“There are no magical wands, no hidden tricks and no secret handshakes that can bring you immediate success but with time, energy and determination you can get there.” Darren Rowse
Expert advice on Book Marketing
Consider these facts:
India is the third-largest publisher of English books in the world! More than 90,000 new titles are published every year, in 24 languages. One-fourth of which are in Hindi language and one-fourth of those titles are in the English language. What this means for an author is that no matter which language he writes in, he faces stiff competition. His book, no matter what the genre, is competing amongst 100 if not thousands of similar titles. He needs to make his book stand out to be noticed and get the readers excited enough about his book to buy it. He needs to create awareness and excitement about his book through book marketing.
Is there one magical step to market a book? The answer I am afraid is ‘no.’ One has to pick amongst the many, many, promotion steps available. You need to choose two or more advertising techniques that suit you and your book/novel requirements.
Whether a traditional publisher publishes your book or it is self-published, book marketing by the author is a must. If you are new and unknown, even more so.
1. What does book marketing mean?
It means that you have to make enough noise to stand out from the numerous books being published.
2. Where should I make the noise to market my book?
There has to be a method to this madness. The noise should be made where the audience for your book is.
If your book is on infant care, then groups and all places where you will find young mothers. Pre-natal classes, doctors, clinics and outlets that cater to the needs of the very young. Outlets such as clothing or food outlets would be places and groups where you need to make a noise.
- Consider who your target audience is, make a list. Consider all factors about them, their age, interest, profession etc.
- Once you have your target audience and their brief profile, make a list of all the places where a post can be made on a regular basis. Some places are:
- Social media sites
- You tube
- Newspaper (identify which ones you would like to post in)
- Festivals (college, school, city, cultural, any or all festivals anywhere etc.)
- Place of work (as in company magazine, newsletter, notice board)
- Place of stay
Once you have your list of places you would like to market your book in, decide on the posts that you are going to post in each site. Each post has to appeal to the target audience, so tweak the post to suit the audience in each location. “No one shoe fits all.”
3. What kind of noises can I make to market my book?
1. Start Talking
Have as many conversations about your book with as many people as possible. Look for ways to engage and talk about what is appealing and where your passions may align.
2. Keep Talking
Build on the relationship. You never know when that person could help you down the road.
3. Tell Stories
Whenever you are speaking to someone or making a presentation or attending a workshop or a book introduction, tell stories. Stories captivate a listener and take people beyond the pages of your book.
4. Learn Sales
Learn standard sales techniques to market your books better. Get a good book on selling, follow other successful authors in your genre.
5. Eliminate Excuses
Many authors use excuses like ‘I’m shy’ or ‘I can’t speak to people’ or ‘I can’t sell’ to avoid marketing, but those are crutches. You have to get out there and tell people about your book. In today’s society, you have to be willing to put your ideas out there and argue and defend them.
6. Become Thick-Skinned
“Don’t let other people’s comments undermine yourself. Some people just live to put others down. The ability to take criticism is a challenge, but it’s an important skill for authors to possess.”
When should I start my marketing effort?
Begin your book promotion effort as early as possible. 2-3 months before the book is published is a good time to start. A mention of the book to all those you meet with and also post about it anywhere you can.
One ground rule is: You have to believe in your own book, believe in it passionately. If you can’t believe in it no one else will.
You are now well on your way to achieving the objective of creating awareness among the target audience and increasing sales. Must take care that the content of the book is useful, well written and professionally edited.
We will continue our discussion of marketing steps in our next blog and include stories and experiences too. So till then practice these and let us know how you implemented them and encountered successes.