How to Create Your Author Marketing Strategy
Being an author, I know how hard it can be to actually write a book. It takes all the time, energy, and focus you can muster, and then some. Let’s face it, if it were easy everyone would do it. Writing the book isn’t the end though, it’s actually just the beginning of your author journey, because after you finish writing, editing, and formatting it into an actual book, you have to market it. That is if you want sales. Your author marketing strategy is the key to creating ROI (return on investment) for your efforts. Whether you’ve already written your book or are at the beginning stages, having a strategy in place will help you reach more people, make a bigger impact, and ultimately sell more books to the people that want and need them.
Why Write a Book Anyway
If you want to be seen as an expert instantly and have the respect and power to get people to pay attention, watch this episode. When you have authority people listen and pay attention.
Check this out, you can’t have authority, without “Author.” By becoming an author, you are now perceived as the expert. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Tt takes hard work and determination, but it’s not impossible. Check out the video for 3 ways to get your book written.
5 Simple Steps to Create Book Marketing Success
Here are the five keys that you must keep in mind when creating your marketing strategy.
- Write a Great Book
Amy Collins, the author of the super popular book, The Write Way, says, “Writing a great book is a basic requirement for simply being allowed a chance to succeed in the market place.” I whole-heartedly agree. Without a great book, one that you’ve put thought and effort into, you’re wasting every bit of money you’ll throw at your project. So STOP! and make the time to create something that will transform the lives of the ones your book touches, whether it’s for their business, mind, body, or spirit. As my author coach, Anita Henderson of The Write Image shared with me when we first met to talk about my book, “What do you want the reader to feel, think, or do with the information in your book?” Your information has to make them feel something or want to do something. Even if it’s only to smile as they take their daily walk and reflect.
- Start at the Start
Most people, meaning authors and aspiring authors, wait until their book is completely done to start the marketing process. This is a HUGE mistake. If you wait until your book is published to start marketing, you’ve missed out on months of exposure that can ultimately lead to book sales.
Once you decide that you’re going to become an author, log onto your favorite social media platform and tell everyone! Post, tweet, pin, broadcast, and or snap your announcement. Then, at each interval of progress, share it with your audience. Examples: sharing the individual members of your team’s pictures, completing your manuscript, deciding on your cover, mailing copies to your Beta readers, etc. Basically, anything that goes into creating your book needs to be shared.
I started sharing about my decision to write my book from the very first moment that I actually decided to do it. I was able to build anticipation for the book, long before it ever went to press. The most exciting moment was when I asked my audience to help me choose a cover design. The final cover turned out looking NOTHING like the original draft I put up, but that was just fine because now my audience was invested in the outcome. They knew that their input helped shape the cover, the tagline, and the colors, so when the book actually published, they were all in and wanted to get a copy to show their friends, fans, and followers what they had helped to create.
- Use a Variety of Visuals
No matter which genre of book you create, you have an opportunity to create visuals to help those of us who love to see pictures, graphs, photos, illustrations, and what have you. These visuals not only enhance your story-telling, but they can also be used as filler for pages, social media content, props for book signing, in your blogs and articles, and cover art.
The great thing is that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg creating different visuals for your book. You can use the online powerhouse of graphic design, Canva.com to find and create awesome visual elements that you can place in your book. Also, take pictures of you and your audience along the way and share them in your book as case studies and testimonials. Using your own pictures means you don’t have to acquire royalty rights, which means more money saved.
One thing that I did was to convert some of the text in my book into graphics. Sometimes it’s just easier to create a graph or chart to explain an idea because it will help you get the point across so much better. This works well if what you what you are writing could be confusing to the reader. You know the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
- Connect with Bloggers
Bloggers who are in your target market or write about what your audience wants to read about are the perfect people to reach out to. You can connect with them and ask them to review your book. They review it and then post about it on their blog. But before you shoot off a hundred or so emails to people you don’t know and don’t know you, do some research. You’ll stand a better chance of them actually opening your email and considering your review proposal.
First, you’ll need to create a list of bloggers who serve your target market. After you create the list, go to their website and read some of their blogs. Does their content resonate with you and what your audience can relate to? If so, start following that blogger and interact with them. Like, share, and comment on their blogs. This way you’ll get a quicker and more meaningful yes for your potential review. Reciprocity is everything!
- Get Comfortable with Technology
I admit it, I’m a Superfan of tech, in all its forms. Although a lot of authors don’t use technology as they should this isn’t a reason for you not to take advantage of it. Actually, this is even more reason than ever to use technology to your advantage, because it will help you stand out from all the other people who aren’t using it. Here are a couple ways you can take advantage of technology and save tons of time in your marketing.
- Schedule your social media posts ahead of time so you don’t have live-post all the time. Each day take 10 minutes to review and reply to your comments.
- Use an email provider like MailChimp or Active Campaign to keep your audience informed about what you’re doing and where your book is available.
- Having an appointment system like Calendly in place on your website helps your audience to be able to schedule time with you easily and automatically without you having to do anything other than show up for the appointment.
- Take advantage of live streaming and webinar software to teach your audience lessons from your book. If they want to go deeper, you can always create and sell a program to them.
Now you know the ingredients for your author marketing strategy, the next step is to put them into a workable, doable task list so you actually get them done. I use plain ‘ole pen and paper along with my calendar to mark out the dates and times that I want to do each task. You can mimic what I do or create your own system, the most important part is just to do it, any way you can and in a way that is authentic to you and your goals for your book project.
Marketing can be fun and exciting and an extremely beneficial part of your book project. But it can also be challenging, frustrating, and exhausting, especially when things don’t work out as you planned. But you can’t stop or give up. Just because one thing doesn’t work, doesn’t mean that you stop, it means that you reevaluate what you’re doing or how you are doing it, tweak it and then do it some more. There’s no “one thing” that works or a “one size fits all” strategy, it’s all trial and error and taking action.
There are more marketing strategies you can use and perfect, but the best ones are those that lead to sales over and over again. I’ve used all of the strategies I laid out for you plus more. Some worked great, others not so much. But I do have 7 that are still working and actually helped me to add $10k to my business’s bottom line because of my book and they didn’t include a huge amount from book sales.
I’m inviting you to grab a seat in my new masterclass:
How to Make Money from Your Book Even IF You Don’t Make a Single Sale
Thursday, February 28, 2019
8:00 pm EST
As the author of the Amazon #1 International Best Seller, UN-Market Your Business: 10 Ways for Savvy Entrepreneurs to Stand Out, Stop Struggling, and Start Profiting, I’ll share with the winning strategies I used to make a great ROI on the time, effort, energy, focus, and money I put into getting my book out of my head and onto paper.