Marketing Your Travel Book in Five Simple Steps

If you’ve spent much time reading the literature of travel, you’ll already know that there are many handy quotes about the process. St. Augustine, for example, is credited with saying that “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” If you’ve recently self-published a book on travel, clearly you’ve seen more than one page of that book … but what about your readers? How do you ensure that they move from browsing to buying?

We have a few ideas to get you started. Take advantage of them all and before you know it, you’ll have put your travel book on the map… so to speak:

ONE: Consider the “Who?” Who are your readers, really? Are they travelers like you, in that they actually move through the physical world and are looking for templates to follow? Or are they what publishers used to call “armchair travelers,” those readers who much preferred to live vicariously through others than to conduct the trips (and endure potentional hardships) themselves? This being 2021, the conversation about ableism is now well-developed, and we now know that many readers pick up travel books to empower themselves, and to enable themselves to experience the world in a way that maybe they couldn’t have otherwise.

So, with your readers in mind, share content that gets them excited about travel, such as quality social media content and engaging lists and articles. Also provide content that helps your readers plan a trip themselves, including sample itineraries and how-to videos. And lastly, provide content and links that will help them take action, such as booking a trip, making a reservation, or contacting a travel agent.

TWO: Consider the “What?” As in, what’s your niche? Travel books happen to occupy a difficult niche, as do many other genres, in that they’re read heavily but only by very specific audiences, and sales numbers only occasionally make them blockbuster successes. (Cheryl Strayed’s Wild is a great example of an exception, for example.) What this means for self-published authors is that you need to find people who are already interested in travel narratives. Once you find these people, they are an easy sell. And in the age of information, finding them is easier than previous generations could even dream about. Look for those Facebook groups dedicated to travel and ask if anyone is interested in experiencing a new travelogue. Hop on Reddit and start a conversation about the destinations you visited. Use your niche to your advantage!

THREE: Consider the “When?” When it comes to travel, the time of year really matters. Take care to highlight seasons in your marketing, especially on visually-driven platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook: fall colors, winter activities, and seasonal foods go over really well in framing your marketing strategies! Also highlight local holidays, destinations to celebrate, and festivities to attend. Tackle other timely elements that can become the focal point for effective marketing content. Extra content to include on your blog, social media, or website might include local events guides or seasonal restaurant menus.

FOUR: Consider the “Where?” As with the time of year, your destination really and truly makes a difference in your marketing strategy! In your marketing materials, make sure to explore destination-specific highlights such as exclusive events and local sights. Take care to showcase the local food and beverage scene, including restaurant recommendations, wine tastings, and foodie-favorite festivals. And lastly, intentionally acquaint your readers with little-known travel tips, such as where to find off-the-beaten paths and little-known treasures which will enable them to truly appreciate your favorite experiences.

FIVE: Consider the “Why?” Why do your readers read? Why do you write? And most importantly, why do we travel? Remember, the art of a travel book is evoking the feeling of expansion, of exploration, for those who have not had the liberty or means or luck to travel the way that you have. In a sense, this puts a burden of responsibility on you. What can you say and do in your marketing to embrace those readers of limited mobility, who are perhaps constrained by money or by their own bodies and prevented from conducting a trip like yours? You have the ability–and the opportunity–to bring this grand world of ours to your readers. If there’s a more beautiful idea, we haven’t heard it yet.

As Henry Miller put it, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” What better way of helping make the world a better place than by making it possible for your readers to see our beautiful planet through fresh eyes? We hope you’ll take the time to invest in your book’s marketing success now that it exists in this beautiful world of ours.

Do you need some fresh ideas to market your book?  FREE resources in the Outskirts Press Marketing COACH Dashboard are available for all our self-published authors.

Six Tips for Socializing on Social Media to Help Sell Your Book

Many authors are turning to social media as a form of advertising to promote their books, build a fan base, and connect with readers in a way not possible in the past. Whether you’re new to social media or already have several active accounts, using sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to market your book makes good sense. But what makes a successful social media platform? Being social!

The more authors post and share content, engage with their readers, and reach out to form new connections, the more buzz they are able to generate about their books. If you want people to sit up and take notice of you — and your book — commit to posting, tweeting, and/or blogging frequently and regularly.

