So, you’ve self-published your book, put out a press release and announced your news on Facebook … now the book flies off the shelf, right? Not so much. Before royalties can start rolling in, it’s important to understand the link (and the gap) between marketing and sales. The first step is to get real about what marketing is — and what it is not.
As you may know, book marketing is a “long game” that plays out over the life of your book — often a multifaceted one — but there are things every author can do to make progress on their own. Think of marketing as a series of building blocks in an overall promotional structure. Each task you undertake to promote your book builds upon the last and sets the stage for the next. No one component completes the structure, but with time and effort you’ll see something beautiful take shape.
Remember, a single marketing push won’t usually pay off in immediate sales. The goal of marketing is to consistently generate name recognition for you and your book so that that growing awareness eventually inspires readers to learn more and buy. This doesn’t happen overnight. So, to ensure the time you spend on your book marketing is as impactful as it can be, here’s what to expect and how to make the most of every minute.
Assess Your Assets
Once your book is published, the hard part begins — raising awareness. This is a time to take personal inventory of a few components vital to your marketing.
- Determine what marketing assets you currently have at your disposal. Social media accounts (and connections), friends, business acquaintances, personal and professional memberships each present opportunities to connect, share and even sell.
- Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses. Are you articulate and warm? If so, radio or TV interviews might be a good forum for you. Perhaps you’re shy but still great with technology. Then maybe social media marketing is more your speed. Be honest with yourself and focus on the things you do well.
- Assess the amount of time you can spend marketing your book each day/week/month.
- Set appropriate goals for promoting your book and yourself as an author. Use your skills and time assessments to identify where you’ll begin your marketing efforts. If you’ve decided radio is the way to go, set a goal to query a certain number of radio programs each week offering yourself as a guest, based on the time you have available. If social media is your bailiwick, make a point to post something relevant to your social media accounts each day, or week — or whatever schedule fits into your busy calendar.
- Be patient … but not too patient. Be consistent in your marketing efforts but willing to change direction. If months of one approach don’t move the needle, it may be time to try a different tack.
Finally, if you’re already published through Outskirts Press, become familiar with the resources in your Author Publishing Center. Many of the questions you have about book marketing can be answered within the Book Marketing Resource Center there. If you have questions that aren’t answered there, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Still unsure about where to start? Consider hiring a Personal Marketing Assistant to get you pointed in the right direction for long-term success. Log in to your Publishing Center at www.outskirtspress.com and select Personal Marketing Assistant from the Marketing Solutions menu.