Book Marketing – Take the Long View

- June 6, 2020 - 3 min. read

Book Marketing – Take the Long View

It’s no secret that many authors dread book marketing. Some feel it is out of their league; many say they don’t have time. Others don’t have the patience to allow their efforts to produce results.

All marketing takes time. You’ll have hits and misses along the way, you’ll evaluate your efforts and adjust your strategy – the goal is to keep moving forward.

But how do you know if your strategy works? Let’s look at some ways you can determine if you are on the right track:

Social media – it’s about building connections

There are many authors on social media who essentially blast self-promotional posts all day long.

Does it work? If your goal is to have a lot of activity on social media, this strategy is a win. If you’re hoping for book reviews, or speaking engagements, or to be seen as an expert in your field then broadcasting 24/7 is not the way to go.

First, do your research to determine which networks your potential followers use the most.

Before you start posting, spend some time seeing what these people talk about. Become familiar with the topics that are popular, look for ways you can join conversations.

Then you’re ready to start posting, asking questions, offering answers, and following the people you want to connect with.

You won’t get results overnight, but you should see steady growth in followers.

More importantly, you will know your social media strategy works when people share what you have to say, ask you questions, and join in your conversations.

Blogging – it’s about building authority

When you start a blog it’s easy to feel you are talking to no one.

It takes months to build traffic, and probably two years minimum for a blog to really develop a steady readership. But if you’re serious about having a blog and becoming a go-to person in your area of expertise, you have to give your blog time to grow.

Be sure to share posts on social media. Become an active participant on other blogs because you’ll build relationships that will lead people to your blog. Get to know other bloggers and offer to guest blog. The more you reach out, the more opportunities you’ll gain.

Marketing can be an expensive and complicated process, but you can easily take control of that. There are a multitude of website builders out there which enable authors to create and take control of their branding. In their website, they can add order forms, portfolios and a little bit about themselves.

There are as many website builders as there are brands, but Lars Lofgren of QuickSprout has written a focused guide on the most user-friendly, intuitive and inexpensive website builders.

Reviews – it’s about building connections

Seeking book reviews can be time-consuming and frustrating. But you’re also building a solid fan base.

Your first book is the most difficult challenge and you’ll hear a lot of “no’s.”

Don’t be discouraged.

The ones who do review your book are the ones you want to cultivate. Get them onto your email list so you can let them know when your next book is ready for review. See if some of them want to be Beta readers for future books. That small group will grow over time. Be sure to thank reviewers who take the time to read your book, and share their reviews. A little gratitude can go a long way.

Marketing – it’s about exposure

There’s no magic formula for book marketing. It takes focus (preferably in the form of a plan) and hard work.

You want to find multiple ways to get exposure for yourself and your books. This does not mean you need to join every social network – find one or two where your readers hang out. You do not need to blog daily – try once a week.

You don’t need hundreds of reviews – appreciate the reviews you do get and develop relationships with the readers who enjoy your work.

It’s easy to give up when you don’t see immediate results. Understand that marketing does take time but use these methods to gauge whether your book marketing is headed in the right direction. And remember, it took time to write and publish your book. It will take time to see results from your book marketing, but it’s time well spent.

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Paula Krapf is a social media, digital content, and PR consultant/strategist. She oversees content creation and engagement on various social media platforms, and develops and manages online promotions.