| Marketing |

Book Marketing Tips for Self-Published Authors

Every author needs marketing to sell books. Simply having your book for sale on Amazon isn't enough. It's time to take charge and think like a marketer, because that is what you must be in order to reach your audience.

Set your goal

Start by defining a goal for your book and marketing efforts. Whether you want to help people, reach commercial success, support your business, or use your book to launch your author career, you need to write it down in detail. Use the SMART goal framework to set a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.

Define your audience

Who is going to read your book? Avoid a general audience and identify a niche. One way to do this is by making a list of comparable authors. Don't think of these authors as your competition – they are your community. See who these readers are, what they are talking about, and what interests them.

Find your audience

Once you've defined your audience, you need to know where to find them. What websites or apps do they use? Are they on Twitter? Or are they more of a Facebook crowd? What events do they attend? What newspapers and magazines do they read? Do your readers overlap with other interest groups? The more you know about them, the better you can target them directly.

Don't take on the world

When creating a marketing plan, consider your time and budget. You can't do everything. Pick and choose the marketing mix that best fits you, your book, and your audience.

Focus on your strengths

Since you can't do everything, concentrate on what you're good at and what you enjoy. If the thought of being in front of a crowd makes your palms sweat, then don't sign yourself up for public speaking events. Maybe you'd be more comfortable using social media to mingle, and a blog to communicate with your audience.

Build your online platform

Creating an online platform is a great way to market your book and your author brand. You can begin building your platform before your book is published so your fans are ready and waiting to buy your book as soon as it's released. While you may not need all of these pieces, you can consider including these core aspects in your online platform:

  • Website: Your author website is the central hub of your online platform. You can control your message and brand. You can use your website to gather emails for a mailing list, post events, or host a blog. Blogging isn't for everyone, so consider your goals, genre, and audience before you commit.
  • Social media: Use social media to connect with readers and strengthen your brand. Remember to think about reaching your specific audience. Some people use Twitter, while others use Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Create a routine and maintain a regular presence so that you are easy to find. Be professional. It's an extension of your brand and must be done well.
  • Online pages: Optimize your online pages that potential readers can find online, such as your author pages on Goodreads and Amazon.

Reach readers in various ways

An online platform isn't the only opportunity to market your book. Put your book in front of readers through multiple channels for the biggest impact. Here are more methods you can use to reach potential readers:

  • Book reviews: Garner book reviews to help your book gain credibility. Be sure to research the reviewers to determine whether they are trustworthy and familiar with your genre.
  • Contests and awards: Enter your book in contests and award programs to get people talking about your book.
  • Print advertising: Running an ad in a major newspaper or magazine can be expensive, but there are more cost-effective options, such as local and regional media, newsletters, and event directories.
  • Online advertising: There are many opportunities to advertise online, including Facebook, blogs, and websites. Customized niche advertising works best.
  • Alternative media: There are numerous multimedia marketing opportunities, such as video book trailers, webinars, and podcasts. Consider what fits your book and audience. Be sure to invest in producing a high-quality product, or you're better off not doing it at all.
  • Events and appearances: Target events related to your subject matter, not only general book festivals. Think about your audience, and make sure they are going to be there.
  • Book readings and signing: Fans love connecting with authors. Contact local bookstores and coffee shops first before expanding to regional locations.
  • Direct mail: Sending a professional mailer can be effective, especially for nonfiction books.
  • Bloggers: Become a known expert and influencer in your field. Reach out to bloggers and book club hosts related to your genre and make a connection.

Create your focused marketing plan

Remember, you don't have to do everything. Start by listing all of your ideas, and then refine it into a filtered, manageable list that can be done at high-quality. By creating a plan that considers your audience, genre, strengths, and budget, you can reach your readers and achieve your goals.

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