fill out your book’s description and details, as well as tags that relate to the book. The cool thing about tags is that as other people search for books with these tags, they’ll find yours. You can also start discussions that may draw in others who are looking at your book.
Listmania is another great tool for authors. With it, you can create a list of related books, such as “Must-Read Small Biz Books” and include your own. “So You’d Like To…” is another useful feature. If you’re an expert in, say, baking organic pizzas (and have written a book on it), you can create a guide that discusses the topic and recommends books to help readers.
And don’t forget reviews! Amazon shoppers look to see what others think of books, so encouraging your readers to review your book on Amazon will help sell more.
3. Check Out Author Marketing Club
Author Marketing Club, a new free service created by Jim Kukral, aims to help authors who don’t have a clue how to market their books promote it through various tools. The service is also available for readers who want access to new and free releases. As Jim says:
“You can’t just throw your book up on Amazon and hope and pray.”
His site includes tools that get authors’ books in front of readers, a forum to connect with other authors, and free landing pages for books. There are also videos to help with uploading a book to Amazon.
4. Use GoodReads to Promote
If you haven’t checked out GoodReads, it’s worth a look. Think of it as Facebook for book lovers. You can share what you’re reading, review books and look for suggestions. As an author, there are marketing tools at your disposal. You can create an author bio and list your books, conduct a book giveaway, or give a Q&A on your books. Many people use the site as a way to discover new reads, so this is a good audience to be in front of.
5. Connect with Bloggers
Bloggers review books. By getting several respected bloggers to cover your book, you can be introduced to their readers and find new customers. Find bloggers who cover your topic and reach out to them and offer a review copy.
In addition to these suggestions, blogs and social media are a great way to find new readers. Remember, just like marketing anything, book marketing requires long-term dedication, and begins before your book is even released.
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