Before you get started, ask yourself, Who is my audience? And where do they hang out? A young adult audience, for example, is more likely to use Twitter and Instagram; cozy mystery fans tend to hang out on Facebook; and LinkedIn is a good place to market a non-fiction business book. Once you’ve targeted the most effective social media sites to promote your book, it’s time to socialize!

Here are the tips, which are applicable across all social media platforms:

1. Check out what other people are doing.
Familiarize yourself with what kinds of things other authors and book lovers post, what gets the most feedback, and what doesn’t work. Then, once you’ve chosen your social media platforms, follow or “friend” lots of people in order to grow your network of potential fans. With any luck, they’ll follow you back and/or share or retweet your posts. Leave friendly, insightful comments wherever possible to up your chances of connection with others.

2. Post good content.
Statistics show that people respond favorably to pictures, funny memes, quotes that resonate, and humor. But you’ll quickly lose followers if you’re constantly flooding your social media with hard-sell tactics to buy your book. A good mixture of fun, entertaining, or informative posts mixed with occasional news about your book will keep your followers engaged. Many authors post pictures of their book’s cover, information that relates to the theme of their book, or teasers about what they can look forward to next.

3. Post regularly.
People will lose interest if they only see posts from you once in a while. For the best results, commit a certain amount of time each week to social media. Some authors use a calendar and plan their posts weeks in advance; others post frequently and spontaneously. Whatever your style, the more you post, the more likely it is that people will retweet or share your posts with others. Feeling uninspired? If you don’t have anything to say, retweet or share other people’s content. Or share links to other authors you admire. They’ll be thankful for the acknowledgment and may even return the favor!

4. Be authentic.
Your readers want to get to know YOU, so don’t try to copy other authors or celebrities — or your readers will sense your inauthenticity. By posting content that reflects who you are, what’s important to you, and what’s relevant to your book’s genre, followers will feel a connection to you — and your book.

5. Match the tone of your tweets to your book.
Is your novel lighthearted and humorous? If so, refrain from posting dark, serious content. If your book is non-fiction and aimed toward professionals, your posts should be professional and credible as well. Is your book historical fiction or a fitness guide? Draw from other sources (historical photographs and events, or tips from your own journey toward fitness) to provide content that is informative and/or entertaining, and — most important — linked to your own book.

6. Engage with your followers.
Show your friends and followers that you’re engaged and grateful for them by responding to their comments. You can also continue the dialogue with questions: What should you name your next Western hero? What weight loss tips have worked for them? What’s the scariest setting for a horror novel? Always be personable, polite, and calm in your responses. And don’t engage with trolls or react to negative comments to avoid coming across as immature or unprofessional.

Remember: Building a strong social media platform takes time. If you’re just starting out, be patient — and be social, even if it goes against your introverted nature. If your book is still in the works, now is the perfect time to start building this platform and generate a little hype. Then, when the big day arrives, you can post across multiple social media sites that your book is published and available to the public!

If you’re unsure how to get started with social media and make connections with your target readers, Outskirts Press can help! Tap into the power of social media with our Social Media Set-Up and Strategy Toolkit. This valuable service is 10% off during the month of June.” Enter promo code soclmedten at checkout to receive the discount.

Have You Published a Children’s Book? Here’s How to Market It.

Children’s books may just be the purest distillation of self-publishing perfection: they’re beautiful, they have universal appeal to readers of all ages, and they pack an emotional punch which leaves readers hungry for more. But if you’ve recently self-published a children’s book, you already know that marketing your book successfully can still pose some unique challenges, regardless of these qualities. It’s time to put your creative gifts back to work, and to take advantage of your book’s unique place in the self-publishing marketplace. But how? Here are three simple suggestions to get you started.

ONE: Think of your book as an event, not an object.

