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The Ultimate Guide: Marketing Your Book

The Ultimate Guide: Marketing Your Book

Marketing your book effectively is so important from the early stages of its development. 

Whether pursuing a traditional publishing deal or opting for self-publishing, having a clear marketing strategy helps you nurture your audience and demonstrates to publishers that you understand what it takes to sell a book and be a collaborative partner. 

Marketing takes a lot of planning, but it can be a lot of fun!

It’s your chance to share your book with the world, and when you break the marketing into phases, it’s much more manageable.

So, in this post, we’ll explore the three distinct phases of book marketing: pre-launch, launch, and post-launch. 

By understanding these phases and implementing a solid marketing strategy, you’ll be equipped to knock the socks off publishers and maximize the success of your book.

Let’s delve into the goods. 

Phase 1: Pre-Launch 

The pre-launch phase marks the beginning of your book-selling journey, and it’s arguably the most critical part. 

During the 6-9 months before publication day, your primary focus should be generating excitement and anticipation for your book. 

While it may seem far out, the extended time frame allows you to generate buzz, build anticipation, get pre-orders and lay a solid foundation for a successful launch. 

It’s essential to tailor the timing of your pre-launch activities to your platform size and audience engagement.

If you have a large online following and a thriving email list, consider starting your pre-launch strategy as early as nine months before your book launch. 

If your audience is smaller, I recommend starting about 3-4 months in advance.

The key is to build momentum and test how your audience likes to engage with your content and on which platforms so you can maximize your efforts.

Here are some strategies to engage and grow your platform through marketing: 

Marketing Tactic #1: Create a book landing page

A dedicated book landing page serves as a central hub where potential readers can learn more about your book and take action.

Whether you create this page as an extension of your existing website or as a standalone page, it should provide compelling information about your book and who you are as an author.

Here are some sections to include:: 

Provide a summary –  include a compelling overview of your book’s content and its value to readers. Emphasize how your book addresses the needs and challenges of your target audience. Clearly communicate the solutions and benefits they can expect from reading your book. This helps create a sense of urgency and positions your book as a must-read resource.

Introduce yourself – share relevant expertise, credentials or personal experience to establish your credibility and build trust with potential readers.

Offer an incentive –  downloadable audio files, videos, PDF workbooks, or access to live webinars play a crucial role in enticing readers to commit early and pre-order.

Make it easy to pre-order-  cater to different reader preferences by providing easy-to-find links to purchase your book from popular online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indigo (in Canada), and independent bookstores. 

Collect email addresses and receipt numbers- Alongside the book purchase options, including a form on your book landing page where visitors can enter their email addresses and receipt numbers. This allows you to build your email list and deliver the promised bonuses to those who have pre-ordered your book.

Creating a home on the internet for your book is a must, but you must create some breadcrumbs leading them there, which brings me to my next point – becoming more visible. 

Marketing Tactic #2: Slay the Visibility Dragons and Put Yourself Out There 

Spoiler alert: to get people to your landing page and become aware of your book, you must put yourself out there!

Overcoming discomfort in being visible is one of the most common obstacles authors face in this process.

So if you can relate, know you’re not alone!

But showing up publicly is the only way you’ll be able to get your book into the hands of those that need it. 

And that’s true whether you hire a PR person to arrange opportunities for you, or if you do it yourself. 

So think of marketing your book as an act of service; you’re offering valuable knowledge and insights to your readers. 

You’ve put a lot of time and energy into bringing your book to life so embrace the opportunity to discuss it and communicate its value to your audience. 

The more you share and engage with your audience, the better your pre-launch strategy will be.

Marketing Tactic #3: Choose your marketing channel(s)

Early in the pre-launch phase is a great time to test your content on different communication channels. 

These channels may include your website, social media platforms, email newsletters, podcasts, guest blog posts, or virtual events. 

Tailor your messaging to each channel and leverage its unique features to reach a wider audience. Pay attention to where you’re getting the most traction and double down on your efforts.

Now that we have covered pre-launch let’s focus on the launch phase.

Marketing Your Book – Phase 2: Launch Day Forward  

The launch phase is a cause for celebration as you finally release your book into the world!

