21 Ideas for Creating and Marketing a Business Book

marketing a business book

Writing a book can be a great way to share your business expertise with the world. But just writing a book won’t guarantee that you can get anyone to actually read it. However, there are some ways you can increase the likelihood that your business book will sell. Here are some tips for creating and marketing a business book online.

Choose a Platform that Will Reach as Many People as Possible

Whether you’re creating a book or an ebook, you need to find a platform to publish and sell your work. The most popular of which is Amazon. You don’t absolutely need to stick with Amazon alone. But your goal should be to get your book in front of as many people as possible, so large platforms like Amazon give you a good opportunity to do so. However, if there are any more niche platforms that are popular with your specific audience, they may be worth considering.

Find a Platform that Makes It Easy

Aside from the distribution ability, you also want to look at the process involved with any given platform. Some make it easy for you to just upload a file. And others are a bit more involved. Just make sure that you have all of the information and the time to put into getting your book published on the platform or platforms of your choice.

Pay Attention to Percentages

Different platforms also have different payment systems. Some will take a percentage of your sales, while others may charge you up front or by the month. So you need to take that into account when choosing where to publish your work.

Consider Using Multiple Platforms

There’s also no rule saying that you have to stick with just one publisher. You can choose as many as you want, as long as none of them require you to work with them exclusively. However, some platforms like Amazon will give you a higher percentage if you work exclusively with them, so you really need to weigh the pros and cons of each option carefully.

Build Your List Beforehand

When it comes to marketing your business book, one of your biggest assets will be your own email list, according to online business expert Jim Kukral. So while you’re working on your book, or even before that, you need to really focus on building that list so you have a built-in network of potential customers when it comes time to launch.

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Write for Your Audience

That network of potential customers should always be in your mind as you create your business book. If you’re writing something that won’t appeal to those people, then you won’t benefit from all that work you did to build your list. So make sure that you’re writing with that audience in mind. And you might even consider asking them questions along the way to really cater your offering to that audience.

Create Early Buzz

You can also build some interest around your book before its launch by simply announcing its release shortly beforehand. You can let people know through your blog, social media accounts and email list. And you might even try and get some industry leaders to cover the release.

Consider an Early Release

You might also consider selling or giving away a few early copies of your book to generate some buzz and reviews among your target audience. You could offer the book to a select group of subscribers or even bloggers or other influencers within your industry who are likely to share their thoughts on your work.

Offer Some Freebies

Another way you can generate some early excitement around your book is by creating some similar products or offerings leading up to your launch. For instance, if your book revolves around building a team for your business, you could offer a small course or email series that offers some similar information, though not all of the same information. This can help you really zero in on your target audience and also show people the value of your expertise.

Focus on Reviews

Aside from announcing your launch to your subscribers and trying to build some early buzz, getting positive reviews for your book should be your main focus early on. You need several good reviews before a large number of people are really going to trust your work enough to invest in it. So you really need to encourage the people already in your network to share their thoughts.

Kukral says, “I always tell people you have got to have good reviews before you can really focus on anything else. You need that social proof.”

Plan Your Publicity Ahead of Time

However, you should have at least a general idea of your promotional strategy before releasing your book. Create a calendar of any promotional events you might attend. Plan out your blog, email and social strategies. And come up with a plan for getting some press mentions. You just don’t want to wait until after releasing your book to come up with a plan.

Get Social

Social media should, of course, be a part of your online promotional strategy. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow you to interact with customers on a really personal level. So you can both find people to add to your network and tell them all about your latest work.

Answer People’s Questions

People always have questions when it comes to new books. They obviously want to know if it’s going to be a good investment for them before they buy. So do your best to answer any questions they might have. That could mean just making yourself available on social media, setting up a Google Hangout or even gathering questions from your subscribers and putting together and FAQ section. The more questions you’re able to answer, the less people will have hesitations about purchasing.

Create the Right Summary

A book summary is also an important part of answering people’s questions about what the book is all about. You need to put a lot of thought into coming up with a summary that gives enough information, while still being short enough that people will actually read it. Ideally, you’ll come up with something that really shows the value of your work without giving anything away. Then they’ll be so intrigued that they have to buy it.

Market the Author

Your marketing efforts should also focus on you and your personal expertise. There are plenty of business books out there from plenty of different authors. So you need to tell people why they should listen to you above all those others.

Offer Snippets

You can also offer small snippets of your book on your website or other selling platforms. You don’t want to give away too much. But you need to showcase the value that you can provide. So offering a little bit of it for free may help you attract the right people.

Target Readers with Facebook Ads

To get some new people added to your list of potential customers, you might consider using online ads. Facebook in particular can really help you target the exact customers you’re looking for.

Kukral says, “Facebook advertising lets you target really specific people or interest groups. So if you’ve written a horror book you can target people who like Steven King or are just interested in the horror genre. And you can write your ads for those people specifically.”

Go Multimedia

You can also get a little creative with the content you use to promote your new book. Consider making a series of images that people can easily share or even a video trailer for your book.

Try to Get Featured on Book Sites

In addition, you can try submitting your book to be featured on sites like BookBub that cater specifically to active readers. It’s not guaranteed that your work will be chosen, but it can offer a huge boost if it is, according to Kukral.

Create a Press Kit

You can also create a press release and similar materials to send to publications that cover the subject area of your book. Providing those materials can increase your chances of getting your book in front of as many potential readers as possible.

Make It Easy to Buy

Wherever you’ve chosen to list your book for sale, you need to make sure that it’s easy for people to actually purchase. Make sure that you include a link and very clear instructions on your website and in all of your marketing materials.

Fanned Books Photo via Shutterstock

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

10 Reactions
  1. Yes. It is important to have an audience before you write anything. It also makes sure that you are writing something that addresses a need. I also love the other tips especially the one about creating early buzz. Really useful.

  2. Great post, Annie. It takes a lot of work to become a best seller, but at least now it’s possible with self publishing.

    Books are a great way to raise your profile too.

    For ideas on how to price an ebook see this post: What Is The Best Price For An Ebook? http://buff.ly/1mQPaw9

    • Yes, it’s so great to see more people releasing books because it’s so much more possible now! And thanks for the info!

  3. Annie:

    I will print out your post and go through these 21 tips and check how many points I have covered so far, for my forthcoming first book on tea.

    What’s your take on crowdfunding your book?

  4. I think the online platform wins. It can be accessed across different gadgets and locations. So it really must be mastered if you want to reach anyone, anywhere.

  5. Anyone know how to get your first review? I have tried giving free copies but I have not heard back from them. Any other way to get reviews to start you off?

    • I would think that an existing network would be really helpful in this instance. If you can reach out to your email list and ask those who have read it to leave a review, that could get you some early feedback.