Children’s books are best enjoyed collectively, aren’t they? Whether we’re talking about a grandparent reading aloud to a pack of children on the couch; or a librarian holding forth to a cluster of kids during Story Hour; or an educator teaching sight words to a roomful of young, eager minds, children’s books are events, not just physical objects that one can hold in the hand. When it comes to marketing, spend some time early on brainstorming all of the various contexts in which you see your book being enjoyed … and then start planning how you can make those events happen. And don’t just think analog … digital context matters, too! Think of all those book reviews on YouTube and TikTok; and look at all those readers on Goodreads who might love discovering your book with their children or grandchildren.

Nowadays, holding a book-reading event may not be enough to motivate parents to open their pocketbooks; they want to be convinced that there is more to your book than what can be experienced in a single reading. Many children’s are easy to pick up once and never again. So when you think about hosting an event, think about how to ensure it’s an engaging one that inspires children to enjoy it over and over again. Find ways to make clear connections to ancillary materials like related activities, website material, and educator-friendly resources. The point is to demonstrate that your book is worth coming back to, time and time again.

TWO: Schools are key, and schools are hard.

If you haven’t already developed educational supplements around your children’s book, that is a good place to start. For instance, collect activities and further readings, media, and so forth that relates to your children’s book. Package it as an educational unit. That way, when you arrange to visit a classroom or run a workshop for local teachers, you have already made it easy for them to meet state and federal core requirements.

Yes, schools are a difficult nut to crack, but if you really want your children’s book to move, you need to access them. Since teachers typically rely on resources that have been approved by, or perhaps even provided by, large traditional publishing houses and their marketing teams, gaining credibility is of utmost importance.  Level the playing field by winning a few awards, such as garnering recognition from the Mom’s Choice Awards, for example.  The opportunity schools offer makes the effort worthwhile.

THREE: Make hay while the sun shines … and the sun shines around the world!

Some of the most underutilized opportunities for children’s book authors are book fairs, and there are so many wonderful ones around the world to choose from! These days, it’s easy to take part, too, as self-publishing companies like Outskirts Press offer Global Book Tour packages designed to get your book in front of and into the hands of educational administrators, librarians, retailers, parents, and readers in an efficient and effective way.

If you are looking to market your children’s book, there’s never been a better time than now to inquire. Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com and check out our Marketing Solutions menu. And to see our staff picks of amazing children’s books from many of our authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here.

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Top 5 Benefits of a Virtual Book Tour

Book marketing has changed due to the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic. However, thanks to modern technology, you can take your book on tour without ever leaving your home. Take your book on the virtual road and connect with bloggers and readers all over the globe with the Virtual Book Tour Launch.

Being able to market your book efficiently while following social distancing guidelines is just one of the benefits of a virtual book tour. Following are five additional benefits:

    1. It’s faster, less expensive, and more convenient to “tour” from in front of your computer than from town to town in your car.  (That’s 3 benefits right there, and there are still 4 more to go!)
    2. It’s an opportunity to engage with readers.  Your appearance on blogs may generate reader comments, which you are encouraged to respond to.
    3. More book sales and book reviews. The whole point of going on a virtual book tour is to generate book sales, but you may discover an added benefit- the resulting book reviews, which will, in turn, become MORE book sales, and so on and so forth.
    4. Virtual Book Tours last “forever.”  On a “real” book tour, it’s over the minute you get home.  But a virtual book tour is archived and searchable online forever, available for search engines (and your readers) to discover days, months, or even years later.  And due to the power of POD and distribution-on-demand, your book will still be available for sale when those orders come in.
    5. Word of mouth.  While the initial “tour” may be a whirlwind, you may discover an additional benefit due to word-of-mouth.  Bloggers know each other, which can turn into more “appearances” down the road; and readers know each other (just ask members of GoodReads), which may turn into additional sales and reviews down the road, even if those secondary readers didn’t see you “on tour.”

Speaking of road, it used to be a long, hard road to put together a Virtual Book Tour on your own.  But Outskirts Press makes it easy with our Virtual Book Tour Launch…and for a limited time, you can save 10% on this valuable marketing opportunity!

To save 10% instantly on your Virtual Book Tour Launch, enter promo code savetenvbt at checkout. But hurry, this incredible offer expires soon!

3 Ways to Improve Your Marketing Plan in 2021

Almost every blog, workshop, and website on the subject of self-publishing advocates for creating a book marketing plan even before your book has been printed. You will already have read about a number of marketing methods, from virtual book tours to book signings to book fair partnerships to glossy mailings featuring your book. Have you followed that advice?

