Today, if you want to be a writer you need to know how to promote your book. The vast majority of titles that are published are independent or self-published, that means that there are no editorial groups behind; there is almost always a modest publisher or just a brave but lonely writer facing an ocean of titles. Standing out there is not easy.
As I told you, promoting your book today, with the avalanche of titles out there, is not easy. Fortunately, the Internet gives us a lot of good tools and opportunities to promote ourselves. Tools and opportunities that, until recently, we did not have. That too should be remembered.
Few of us end up on the bestseller lists. We do not have a large publisher behind us, nor a team of publicists behind us, so almost all the promotional work falls into our hands. This is something that should be very clear to you.
It is true that most of us do not work with large publishers. We publish with modest, independent publishers, who do what they can for our books. These publishers, who pamper us and do what they can for us, unfortunately, most of them sin in the field of promotion.
I’m not going to return to the subject, as I already mentioned it in. Many times, it is not even your fault; simply the budget they have is not enough.
And the big publishers? Well, for big publishers the system is different. Do you know what the Pareto Principle is? Well, that’s basically how big publishers work. 20% of its authors are those who pay salaries to the publisher and the remaining 80% of editions that they publish. This means that a very small number of great authors pay for the editions of the rest of the writers.
Does this mean that you should stop writing?
Of course not. Keep reading.
Promote your book on the Internet
No matter what kind of book you’ve written – or plan to write – there are tons of ways to reach your audience. In this article I am going to give you a series of tools that you can use to organize the promotion of your book on the Internet. Most of them are free and those that are not are cheap.
Don’t worry, I’m two candles too.
Thirteen ideas may seem like a lot to you, but when it comes down to it, you’ll see that there aren’t that many. Do not be sad. Remember that, as in everything, you have to organize and plan how you are going to carry out the launch and promotion. First of all, before you get down to the promotion, you should make a launch strategy.
Remember that, for your strategy to be effective, you will need to set goals. Remember the famous SMART goals of marketing. Set a goal for yourself and follow your goals until you reach it.
Nor should you try to sell books to “readers.” As with your writer’s blog or with social networks, you must know your ideal reader. Choose a reader, someone who reads everything you write, create an ideal reader profile and sell your book to them. It is much easier to sell a book to a person you know than to sell 100 to 1000 people you do not know.
But let’s see how to promote your book on the Internet, right?
13 ideas to market your book on the Internet via Marketing
1. Get started soon
Although you may not believe it, this will be one of the most important steps you can take to promote your book.
Many writers make the mistake of creating a writer’s blog after they have finished writing their book. You should not wait that long, on the contrary, you should open a writer’s blog as soon as possible.
The writer’s blog is not for ghost writing advice. On the contrary, your writer’s blog will be a good tool to keep track of what you write. You can post anything interesting that you found during your research and documentation. You can talk about the people you have met during the process and how that process is going.
Faulkner kept diaries of each of the novels he wrote. Your writer’s blog could become one of those diaries. As the project progresses, you will be building a community of people interested in that novel you are writing.
You can record each of the steps you have taken on that path. For example, at the end of the draft, when signing a contract with a publisher, at the end of the layout, at the presentation … Take advantage of each of these milestones and share an extract of the work with your readers. A good idea is to take advantage of Facebook to do it live…
Which leads us to…
2. Your writer’s social networks
Social networks are one of the best tools that you will find to promote your book. Yes, they are full of spammers, but there are also people who know how to do things well. Avoid spam, although it works for some, as a rule generating only generates rejection.
Participate in dialogues with other writers, with readers, with editors … Create a community and take care of it. Find the most suitable hashtags for your novel and participate in them. Drop breadcrumbs, so that users reach your blog.
Although you can – and should – sell directly on social networks, it is much better to attract your readers to your blog. From your blog you will be free to sell your book. Use social media to promote, but try not to appear desperate to sell.
Don’t participate in conversations looking for something in return. You have to add value to the conversations without looking for anything in return. That is the great mistake that many make – many gurus and smoke sellers, above all – participate in the conversation with the sole intention of driving a commercial wedge. Don’t do that, it’s horrible and disrespectful.
3. Your writer’s blog
We return to the starting box. To promote your book on the Internet you have to work on your writer’s blog. You should have one, even if you don’t like it. And not so much for having a convinced audience, but for having its own platform from which to manage the sales of your book.
A blog, despite the absurd proliferation of writers who don’t write but get advice, is still a very powerful tool.
In the first point I have given you many ideas to create content. Don’t fall for business as usual, don’t sell advice. Offer inspiration, offer your readers samples of your work, show them how you work, who you work with… Give them something that adds value and attracts them.
4. Write the best book
Easy, huh? Well, actually, it is much easier than it sounds. Since I’ve been at this, I’ve read a lot of self-published and independent books. Most of those experiences don’t usually end well … or at least, not as well as they should.
I almost always meet writers who are not fluent in the language. I have read badly corrected books, full of spelling, syntax, grammatical mistakes … Books with badly constructed and meaningless sentences, with characters that change their names or hair color every 10 pages … Anyway … You know what I mean .
If you want to promote your book on the Internet, make sure you have a good product in hand. When I tell you to write the best book, I don’t mean to write a best seller, I mean to write the best version of your book.
Ask your zero readers for help. Pay someone with knowledge to do a reader report for you. Pay a good proofreader or editor to work on your manuscript. Don’t sell something with spelling mistakes, don’t sell a defective product. You may have to invest money, but it is YOUR job and it should be the best.
5. Get along with marketing
Think of promoting your book as a storytelling exercise. The story you are telling is why you wrote that book, how your book can help others, and how your book will benefit the world.
