If one of your goals for the New Year is to spend more time marketing your self-published book but you aren’t sure where to start then you are in the right place.
Marketing a book is hard. It’s probably harder than writing the book, which is why a lot of authors (especially first-time authors) get discouraged and give up. Or, they think they have to spend thousands of dollars to get any traction with readers.
The truth is that, yes, marketing is hard and can be time consuming, but with the right strategy in place you can market a book without spending thousands of dollars or making it your full time job.
How to Market a Self-Published Book in 2024
1. Put Your Best Foot Forward
If your goal in 2024 is to do a better job of marketing your book, first and foremost you should make sure you are putting your best foot forward. That means:
- Making sure your book cover is stunning (and if it’s not, fixing it).
- Making sure your book is in all the right categories
- Updating your Amazon keywords
- Rewriting your book description if it isn’t “grabby”
- Expanding your book’s distribution
- Potentially adding other versions of your book, such as an audiobook, hardcover or ebook
- Adding Amazon A+ Content
What we are talking about here is all curb appeal. Before you put your house on the market you make sure the lawn is mowed and the flowers are in bloom and you add a fresh coat of paint so that the house looks desirable when people view it in person and online. You need to do the same with your book. Before you start sending people to your book page to order a copy, make sure all the pieces are in place and they are all working together to create a beautiful and compelling experience for your readers.
2. Focus on Building Your Author Platform
Arguably the best thing you can do to market your book in 2024 is build your author profile. This doesn’t mean you need to open a TikTok account and spend several hours a day posting trending videos. But it does mean that you need to carve out some time to authentically engage with people who have similar interests as you and your book. This can include:
- Posting on social media channels
- Creating an author website
- Starting a newsletter
- Starting and maintaining a blog content strategy
Whatever method you choose to build your author profile (or combination) consistency is key. Choose the method or methods that you will be able to stick to every single week and put out relevant content to engage with your followers.
If time is an issue, find ways to maximize your content. In other words, use your blog as a piece of long form content you can post each week, then send out a link to your blog to your newsletter following, and pull out your strongest quote or two to post on social media with a link back to the post. All that can come from a single piece of content maximized across all your channels.
3. Seek out More Customer Reviews
Amazon customer reviews both boost your sales ranking and build credibility with potential buyers. If you don’t have a lot of reviews on your book page, now is the time to make this a part of your marketing strategy. More customer reviews will help new buyers make a decision on buying your book.
A lot of authors think customer reviews only matter during their launch week, but in reality a steady stream of customer reviews coming in regularly is the best strategy. So how can you get more customer reviews in 2024?
- Ask your friends and family to buy a copy and leave a customer review
- Seek out professional reviewers either through social media or online. Send them a free copy for their honest review
- If you have an author network already established, ask your following to leave a customer review if they haven’t already
Other ways you can boost your customer reviews are to run a free ebook giveaway, or host your own giveaway on your website, social media, or through Goodreads.
4. Develop Your Podcast Pitch
There is a podcast (or 10 or 12) for nearly every subject and area of interest. And many of these podcasts are actively looking for guests to interview. While they might not know about you or your book, you can introduce yourself and let them know why you would be an excellent guest for their show.
How do you do that? The first step is to simply run a google search for podcast subjects that have a similar theme as your book. If your book is nonfiction this is a fairly easy task. For fiction writers, you might look for podcasts about your book genre, about writing a book, or specifically for authors.
Then do a little digging to find their contact information and send an email (or alternatively fill out a contact form on their website) requesting to be a guest on their show, and some ideas about what you would like to talk about. You could mention you wrote a book, but you don’t even have to. It will likely come up organically in the conversation.
And remember: no podcast is too small! If you have an author website you can add a media page and keep track of what podcasts you’ve been featured on. You can send a link through your newsletter for people to listen to the episode, and post about it on your social media pages. It makes for great content but what’s even more valuable is the new followers you will attract who didn’t even know you existed until they listened to the podcast episode.
5. Find Local Opportunities in Your Area
If you take a look at your local community there are probably a variety of opportunities to market your book you may have overlooked, all of which can be valuable tools for selling your book and building your author profile. Some of our most successful authors have had consistent sales every month because of what we refer to as “the local hussle.”
These authors have sent out press releases to local media outlets, hosted book signings at their local libraries and book readings at schools; they’ve tabled at farmers markets and bazaars and connected face to face with potential readers and grown their following person to person.
To really capitalize on these kinds of in-person events make sure you are prepared not only with a stack of books to sell but also with information handy on how they can join your newsletter, leave customer reviews, and where to find you on social media. Don’t think of it as a one time sale but an invitation to build your growing author platform.
6. Make it About More than Just Your Book
Marketing a book successfully is about more than just talking about your book. Of course you want to talk about your book because you are proud of it, and you want people to read it. However you will soon find that if you just talk about your book you’re going to run out of things to say and ways to engage with your readers. Successful book marketing has to be about more than just your book.
Find the different angles you can use to talk about your book with different audiences and local media. Getting clear on why other people should care about your book will help you get clearer on your marketing strategy going forward.
If you still need a little help getting the ball rolling on marketing your book in 2024, schedule a free consultation with our CEO Joel Pitney, or check out our Book Launch Roadmap course.