Sometimes, even when we answer “yes” to this question, our sales numbers may not reflect the hard work and the (usually) good advice. You might even be following every piece of advice you’ve received to the letter. So, how could this be? And more importantly, how do we fix the problem?

The simple truth is that your book’s marketing plan may have a fatal flaw, and this flaw may be costing you sales. And truthfully, this is a common problem among self-publishing authors, which means both that you’re not alone and that we’ve figured out a couple of surefire ways to troubleshoot the issues.

Instead of looking at your book marketing plan as an enemy which is actively working against you, ponder these three questions. Your answers might just help reshape your marketing plan to be more insightful, more effective, and more successful at moving your book off of the bookstore shelves.

  1. Have you clearly defined your target market? When you wrote your first book, you just knew that everyone would love it. It would make you the talk of the town (or maybe even the talk of the nation or globe). It would be the “it” book that everyone would want to read. But … that’s a rather lofty goal. Many might even say that it’s an impossible goal, in that even the most successful authors (like Stephen King, Tom Clancy, and Jan Karon) aren’t able to reach everyone with their books. And that’s fine; they have developed loyal followings among readers who are committed to them and their books. That’s where their success lies, and even if you’re not a blockbuster breakout success on the scale of a Stephen King, one can learn from that core truth: loyal followings sell books. How, then, do you seek them out? First, ignore all of the white noise, and dispense with the idea that your book is for everyone. There isn’t a book on Earth that’s for everyone. So, who is your book for? What is your intended audience? Start locking in the details, from demographic details like age and occupation to the qualities they look for in books. Define your target audience with care, and with specificity. If you can’t name some specific characteristics, you won’t be able to market to them.
  2. Have you figured out what differentiates your book from the other books available to your target market? Can you tell us why your book is both different from and better than any other book on the market in its genre? Is there a lesson taught in your book? Are your characters easier to relate to? There has to be a reason why readers want to buy your spy thriller instead of the latest from John le Carré. As daunting as it is to consider as a competitor THE AUTHOR who leads the pack in terms of sales in your genre, doing so will help you figure out your book’s strengths. You aren’t just churning out another Vince Flynn action book; you’re publishing a book with its own strengths of plot and character. Find out what makes your book special and use that as your unique value proposition … in marketing as well as every other context.
  3. Have you updated your book marketing plan lately? The book marketing industry, like any other, evolves with blinding speed. If you don’t keep your plans up to date, your plan can easily become irrelevant and your book sales will flag. We recommend that authors review and update their book marketing plan at least once per year, and that they make sure to get other eyes on their plan than their own as well. Having that external insight is vital and important to making sure that every detail of your marketing plan serves a purpose!

Have your book sales been flagging and you can’t figure out why? Perhaps it’s time to consult with one of our Book Marketing Specialists? Right now, Outskirts Press is offering an instant 10% savings off the regular price of $349 when you claim 5 hours of 1-on-1 marketing assistance with a book marketing specialist. Enter promo code savetenbms at check out to receive 10% off instantly.

Resolutions Every Author Should Have for the New Year!

Structured and manageable goals are important to those of us who consider ourselves works in progress. Well, it’s that time of year when we all start thinking about those goals — in this case, New Year’s resolutions. They’re especially necessary to moving a book from an unknown publication to a chart-topper. It’s a big project!

But, whether you’re just starting to figure out marketing or already a best-selling author, there are simple things you can resolve to do in 2021 that will make you an even better at selling … or simply a better you. Here are resolutions for published authors or anyone bent on self-improvement.

