You’ve got your brand and goals. You’ve set up a website. What’s more, you’ve got your social media strategy down. These were the steps for setting up a marketing plan that we talked about the last few weeks. You can read those posts here: Making a Marketing Plan for Your Book Part 1, and Part 2.
So, what’s next? Well, now you’ve got to get down to the nitty gritty of book marketing! Let’s keep going.
Look Like a Publicity Pro
If you’re going to be talking about your book and promoting it, you’re going to want your book to look as polished and professional as possible. While a fantastic cover and great blurb are a huge part of this, it doesn’t end there: you need professional marketing and publicity materials. These include:
A sell sheet: A document that you can use to promote your book to bookstores, libraries, reviewers and more that includes all your book data (ISBNs, Trim Size, page count, etc), a short description, the cover, relevant pull quotes from reviews, and purchase information.
A press release: A document that you can send to media personnel that gives some background on your project, you as an author, and your book release.
Video and ad content: Marketing materials that you can use as promo on social media sites and retail sites. These include short book trailers, ads, memes, Facebook/Instagram stories, and other video content.
Merch: Book swag like bookmarks, stickers, postcards and etc related to your book that you can hand out to sellers, readers, at events, or use for giveaways.
Promo, Promo, Promo
Once you’ve produced the professional content to give your book an edge in the crowded marketplace, it’s time to TALK about your book—but more importantly—get others to do so as well. The more you promote your book, the more chances your book will acquire buzz among savvy readers looking for a book like yours. Consider some of these techniques:
ARC tours: If you’re doing a preorder (and you really should think about doing a preorder), this is a great time to think about doing an advanced review copy tour. You can set these up in multiple ways, including hiring a book tour blog operator, asking book bloggers to review your book, or going the route of putting your book on review sites like Netgalley or Edelweiss.
Podcasts, Radio, Media Coverage: Collaborating with other creators is always a fantastic way to get attention for your book—particularly because the media is always looking for content. This is the heart of publicity: getting others to talk about your book (for free) because you present them with a great idea for content. Devise some strategies to approach media creators with a pitch which can include some discussion of your book.
Professional Reviewers and Book Awards: Depending on your publishing goals, it might be worth your while to consider submitting your book to professional reviewers (Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, Foreward Clarion, Library Journal, BlueInk, etc.). While getting a review from one of these places does not guarantee or control book sales, it can help open doors to libraries and bookstores. Likewise, book awards from established and well-known awards can be valuable to help your book shine in the marketplace (and they aren’t too bad for the ego!). Inkitt runs several writing contests that can help launch your work on this platform.
Don’t be Shy!
You are your book’s best cheerleader and strongest ally. At the end of the day, marketing is about putting your book out there in the most vocal, most strategic way possible. This isn’t the time to be shy. And never lose the opportunity to talk about your book.
For example, many of these have been the steps I’ve taken while setting up the marketing for my debut novel, Windswept, which releases September 21, so I’ve been walking the walk and talking the talk!
Remember: if you don’t display the passion and zeal for promoting your book—who will? Good luck!