I’ve been self-publishing and running MindStir Media since 2009, producing a number of bestsellers for myself and others, and I can tell you with certainty that you won’t sell books if you don’t bother with book marketing. I realize that sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised by the number of authors who think that book marketing is some mysterious and magical thing that takes care of itself. It’s not enough to sell copies to your friends and family. It’s not enough to hope that someone will find your book. It’s definitely not enough to simply make your book available on sites like Amazon.com. If you want to succeed — and possibly become a bestselling author — you must have a book marketing plan and you must stick to that plan religiously. Abandoning book marketing is like abandoning your book altogether. Seriously, book marketing is like the fuel that runs the car… Throughout the years, I’ve worked with probably hundreds of book marketing tips, strategies and ideas. Some of them worked and others failed miserably. I’ve tested and tweaked. I’ve ended unprofitable marketing campaigns and scaled profitable ones. Today, I’m going to take some of the guesswork out of book marketing. I’m going to share with you a list of 75 book marketing tips and strategies that I personally recommend to authors writing and publishing in any genre. Think of this list as your “book marketing plan.” Obviously, you can feel free to make it your own and flesh it out as you see fit. Also, as you do some testing and tweaking of your own, go ahead and add to the book marketing plan. Whatever you do, stick to the marketing plan!
BONUS: 50+ Writing Resources
Before you read the list of book marketing tips and strategies, give this some thought: What good is book marketing if you don’t have a professional and polished book to promote? No good at all! That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 50+ writing resources that we recommend to help you hone your writing skills before you delve into book marketing. If you haven’t already studied our recommended writing resources, click here right now to get the list!
75 Book Marketing Tips & Strategies to Help You Sell More Books
1. Create a Facebook business page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create. Having a Facebook page builds credibility, helps you reach your readers (and potential readers) and gives you a platform on which to control your message and brand.
2. Build a fan base by asking your friends to “like” and share your page. You can also run some cheap ads on Facebook in order to build a fan base.
3. Post consistently, meaning create a schedule and try to stick with it. There are many different thoughts on when you should post to your page. Use Facebook page insights to determine which days and times are most effective for your posts. Each audience is different.
4. Add value to the lives of your fans with your content. Don’t just send out “buy my book” posts. For instance, inspirational pictures or quotes usually do exceptionally well on Facebook and keep people coming back to your page. UPDATE: Check out our value-packed article “Advanced Facebook Marketing Tips for Authors and Entrepreneurs.“
6. Post your Twitter profile link on Facebook and ask your fans to follow you on Twitter.
7. Also read this fantastic Twitter tips guide by the amazing Derek Halpern.
8. As with Facebook, try to add value to your followers. Offer something unique.
9. Sign up for a Google+ acct: http://plus.google.com
10. Read the “Get Started” guide from Google.
11. Google+ positively affects your author website’s SEO, so +1 your site.
13. Join Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/join/register/email/
14. Search for topics in Pinterest that relate to your book. Follow some users and some will follow you back. And here are 10 other tips to get more Pinterest followers.
15. Setup a bunch of “boards.” Have fun and pin items that interest you. Have fun.
16. One of those boards should be “Books Worth Reading.” Add your book along with others that you enjoy.
17. Start a blog.
18. WordPress (self-hosted): The most popular blogging platform, self-hosted WordPress, allows you to have the most control over your content and design. You can setup a WordPress blog quickly and easily through Bluehost. We’ll even help you setup your Bluehost hosted WordPress blog via our step-by-step guide! One of the things I love about a self-hosted WordPress blog is that you can choose from thousands of different “themes” (template-based, easily customizable designs) and install “widgets” that can perform highly valuable functions such as collect visitors’ email addresses (via optin forms) and even encourage social media sharing (via social buttons), etc.