  1. Set goals. “Wait, I thought a resolution was a goal!” Well, yes, it is, in a sense. Ideally, your New Year’s resolution is the culmination of your goals throughout the year. It’s important — and ultimately more productive — to make goal-setting a habit, not just a tradition we do once a year and promptly forget. So set lots of small, attainable goals rather than one insurmountable to-do you never actually do. For example, if your resolution is to sell 2,000 copies, break it down into smaller goals. Resolve to promote one giveaway in January, schedule a book-signing in February, then a book fair in March and so on for the entire year. Or, set a goal to schedule 20 book-signings next year and average 10 sales per event. Way less intimidating, right?
  2. Facilitate goals. If you’ve resolved to sell big in the new year without so much as a marketing calendar in the house, you’ve not facilitated your goals or your year’s resolution. Remove barriers to progress and instate conditions that help you achieve. Buy an entry-level PC for getting on social media to promote or gather a list of bookstores you can call to set up events. Then, resolve to reach out until you get the bookings you need to fulfill your resolution.
  3. Make marketing a priority. Once you’ve divided your marketing resolutions into smaller goals, it’s much easier to give them top priority. Knock out those little to-do’s first thing in the morning!
  4. Read, read, read. Top-notch authors are always top-notch readers. Get to know your genre not just by practicing it but by being an avid consumer of it. That way, you’ll get to know your audience and what appeals to them.
  5. Master the basics of social media. No matter what your stripe, there are many others with similar interests on social media. Facebook “friend” other authors and readers, and learn from them. Follow publishers. Rub elbows with book clubs. You’ll find kindred spirits in the virtual world who can enlighten you with real wisdom. Use that wisdom to refine how you communicate with potential readers.
  6. Try something new. Make 2021 the year you branch out. Start a blog. Meet new people with similar interests. These new experiences will all enrich and inform so many other aspects of your life. At the very least, you’ll be a more social and well-rounded person. Hey, you might even discover a whole new audience for your book!
  7. Just do you. Yes, you should be reading a lot, meeting people and making connections that pay off in sales. Ultimately, you’ll assimilate all these influences into a voice that is uniquely yours, and you’ll find your true audience. Don’t fight it — feed it.
  8. Consider “cheating” a little. Many of us are afraid to ask for help. It feels lazy, like we’re cutting corners. Let us put your mind at ease: It’s not cheating to ask for help reaching your marketing goals! In fact, it’s pretty smart, if you ask us. And, if you’ve tried new things, delved into social media and checked off other goals, you likely have crossed paths with new people who may be able to help you get past the hump. Reach out to friends and family to help you get the word out or purchase inexpensive marketing service options to help you reach the goals you set on the road to your resolution. (Even full-time professionals parse out their duties from time to time.)

Whatever your resolution, the important thing is to keep moving, to take whatever steps necessary to move you toward fulfilling the great things you planned for your life.

Need help moving toward your New Year’s resolution? Visit our website for our complete list of book publishing and marketing services and to schedule a consultation with a Publishing Consultant.

 

Tips for Using Video to Promote Books

It probably isn’t news to you that video is an important tool in your toolbox as a self-publishing author, and a critical part of your ongoing marketing strategy. So what videos should you be making, and how do you put those videos to work to sell more books?

The Outskirts Press Book Marketing Resource Center offers the answers to these questions (and more) by way of a new flip book titled Using Video to Promote Books. This is just one of the many eBooks addressing aspects of book marketing in the Book Marketing Resource Center and this library of eBooks is FREE for all authors who publish with Outskirts Press.

Here are three tips for getting started with video promotions, inspired by this new flip book:

1. Different audiences call for different videos.

When people put “book” and “video” in the same paragraph, the kind of video they’re usually talking about is a book trailer. And yes, a book trailer is fantastic for helping to generate buzz in the lead up to a book’s publication. It is not, however, the only kind of video worth making! Fans and followers gravitate to “how-to” and “behind-the-scenes” clips as well, and as safe distancing becomes a part of daily life, short clips of you reading excerpts from your book can help you connect with readers in lieu of a live and in-person reading. The key is to ask for each of your social media platforms: What kind of video would have the most effect right here and right now?

2. Upload your video

Creating a YouTube channel is free, and it happens to come along with a bundle of customizations. It’s easy to look up templates and tutorials using YouTube’s own search function. Making your YouTube channel beautiful is secondary to making people aware that you have one, so make sure you not only upload your video, but that you promote it too.

