No matter what a book’s genre might be, an age-old question emerges: “What makes my book unique? How do I find my ideal readers?” When it comes to Christian and Spiritual books, however, whether fiction or non-fiction, the answer seems deceptively simple. After all, who reads books with a Christian focus? Very likely, people who are Christians themselves. And what about, more generally, Spiritual books? As with Christian literature, works with a spiritual bent tend to appeal to a specific slice of the population. Simple. Straightforward. Easy. Right?
The difficulty with taking this simplistic approach is that both populations (people of faith and people who are spiritual) are enormous! This offers both unique challenges and opportunities for authors looking to market their books in these categories. There are a lot of potential readers out there, and they’re just as diverse a group as any other, in age and origin and interests. Here are four ways to refocus your marketing strategy and reach your ideal readers!
ONE: Don’t be afraid to go social.
You’ve probably heard about the benefits of a well-developed social media campaign before. But did you know that most social media platforms have built-in as well as grassroots options which will give your book, specifically, the boost it needs to reach more readers? Consider Facebook, which has countless book groups you can join, from Avid Readers of Christian Fiction to Christian Fiction Writers to Christian Fiction Fans, and many, many more. Goodreads, too, offers book clubs and social groups along these lines where your book can find a home. Meanwhile, Twitter features a number of important hashtags you can use in your tweets in order to promote your book on that platform, including #InspirationalFiction and #ChristianBooks. Readers of these genres know to follow tweets which are gathered under these hashtags, and to parse them for new books they might be interested in. Instagram works the same way! Many readers, writers, and fans are already collecting Christian and Spiritual books and pinning them to their boards (see our links at the end of this piece for an example!), and this creates a uniquely sharable digital space for promotion. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the platforms which work the best for you, and generate the most traffic!
TWO: Find those niche bookstores.
At this point, you’re probably already aware of the thriving Christian book industry, and Spiritual bookstores like Namaste in New York are also doing very well for themselves. Work on getting your book placed into these bookstores! Start with your local indie bookstores, both Spiritual (they often have “metaphysical” in their name!) and Christian … and don’t forget about your local church bookstores, which are often embedded with coffee shops in large church buildings. As with any indie bookstore, the worst the manager can say is “no,” but very often they’ll be excited to feature local talent. They will be much more open to give local authors shelf space, especially if you can pair your books with a book signing or reading event. Once you have your book in one store, encourage as many readers as possible to buy it from that store … and then, use those sales numbers as justification when contacting other bookstores to join your sales team.
THREE: Break out the press release!
Get the word out in the news! Send out a news release to Christian media outlets, not just the standard universal press release indices. The websites associated with pretty much every Christian or Spiritual newspaper, TV show, and radio program have links to where you can submit a release for your book. You can also send out news releases to other media that have Christian or Spiritual sections, even if the whole institution is not dedicated to faith-based material. If you feel a bit out to sea when it comes to writing and distributing press releases, don’t worry! Outskirts Press offers a fantastic and thorough press release service which will ensure news of your book reaches exactly the right ears.
FOUR: Craft original content for your blog.
Your author website is an oft-untapped opportunity to reach readers specifically interested in Spiritual and Christian topics. Readers with an interest in these subjects are already well-trained in locating and reading original content, and amongst these readers longform blog posts are a perennial favorite. Consider crafting original blog posts, reflective or faith-based or inspirational in tone, and posting these to your personal blog and author website. Don’t replicate the content of your book, but write materials which complement the content of your book, and whet readers’ appetites for more! Make sure to use keywords and enrich your metadata so that your audience will find your blog easily when searching on search engines like Google and Bing for Christian and Spiritual topics.
Still not sure where to start in marketing your book this Spring? Log into your Publishing Center to view all of the marketing services that Outskirts Press offers.
To see our staff picks of amazing Christian books from many of our authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here. We keep a separate Pinterest page for additional Spiritual books, which you can find here.