Writing is an art form. So is book marketing. I’m no expert at either. I’m an Integrative Health Coach that happened to write a book; so when it came time to send it out into the world, I had a lot to learn in a very short time.
I thought marketing was going to be easy in the beginning. I would write my book, get it published, and people would miraculously find it and me. Or better yet, my publisher would do all the work leaving me to sit back and watch as the money came rolling in. I was delusional.
Here is what I learned instead:
1. Book marketing can be totally overwhelming and your publisher typically has little involvement in the process
2. It can get very loud in cyber world with the millions of voices out there trying to tell you what/how to market your book
3. Book marketing can be totally overwhelming
Yes, I know I’ve repeated myself, but I wanted to drill the point home because I think that is why so many writers give up on marketing their book. You see, authors are not inherently outgoing, ‘marketing type’ people. Writing is deep and introspective, marketing is not. It can also seem overcomplicated and the thought of having to put yourself out there for the world to see can be daunting.
The simple truth is: If you want anyone besides your mother to read your book, you need to market it.
What I discovered after a lot of research is that book marketing really isn’t that hard. If I can do it, so can you. Seriously, I didn’t even have a laptop a year ago. I had absolutely no knowledge of how to sell to the masses, no computer skills, or even a social presence.
In my world, if you had issues with candida or IBS, I was the one to call for help. If you wanted to talk about social presence, integration or promotions, there were a lot of crickets on my end.
But after some trial and error, minimal training and a lot sweat equity, I took my book, Wellness Warrior – Fighting for Life in Fabulous Shoes to number one in three categories on Amazon! It was an interesting journey filled with countless embarrassing mistakes and blind determination, but at the end of the day, I think I’ve figured a few things out and wanted to share some pointers I learned along the way. No sense both of us having to recreate the wheel.
These are the things I do every day to get my book in the hands of those who could benefit from reading it:
1. Don’t sell your book, believe in your message – I don’t know about you, but when I see an ad that is a hard sell on a book, something just shuts off in my brain. On the other hand, if I’m interested in the information and it has been expanded on somewhere or I’ve engaged with the author, I’m much more likely to buy it. Believe in what you are writing and talk about the material inside your book. That power is contagious and the message you’re putting out will spread to the people that want to buy your book because they believe in it and you.
2. Find a few good men (or women) and study their work – There are a million people out there who want to tell you how to market your book. Find a couple that resonate with you and follow what they do with their own content. Modeling your work with what gets results by others has been really helpful for me. It also helps me see how the whole process works from beginning to end.
3. Develop your social network – Be fearless in putting yourself out there. Social platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, and FaceBook are easy to set up but there are many other network options just as easy. Look for ones your fans are likely to visit and develop a presence to start building relationships with potential readers. It’s never to early to start—so get on it.
4. Get to know some folks in your genre – I am with Booktrope Publishing. My imprint within the company is called Gravity and it is filled with the most amazing people/writers I’ve ever met. Writing can be a lonely job and it’s nice to be able to relate to people that understand what you are going through and are supportive. We also share each others stuff like crazy with #MondayBlogs on Twitter and all of our FaceBook pages. It’s a great way to pick up new followers that wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to your work too.
5. Join a few FaceBook groups that resonate with you and your book – My book Wellness Warrior is about learning how to be well without perfect health. I have lots of health issues myself. I am in FaceBook groups for my illnesses, groups that are for empowerment in health issues, and groups for writers to share their posts and information. All are in alignment with my book but are also genuinely helpful for me. I get to meet great people, interact with them, and eventually we end up sharing and promoting each others information and many become followers and eventually buy my book (bonus!) There are plenty of other groups like these in the literary world as well.
6. Copy and paste great ideas (but not literally) – I keep a swipe file in my email box for future inspiration. Any email or promotion that looks interesting or that I may want to try goes in the file for use at a later date. I have my favs that never disappoint which help me craft my own promotions and emails for my newsletter. Oh, did I just slide that in there? Newsletters keep you fresh in the minds of your readers and help them stay informed of your events, etc.
7. Have somewhere for your fans to hang out – Private FaceBook groups are great for this. You can talk, play, and share your writing – however you want to create your group is up to you. Just be careful because I can spend all of my time in my Facebook group, the Wellness Warrior Tribe. The people in there are amazing and I truly love them. (Just jump in and out—you can lose the day in there.)
8. Talk to your people – It’s all about relationships. So you have a bunch of people on Twitter. If you never interact with them, they won’t stay for long. Be chatty on whatever platform you are on. Goodreads is great to talk people up too.
9. Blog regularly (and no groaning on this one) – Unless you can crank out a book every week, you need to have a place to write regularly. Weekly blogs can get you a lot of traction because you can post them on multiple platforms including a dedicated FaceBook page which will grow your readership. It also reminds readers why they love your work and can’t wait to buy your book.
10. Don’t be a baby – We all get crappy reviews or a disgruntled reader saying something we may not want to hear. Be professional. Walk away and stay focused on what and who matter. Getting in arguments with people only turn potential readers off.
11. Be Creative in your Marketing (Bonus Round) – Like I said, book marketing is an art form which means you can create just about anything you think up. Look at what your goals are with your book and back into them creatively. I experiment all the time to see what works. One of my favorite programs I dreamed up is my Pay It Forward campaign. My goal was to get my book into the hands of those that needed it, typically bed ridden people with a chronic disease.
Unfortunately, they are hard to reach for obvious reasons. So, I designed a pay it forward program where when you buy a book, you can gift a downloaded version to someone in need for free. I send a welcome note from the gifter and myself saying hello, introducing the book and me, and inviting them to my support group. Involvement and action, all meeting my goals as well. Win/win. But that’s just one idea. You can think up all sorts of other ones on your own that meet your goals, I’m sure.
Book marketing isn’t brain surgery, but it does take persistence. Stay at it consistently, and you will be surprised at how fast the results pay off. Now get moving. You don’t have to do it all at once, but by a little extra effort each day, you will be surprised how fast it will grow!
About the Author
Lisa Douthit is the author of Amazon’s #1 bestselling book, Wellness Warrior – Fighting for Life in Fabulous Shoes and an Integrative Health Consultant who is passionate about healing from all perspectives.
After struggling with multiple bouts of cancer and autoimmune disease, no one understands the physical, spiritual, and emotional rollercoaster better than she does. As one of the 40 million American women currently suffering with an autoimmune disease, she made it her mission to have a voice for all those with an invisible illness, and prove you can be well without perfect health.
She has a private Facebook Group called Wellness Warrior Tribe for all those with chronic illness looking for support and encouragement. For more out of the box thinking that is guaranteed to bring you joy, Like her FaceBook Page Here or join the tribe Here.
Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo)
All content © 2017 by BadRedhead Media aka Rachel Thompson, author, unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.
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.