19. Blogger: This is owned by Google, so some experts feel that Google gives Blogger blogs some SEO benefits. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, honestly, but it is a perfectly acceptable platform for blogging. One major problem I’ve noticed with Blogger, however, is that customization is quite a chore and the platform doesn’t offer anywhere near the same amount of flexibility as WordPress. Also, if you use the standard URL that Blogger provides when opening an account, you’ll be using a URL that looks like this: example123.blogspot.com. That’s what they call a sub-domain and it’s not as effective or memorable as a regular domain (example123.com) that you’ll use with a self-hosted WordPress blog.
20. Tumblr: A very user-friendly blogging website, but — like Blogger — difficult to customize. Probably not my first choice as a blogging platform but certainly useful.
21. Get book reviews
22. Write and submit press releases. Pay ATTN to these best practices.
23. Distribute your press release through PRLog (free).
24. Distribute through PR.com (free).
25. There are many other free press release distribution services. If you’re looking for more effective PR distribution with a better reach, we do offer press release distribution services at a very reasonable price.
26. Become an award-winning author by entering competitions. Here’s a list of competitions:
32. Contact book bloggers and ask for an interview or a guest post. Lists below.
38. Create an about page with a quality author photo and bio.
39. Add social media sharing buttons on your site.
40. Add a media kit to your site. More about media kits later…
41. Use pay-per-click (PPC) to drive traffic to your book sales page and/or author site/blog.
42. Google Adwords (Display Network)
44. Facebook Ads
45. Twitter Ads
46. Amazon Ads
47. Update your email signature by adding a link to your website and books.
48. Start an email newsletter/mailing list and use one of the following to send emails.
49. Mailchimp (free)
50. Aweber (has great auto-responders and customer service)
51. Constant Contact
52. Run book giveaway events.
53. Offer your Kindle book for free.
54. Launch a Goodreads-hosted giveaway.
55. LibraryThing is another platform for giveways.
56. Take advantage of Author Central, a free program offered by Amazon.com.
57. Host a Q&A using Google Hangouts.
58. Leverage your friends and family… Ask them to help you spread the word.
59. Arrange book signings and provide great customer service.
60. Join message boards. Don’t spam the boards. Be helpful and get your name out there.
61. Setup a virtual blog tour. This is like #32 but you need to take it to another level and actually land “appearances” on several book blogs during a schedule that you create.
62. Design/print business cards to give out. Include your name, email, website address, and book ordering info.
63. Create flyers to give out at book signings and in-person events.
64. Create posters for your book signings. Don’t rely on the venue to do this for you.
65. Bookmarks: Another great marketing tool! Include one in each book you sell in person.
66. Create a book trailer: Writer’s Digest does a nice job explaining how to create a trailer.
67. Donate books to nursing homes, libraries, etc.
68. Become an expert and get free publicity by using HARO (Help A Reporter Out).
69. Create a media kit. Media kits include 8 essential items.
70. Offer a podiobook version of your book (podcast audiobook) or start a podcast.
71. Run special time sensitive sales (create urgency) and promote via social media.
72. Setup consignment deals with your local indie bookstores.
73. Create merchandise such as t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads.
74. Write reviews for other books to get your name out there.
75. Speak at your local library. An idea: Offer advice on publishing as a published author.
Before you implement the aforementioned book marketing tips and strategies, you must focus on creating a high-quality book above all else. Your book needs to have an eye-catching cover design; professional editing; proper formatting; and your product description must “hook” the reader. Your book’s price also needs to be competitive. Don’t overprice your book out of the market just because you want to try to make a few extra dollars on each copy sold. We can help you with self-publishing a high-quality book!
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About J.J. Hebert:
- Author of two self-published MindStir Media/Amazon.com bestselling books, with over 100,000 copies sold worldwide.
- Founder of MindStir Media LLC, a top self-publishing company seen on Lifetime, Fox Business, History Channel, Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), Biography Channel, Bravo & Ovation.
- Prominent blogger on self-publishing and book marketing.
- Helped produce hundreds of books for authors nationwide.
- Provided thousands of publishing consultations. Schedule a free publishing consultation with J.J. Hebert right now if you’d like help with self-publishing your book via our services.
- Hailed as the “Self-Publishing Guru” by The Good Men Project.