3. Get social

Fans accessing links to online videos from Twitter and Facebook tend to finish videos more frequently than those who stumble across your book trailer via a search engine due to the simple fact that social context means everything to readers. After uploading your book trailer to YouTube and your personal website, tweet about it! Post it to Facebook! Most importantly, ask people to like and share your video. Spread the word across all of your social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Tumblr, and everywhere else you have a digital presence (even TikTok!). This will serve as part of your promotional strategy for raising awareness about your book video trailer, but it also will serve as a boost to your overall digital footprint.

When you are ready to write, publish, and market your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively, visit OutskirtsPress.com. And if you have already published with us, make sure to check out this and all of the other fabulous flip books available through your FREE Book Marketing Resource Center.

 

Book Marketing Series 3 (out of 3): Implement

Over the last two days, we’ve discussed book marketing phases that all published authors (self-published or otherwise) would be wise to heed. Phase 1 involves planning, and includes 5 questions, which are:

1. What are your goals with this book?
2. What is your competition?
3. How will you and your book stand-out?
4. What is your “platform?”
5. What are your strengths and weakness?

Phase 2 involves answering those questions, assembling resources available to address them, and identifying holes that require professional 3rd party help.

red and black book on brown wooden table
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

That brings us to the 3rd phase: Implementation.

This is where the rubber meets the road, both literally and along the digital highway. It is important to realize that marketing a book is a two-lane street, as in, it’s a physical and virtual one. Not surprisingly, authors tend to gravitate to one side of the road or the other (and no, it doesn’t matter whether they live in the US or the UK). It depends upon the “type” (no pun intended) of person they are!

Very generally speaking, extroverted authors tend to like physical in-person marketing venues better. Think book signings, author events, in-studio interviews, book launch parties, physical book tours, bookstore appearances, book expos (BEA, Frankfurt, London, et al), library readings, etc.

On the other side of the road, introverted authors prefer digital and virtual marketing tactics. Think book video trailers on YouTube, virtual book tours throughout the blogosphere, Facebook Groups, Goodreads Communities, lots of Amazon book reviews, lots of book award contests, Zoom book parties/readings/launches, affiliate & joint venture marketing, etc.

As you can see, regardless of what side of the road you prefer to drive on, you have the right-of-way.  But you need to drive down both sides if you want your book to succeed!  Half of it is going to be easy and fun for you (and you can hire another “driver” for the challenging parts of the drive that you are not comfortable with). Simply put, all you have to do is start your engines and realize that publishing a book isn’t the finish line—it’s the starting line! Marketing a book is like driving on the autobahn. Sure, there may be some bumps in the road, a few twists and turns along the way, but nothing blows your hair back quite like the feeling of knowing that there are people out there reading the words that came from your mind.  Now, that’s a goal every writer can relate to, and strategically marketing your book as early as possible is the best way to feel the roar of that particular engine.  Hint: It is NEVER too late to start marketing a book you have published.  Even if you published your book 5-10 years ago, if no one has heard of it, EVERYTHING you do will seem new to everyone else.  Don’t let the year of your book prevent you from revving its engine.

So, put your pedal to the metal (book award medals, that is) and tackle these three ways to market your book before, during, and after publishing it.  The only thing you’ll be found guilty of is a passion for writing, reading, and life.  What a way to live, and live-on, in infamy!

 

 

Book Marketing Series 2 (out of 3): Assemble

Yesterday, we discussed one of the first phases of book marketing on this blog: Planning. After all, for many writers, the idea of publishing a book they’ve written is exciting but rarely does the idea of marketing their book hold the same appeal. Many think it will just fly off the shelves on it’s own.

That is rarely the case. So yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we are discussing three different phases of successful book marketing.

Let’s continue with PHASE TWO: ASSEMBLING.

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Photo by Juhasz Imre on Pexels.com

Yesterday’s post discussed planning, and introduced 5 important questions, which, as a reminder, are:

  1. What are your goals with this book?
  2. What is your competition?
  3. How will you and your book stand-out?
  4. What is your “platform?”
  5. What are your strengths and weakness?

Once you have your answers to those five questions, you can begin to assemble information, resources, and “advantages” that already lay at your fingertips. You can also begin to identify “holes” in your plan that need to be filled in, either through time/effort on your part, or by 3rd-party assistance that you will need to budget for.