While you’ll relish the day your Big Book Dreams become a tangible reality, the launch phase can be considered 30-60 days after pub day (sometimes more based on active PR!)

That means it’s crucial to maintain the momentum you generated during the pre-launch phase.

Now’s the time to yell out from the rooftops on your platforms (i.e. social media channels, email list, website) that your book is out!

Here are some specific ideas to keep the momentum going and the energy high: 

  • Continuing promotion on social media: consistently share content related to your book, such as quotes, excerpts, behind-the-scenes insights, and reviews. Leverage different social media channels to maximize your reach.
  • Creating new assets or freebies for ongoing engagement: To keep your audience engaged and excited, consider creating new assets or freebies related to your book. These can be additional resources, bonus chapters, companion guides, or exclusive content that provides added value to readers. 
  • Consistent communication through emails and newsletters: Maintain regular communication with your audience through email newsletters. 

Share updates, upcoming events, book-related news, and exclusive offers. Keep your subscribers informed and engaged by delivering valuable content and reminding them of the benefits of your book.

  • Expand your reach by borrowing audiences: tap into new networks and connect with potential readers by collaborating with influencers, industry experts, other authors, or complementary businesses to access their audience. 

This can be guest blogging, joint social media campaigns, podcast interviews, teaching in masterminds or co-hosting live events. .

  • PR: seek media opportunities, such as interviews, articles, or guest contributions, to gain exposure for your book. Approach relevant podcasts, blogs, magazines, or newspapers that align with your target audience.
  • Request Reviews: reviews are crucial in generating social proof and building trust with potential readers. Actively solicit reviews and feedback from readers to maximize the impact of your book. Then share them!

Have more questions on how to get reviews from your book and who you should target? 

Come to the next Aspiring Authors Assembly and ask! I tackle all book-related topics at this free gathering for new and aspiring authors. Save your spot here.

Next up: the post-launch phase – you’re not done yet! 

Marketing Your Book – Phase 3: Post-Launch 

You’ve made it through your pre-launch phase and pub month! 

Now, you enter the post-launch phase where you shift your focus towards sustaining long-term sales and building upon the success of your book. 

After all the marketing you’ve done until now, you’re likely wondering: how on earth do I keep this going?! 

I’ve got you. 

Here are some strategies you can implement to maintain reader engagement and drive long-term sales:

  • Continuously promote the book in all communication channels

Keep the conversation about your book alive across all your communication channels. 

Get creative with compelling visuals, new quotes, and snippets from your book to captivate your audience and remind them of its value.

  1. Incorporate book-related offers into business integration strategies

Explore ways to integrate your book into your existing business model with upselling opportunities where the book becomes part of a larger package or offer. 

Some authors create accompanying workbooks so readers can integrate their learning into their daily lives or audio products that complement the book’s content.

You can also add value to your existing or new offers. Include the book as a bonus for participants enrolling in your courses, attending your events, or joining your membership community. 

Seamlessly integrating your book into these offerings creates additional value for your customers and reinforces its importance in your business ecosystem.

Marketing Your Book: Let’s Put It All Together

Embarking on the journey of marketing your book is a thrilling and transformative experience. 

It requires dedication, strategy, and an unwavering belief in the value of your work. 

By embracing the three distinct phases of pre-launch, launch, and post-launch, you have the opportunity to captivate readers, engage new audiences, and sustain long-term success.

Don’t be afraid to share your story and amplify your message – even if it means embracing the discomfort of self-promotion and recognizing that your book offers your readers knowledge, inspiration, and transformation. 

Believe in the power of your words and the impact they can have on individuals and communities.

Above all, never underestimate the power of perseverance and consistency. You may feel like a broken record, but that is not how people hear you- trust me!

Keep talking about your book, keep sharing its value, and keep igniting the curiosity and imagination of readers. 

Your book has the potential to touch lives, spark change, and leave an indelible mark on the world.

Have questions about marketing your book? Want more specific examples of how to put these strategies into action? I host a monthly training and Q&A discussion called the Aspiring Authors Assembly. It’s FREE – register here. 

At each session, I start by teaching a specific topic, like marketing and book finances, and then open the floor to questions. If you’d like my expert feedback, please join us!

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