Emotional marketing sells as much as strategic marketing. If you are able to develop a positive attitude towards promoting your book, the reader will notice and immediately connect with you. I know this sounds like New Age bullshit, but trust me, it works.
Many writers deny marketing. Some have made their rejection of marketing their personal brand … And that is pure marketing. You have to understand that you are not Stephen King, therefore, you will not have all the potential of a great publisher behind.
If you don’t do the work yourself, no one will do it for you. You don’t have to become an expert or get a career in advertising. Learn and enjoy that less artistic part of your work. As simple as that.
6. Create a media kit
It doesn’t hurt to invest a little time and money in having a good media kit for your book.
What should a good media kit contain? Well, according to the Techleo guys, it should contain:
• Your biography focused on writing. With a summary of all your books.
• Contact information.
• Information about the events in which you have participated and will participate.
• A press release.
• A synopsis of the book and some excerpts.
• A good photo of you — if possible, have it taken by a professional.
If you want to know more about the media kit. You will basically need it to publicize your book in the press and in more traditional media.
7. Make a slogan for your book
Create a slogan for your book. You should actually do three, like it’s for a TV commercial. Do one for 10, another for 30, and one for more than 60 seconds.
The first, the 10-second one, will be what Americans call a logline. Basically it is about summarizing your book in a single sentence. This technique was born in Hollywood; the directors and producers were saturated with work and their secretaries were in charge of reading the scripts that arrived at the studio. They had to summarize the texts in a single sentence.
Whenever they ask you, whenever you are going to publish a creative of your book on social networks, use the 10-second slogan. When a reader shows interest in the work, show the 30 or 60.
8. The power of reviews
Long before the book comes out – eight to six months before – you should start looking for people interested in reviewing your book. Again, the Internet makes things very easy for you; there are hundreds of pages and blogs dedicated to reviews that will be happy to have material to review.
Don’t be shy, make a list of reviewers, bookTubers, and people in the world of literature — critics and others. You have to reach all of them, they don’t even need to give you a review; it will serve with a comment, a small text that you can use in your sales kits.
Ideally, you should get the book to them as soon as possible. As soon as you have the first galley ready, you should send it to them. Give them the corrected PDF and ask them to give you a review. If you don’t have galleys, send them the first chapters and ask them for a testimonial about your book.
Eye. Don’t assault the staff by yelling, “Look at my book that’s the best and the prettiest. Take a copy here the week the remarks come to me!” That never works.
There are certain rules of etiquette. Take some time to get to know each of the pages, if your book doesn’t fit into their themes, don’t send it to them. If a blog, no matter how much it is dedicated to horror or science fiction, does not make reviews, do not send your book. And above all, show a little respect for the person on the other side. No assaults. If you have doubts, Ana González Duque wrote this guide on how you should ask for reviews.
9. Collaborate on other blogs
Make a list of every magazine, blog, and page you can write on. Once you have a complete list, enter each of them to see if your ideal reader will visit them. If the audience of these pages is similar to yours, contact them and submit your article. Don’t go too smart, don’t write a generic article and present it to all pages. Write one for each of them.
Try to negotiate with them and have your article appear more or less during your book launch dates. For example, if you are launching your book in mid-June, try to get your articles published between July, August and September.
Of course, I don’t have to tell you that you have to mention your book in the article. If you publish on Amazon you have to leave a link to the book page or the author page.
10. Reviews in magazines
I’ve already covered the reviews, yes… But I had forgotten an interesting point. Use magazines and e-zines to promote your book.
If you are a genre writer, today you have a wonderful possibility. Gender magazines are very much alive and they are a good opportunity to put your book in front of the readers’ eyes. Windumanoth, Supersonic or Hyperspace are 3 examples of magazines where you can request a review of your work.
In some cases, you may not have a place by topic, but if the magazine has a blog, you should not miss that opportunity either. Speaking of which, another great option is eZines. Digital magazines are another good showcase for your work, so make a list and contact the editors to review your work.
11. Get 20 reviews on Amazon
Reviews and ratings on Amazon are the key to staying on the bestseller list.
Comments and reviews will also allow you to appear in “recommended purchases” and that almost always translates into more sales.
Your goal should be 20 reviews, although it can be 10 or 12 . Talk to everyone, use all your contacts, send an email to your subscriber list; Ask them for that favor, tell them to leave a review on launch day, give them your book in return. Tell them that it does not have to be a very long comment, nor is it wise; it is not a review.
If you want to get the job done right, find the best reviewers on Amazon. There are people who are dedicated to commenting on books and products and they do it very well. Find the best ones, contact them and ask them to review your book.
12. Presentations and conferences
At first it will not be easy to be invited, but over time, as you progress and become more known, you will receive many invitations. It does not matter if you are the one who has to go find your space, you need to speak to your readers — and all the readers who don’t know you yet.
Prepare a good talk. The ideal is not to exceed 45 minutes. As always, the talk should be about 30 minutes long and you should allow about 15 more minutes for possible questions. When you’re done, take a walk among the attendees. Let yourself be seen and build relationships. The networking in these cases is always a plus.
If you can, always have copies of your book on hand to make the odd sale.
13. A series of videos
Facebook is a good promotional tool. Not only does it allow you to sell your book directly from your fan page, it also leaves you space to record your own videos. You can broadcast live videos or upload your videos to your author page.
A good idea — and one that no one seems to be using yet — would be to record a series of short videos, they don’t have to be longer than 5 minutes, talking about your topic. You can talk about the big problems of horror if you write horror or the worst mistakes of science fiction, if you write specific.
The issue is to offer your readers and followers something of value. Of course you can also make videos about what inspired you to write the novel or about its characters. The important thing is that at the end of each video you should leave a link to your website or to your Amazon page.