I’m often asked, ‘When is the ideal time to start marketing my book?’ It’s a good question, but let’s go a bit deeper today.
The question should not only be that, but also: how do I ensure I get the most sales when I do release?
Sales vs. marketing. Marketing vs. sales. In corporations, they are often diametrically opposed in technique and vision. As authors, we are both, and it’s that inherent conflict that can create issues.
Today we’ll look at your book release from a marketing perspective. Part Two will focus on sales. Part Three will combine the two.
1) Pre-release marketing activities. The best time to start marketing your book is before you have one. Yes, you read that correctly.
In fact, that’s probably THE number one biggest mistake authors make; waiting to market their book upon release. Why?
You need to attract people when building relationships, right? If you like someone, you ask for their phone number (or email or social info). How is attracting book buyers, readers, book bloggers, or book reviewers any different? Do you attract people by pounding them over the head like Bam Bam? No.
You develop relationships with people by talking with them. By helping them. By promoting them. I don’t mean telling them to purchase your book (which doesn’t work if you don’t have a product anyway). You focus on what’s in it for them. Why should someone follow you or buy your book (eventually)? That’s what you need to provide.
So, practical tips to get you started in effective pre-release marketing efforts:
2) Release activities: Think of your book release in two phases: a soft launch and a hard launch. If you’ve done all of the efforts I mention in #1, you will have a wonderful base to draw from.
— Blog post
— Adding the cover with buy link EVERYWHERE (site, posts, email signature, all social media)
— Guest posts
— Blog tour
3) Post-release activities: If you think the hard work is done, think again. Now is the time to focus on visibility and exposure. How?
Also, and so critical: have share and social media buttons prominently displayed – typically top right is ideal – on your home page and every subsequent page. If this is all Greek to you, I suggest you contact Barb at Bakerview Consulting. She’s affordable and knowledgeable.
If you have the money, a traditional PR person can do much of what’s in #3 for you (with the exception of blogging, though some do). If not, do what you can. I’m also available to help with the social media aspect (see BadRedheadMedia.com for services and fees).
I hope this gives you some idea of marketing your work, and the three-step process. Some of the steps are interchangeable – i.e., you can go to a conference and build your social media presence anytime. See what works for you, your time, and budget!
Questions? Ask away!
Need personalized help? Check out my BadRedheadMedia.com services page.
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Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs, #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.