1. If your goal is to leave your legacy, what will you need to reach that goal? What materials need to be in the book to satisfy that goal? Pictures? Personal stories from loved ones? What does marketing to friends and family look like? Social media will probably be involved, so what is your comfort level with it? If your goal is to make gobs of money, how realistically does your book fit with that goal? What does marketing and promoting a bestseller look like? Do you have the time and resources to do that, or will you need book marketing assistance from someone who does that for a living?

2. How much do you know about your competition? Investigate your core competitors as thoroughly as possible. Check out their Amazon listing. “Stalk” them on social media. Learn as much as you can about how they market their book and themselves as writers. Read books that are in competition with yours.

3. What resources or accolades do you have to help yourself stand-out from the competition? For example, do you need to receive some book reviews and/or book awards to stand-out? If so, now you know where to start your marketing efforts, and you can even begin those efforts before the book is published. For example, once you have your proof copy from your publisher, you can email some ARCs (advanced review copies) to reviewers. Who knows? You might even get a blurb worth adding to your cover in advance of initial publication. Do you have a “hook” that identifies your USP (unique selling position)?

4. How are you going to establish your platform once you have envisioned it in your mind? Will your promotion efforts focus largely on the local stage, or be more focused nationally, globally, or universally?

5. What marketing strenghths and weakness do you have? Are you an accomplished copy editor, or would a professional set of eyes help you avoid post-publication embarrassment? Are you a Facebook fanatic, proficient with Pinterest, and twitterpated with Twitter? Those strengths are going to be invaluable when it comes time to market your book. On the other hand, if you don’t know YouTube from MySpace, you’re going to need marketing assistance. Find experts and solicit their help.

Stay tuned for part three tomorrow as we continue to discuss book marketing…

Book Marketing Series 1 (out of 3): Plan

For many authors, the idea of writing and publishing a book is an exciting prospect but rarely does the idea of marketing a book hold the same appeal. Well, it’s time to get excited! Over the next three days, Self-Publishing News is going to discuss three different phases of successful book marketing that you can explore before, during, or after your publication is complete.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Let’s begin with PHASE ONE: PLANNING.

Regardless of where you are in the publication process, it’s not a bad idea to make a plan, and then to revisit and (if necessary) fine-tune it multiple times throughout the process. In fact, it is not a bad idea to have a planning session with yourself while (or before, even!) writing the book. Yes, writing a book is exciting, fulfilling, and life-affirming (and sometimes life-changing), but doing it well (i.e., successfully) also requires viewing it like a business. And what do all successful business begin with? A business plan.

Begin by asking yourself the following questions before, during, and/or after the writing/publishing/marketing process:

a) What do you want to accomplish by writing and publishing your book? Are you writing an autobiography to leave your legacy for your children and your family? Or are you writing an autobiography to make gobs and gobs of money? Depending upon your goals, your marketing efforts (and your expectations) will be drastically different. Clearly identify all your goals as early into the process as you can.

b) What is your competition? Every business plan includes a section about the competition. If you are writing a non-fiction book, research how saturated your niche is. If you are writing a fiction book, become familiar with other authors in that genre, how successful they are, and what THEY do to market their books.

c) How will you and your book stand-out? Once you identify your competition, you can identify your own USP (unique selling proposition). In other words, why would a potential reader choose your book over your competition?  Does your background offer an exclusive level of insight? Is your book going to be less expensive, more award-winning, more entertaining, humorous, or educational?

d) What is your “platform?” Companies often call this concept their “brand,” which is an accurate term when discussing authors, too. Nike is a brand. Stephen King is a brand. Gucci is a brand. Tony Robbins is a brand. What do all these businesses/authors/speakers have in common? They have identified their unique platform, and everything they do builds upon that platform. What is your platform? How will you build upon it?

e) What are your strengths and weakness? Focus your energy and effort into your strengths and plan on seeking professional help where your weaknesses may hinder you. Nike, Stephen, Gucci, and Tony all have professional help in the areas where they are “weak.” You don’t think they got to where they are by themselves, do you? Everyone needs and deserves professional help.

Stay tuned for part two tomorrow where we continue to discuss book marketing…