As a self-published author, you have probably come to realize that book marketing is just as important as actually writing the book. Without a good marketing strategy for your book your potential readers will have a hard time finding you (no matter how great your book is).
As self-publishing continues to grow in popularity that means literally thousands of new books show up on the market every week. To keep your book from getting lost in a sea of other newly-published books, try these 10 marketing strategies for your book.
Whether you have already published or are getting ready to launch a book, you can start implementing these ideas to capture more readers and grow your author brand.
1 Build an Author Website
You may have this already, but if you don’t we highly recommend creating a simple, professional author website. This is your landing base where readers can easily find you to learn more.
We recommend keeping the URL simple – like your author name. Even the information on the website can be simple, but at a minimum would have the book description and book cover, an about the author section, and a way to contact you.
More detailed websites might include a blog (more on that below), media appearances, and a list of your other published work.
2 Create a Blog Writing Strategy
This is a particularly good approach for non-fiction books, but works for fiction as well.
On your website you can create a blog where you can write more content related to your book. For non-fiction authors this is a chance to really showcase your expertise. For fiction writers, your blog might be more personal (what books you are reading, your writing process, how you developed your characters, etc.).
Either way, an active blog writing strategy helps the Google search engine recognize that your website is active and therefore can help your SEO. You can even implement keywords and different search terms to help people find your website.
3 Start a Newsletter
A newsletter is the perfect way to interact with your audience by delivering content directly to their inbox. They don’t have to go to your website to find it, you will literally send it to them.
Newsletter ideas include your latest blog post; a list of your favorite books; insider tips into your writing process; articles relevant to your book and audience. The possibilities are endless.
Another great use of your author website is to generate subscribers for your newsletter. An easy way to do this is by offering some kind of “freebie.” Maybe it’s content that didn’t make it in the book, or a teaser to another book.
Visitors on your website can access the content for free by entering their email. From there, you can use a service like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp to create professionally-looking newsletters to send to your list on a regular basis.
4 Create an Amazon Author Central Account
When you publish through Amazon KDP you have the option of creating an Amazon Author Central Account. It takes only a few minutes to set up.
When setting up your account will need a high-resolution, professional photo, and your catchy author bio.
On your Author Central page you can also add editorial reviews of your book, which helps your book listing page stand out from the crowd.
If you have more than one book you can link them on your Author Central page to showcase your work.
5 Utilize Social Media
Every author who is trying to sell books should be on social media. It’s one of the fastest ways to build your audience and generate a buzz about your book.
But which social media channel should you use? Easy: The one that you can stick to consistently.
We like Facebook, because Facebook Ads are an easy and effective tool to use to build engagement and audience members. Instagram and Twitter are also useful and of course you can’t forget about YouTube and TikTok. If that all feels too overwhelming just pick one or two to start with.
Start by creating content that is authentic to who you are, and don’t try to sell anything. Think of social media more as a way to connect with people versus trying to hard sell them on something. You can connect with other self-published authors, join community groups, and gain inspiration for the types of content out there. And of course, anytime you write a blog on your website be sure to post a link to your social media channels. Cross promotion is key.
Make sure your social media pages are optimized and include your professional headshot, a short bio, and a link to your website.
If you need help generating eye-catching graphics, create a Canva account (they have free options) to really take your post from drab to fab.
6 Try Paid Promotions
Paying to promote your book might sound scary at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you use Amazon Ads to push book sales or Facebook Ads to build your audience, set a reasonable budget that won’t break your bank.
On Facebook you can target an audience that has the characteristics of your ideal reader. Facebook advertising can grow your audience pretty quickly depending on your budget, but just remember if you are going to pay to bring them into your network you need to be giving them quality content to interact with.
With Amazon Ads, you can target specific book categories or keywords that readers might be searching for. A key to using Amazon Ads, though, is to always spend less than you earn in royalties, so it can take awhile to get the hang of it or see very impressive results.
7 Find Podcasts
These days there is a podcast for everything, which is good news! Because that means that whether your book is non-fiction or fiction, there is probably a podcast out there with loyal listeners who would love to hear from you.
Start by googling podcasts about your subject matter, find their websites and social media channels, and look for their contact information. A lot of podcasts will have a contact form on their website where you can request to come on as a guest, but others you will have to email the host directly.
Make sure your pitch is solid. Remember, the podcast host wants to know what is in it for them, so tell them why you are a good choice to be a guest and what you’ll bring to the table.
8 Write Guest Posts
Similar to podcasts, there are blogs and digital publications on almost every topic under the sun Research some in your field, get a feel for their style of content and writing, and look for contact information.
Then, pitch a guest article. There are plenty of blogs and online publications that accept guest posts and will likely publish your piece, along with a link to your author website.
9 Do a Promotional Giveaway
When your book is published through Amazon KDP you have access to their price promotions, which allow you to offer your book at a discounted rate or even give your ebook away for free.
If you have built enough of a network, you can encourage them to download your ebook for free for five days, which can help wake up Amazon’s algorithms, increase your Amazon customer reviews, boost your sales ratings, and possibly capture some return readers (this works particularly well if your book is one of a series).
10 Research Other Authors in your Genre
This tip is less of an action item but still worth mentioning. Whether your book is published yet or not, you can start researching other authors in your genre and see what they are doing as a way to gain inspiration.
Whatever you choose to do, consistency is key. It’s unlikely you’ll be a sensation overnight, even if you do post every single TikTok trend for a solid week. The goal is to do things that will bring you consistent results over time, and with that consistent readers.
A solid book marketing strategy goes well beyond launch week and needs to be something you chip away at a little bit every day.
If you’d like free advice on how to market your self-published book give us a call! We love talking to first-time authors about their publishing and book marketing goals.