So, you’ve got yourself a visibility problem. Rather than throw a huge list of author marketing tips at you without a well-crafted strategy, I’d like you to do few planning steps. I call it the Who, Where, What and Why. Then I’ve got some simple marketing advice below it.
Every marketing plan starts with the group (or segments—fancy marketing jargon) of people you want to reach. There are all different things to consider, e.g.:
Demographics – M/F, age, income, stage of life
Psychographics – what they have in common interest wise, e.g. fantasy readers, grannies who read to their daughter, etc
Benefit sought – perhaps a mix of people that all seek the same specific outcome
I believe it’s good to consider each in turn. Don’t be like the telemarketers, e.g. “I can get you first page on Google!” They don’t even know if you have the money or the desire yet.
So, pick two Personas that represent this nice mix and find a person that matches each from all the people you know.
I’m selling a Save/Protect/Enhance your Money book, so I’m going to pick Aussie adults over 30 who are the most likely to be interested in fixing their poor saving-and-investing past.
These people read stuff and look at images and blogs online. Putting aside your distaste for certain media types, where do (Persona A) usually hang out?
Facebook and Instagram help you with interest-based marketing and geographic-based as well. Google my Business listings help with geographic service-finders, but you can also list your book image — as long as you have a business.
There are many local magazines you can become a writer for (temporarily). With a broad audience, you need to take out any jargon.
There are specific industry magazines and online media sites you can write for. What kind of audience do they have?
Perhaps you can giveaway 2 copies of your book via BookFunnel — including group promos (US$10 month), Rafflecopter, or via Amazon itself.
However, as time is limited, ensure you are getting the word out in places where people will likely be interested in your message.
What media are you using? Choices range from social media quotes (Twitter/FB/Insta), to media outreach, to own blog posting, to book raffles, to photographic flat-lays (for Instagram). Whatever you decide on, think about the REACH of the media.
Think about your preferred talent and skill when choosing the media type.
If it’s a message for consumers, make the book press release more of a news article. Editors are busy and want to get interesting material. Write the article telling people a warning, give some specific tips, or write about how you can get your loved one to do the dishes and rub your feet! Whatever is related.
Also put about where you can find your book (or service, only if relevant) and your name and credibility strap in the bottom line.
A credibility strap is a byline that tells people why you’re the go to expert. E.g. Jennifer has written five books, some explaining how they can take steps to put their financial house in order. (If I had an award, that would go here!)
Somewhere in your author brand/marketing plan, you’ll have written your values. These values and goals translate to real things you can relate to people.
If you want to rid the world of nuisance callers, then say so!
If you love to give to kids and volunteer at school, while writing children’s book, then say “I give time to our school community so school students are cherished” and other things along those lines.
The why is most important when there is so much noise out there. How many unimportant things do you see on Facebook, when there are so many real issues to address. Putting your causes and values in your marketing is ideal for gaining trust and helps build a likeminded audience.
If you’re an author and you need to take yourself from invisible to visible and found online, benefitting both your book and your business, then please book a time. Firstly though, please see the Why Build an Author Platform video.
Best Marketing Tips for Authors
Author Websites are one thing that you can do to promote online, but it’s not the only thing. You can do many things without forking out $2,000 in design costs and without being a technical genius.
Branding is a good idea. This can be simple enough, starting with getting a good author banner (YouTube / website / Facebook) to using colours and taglines that look consistent across many platforms. Brand is more important in terms of rankings than backlinks these days as well, as Google’s ex-CEO said:
Brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.
In addition to your new content, targeted at your market, your Brand [special name] has to be on everyone’s lips – I mean fingertips!
Partnering with other relevant writers. If you don’t yet have a big email list, then partner with someone who is selling to the same people and has a list. If you become known for one thing, this will help attract the right partners to help with the promotional aspect. Even if it’s sharing to their audience about your book, this kind of thing often gets results. If they recommend it, then their fan’s trust will flow on down to you.
If you don’t ask influencers, you won’t get anywhere!
Grow through Affiliates/Partners. Once you’ve got banners made, a website, and lots of taglines and even promo codes, you could recruit affiliates for your system and book. This is a step for the advanced in marketing author.
Simply, if you can’t think of what to do for promotions besides blasting Facebook groups with book covers, then you’re not really trying! Offline media, magazines and relationship partnering can work. Partnering has helped me by:
a) getting free press coverage, and
b) sharing with Intuit and getting a massive number of hits to my freelance business book page.
This is just the start of something big! What have you tried for your book marketing?