They say being an author is tough, but I had no idea exactly how tough until it was time for my book to be published. I am a first time self-help author and at first I thought writing the book was the hardest part. I took a year off work to write it.
I spent months upon months researching and consulting expert psychologists and life coaches to fine tune all the discoveries and messages within the book.
I have since found out that writing the book was only the first challenge. Once it is complete, how do you get people to read it, let alone find out about it?
I would assume that many authors face the same issue, as authors may be great at storytelling, but it is quite likely that they lack the marketing knowledge to make it a success.
I was lucky because my background is in sales, and I often worked closely with the marketing departments in many of the big corporations I have worked at in the past. This exposure helped me realise the importance and the potential of a successful marketing campaign.
If I were to give you any advice, it would be these five book marketing tips that I would recommend any indie author to do to get their book out there and make it a success:
1. Get Book Marketing Help
Do not waste your time trying to do everything yourself. That’s a recipe for disaster. If you really want to give your book a real shot at success, it’s time to call in the experts. For me, I found a local marketing consultant to help me.
While it is often not possible for a first time author to get the help of a full-service marketing agency, there are many alternative options, such as an independent consultant.
2. Be Proud to Promote Your Book
The best way to start building awareness about your book is to start telling people about it yourself!
After all, if you are not going to plug your own book, how do you expect anyone else to help promote it and spread the word for you?
It is a massive accomplishment to publish a book and it’s something you should be proud enough about to shout from the rooftops. I started by telling my friends, family, and people I work with and exercise with at the gym. You’ll be surprised how much momentum this can get you if you do it well.
Word of mouth is the all time best form of marketing. People tell their friends who tell their friends, and that’s how it all starts!
3. Distribute Your Book as Widely as Possible
You name it, I’ve tried it when it comes to book marketing.
Take advantage of all the different avenues out there. You need to have your book available in every place possible to cater for people’s preferences.
For example, some people will only buy hardcovers, and solely from bricks and mortar stores. whereas others prefer to purchase books online, but they will automatically go with what they are comfortable with. Regular book readers have their preferred store (i.e. Book Depository) so if they can’t find it there, you may miss out on the sale.
Some of the main places I have my book available is:
All bricks and mortar book stores (I’m from Australia so that includes Dymocks, Angus & Robertson, Collins and Readings)
4. Make Make Book Marketing Videos
Videos proved to be one of the best marketing mediums I used, and they didn’t have to be fancy. I am a self-help author, so much of my content and messages are about being real, down-to-earth and approachable.
I didn’t feel like a fancy, professional video would portray this image and potentially just be a waste of money. I filmed myself in my lounge room with an iPhone, non-scripted, purely just talking to the camera.
It was a hit.
Everyone loved the authenticity of the video and it really helped to give my audience a sense of what I was like as a person and a chance to get to know me before they bought. I created multiple videos and used them on YouTube, social media and my website.
5. Use Social Media to Promote Your Book
I’m all about social media because it has helped me sell so many books. It’s a fantastic way for authors to get their books out there in front of the exact audience they are targeting, all for a very low cost.
The problem is when everyone is posting on a whim about every thought and what they had for dinner, it can be a challenge to cut through the noise and get seen. You just have to be smart about it.
One of my favorite ways to build exposure for my book is to support an appropriate charity.
For example, my book is a self-help book that explores peoples blockages and teaches them how they can overcome them to be happy. Mental illness is becoming much more prevalent in society than ever before and is a very topical issue at the moment. I harnessed the power of social media to run a charity campaign to raise money for Suicide Prevention Australia from my book sales. For a certain time period, I donated all proceeds from my books sales to this charity. Once the charity got on board and started sharing and retweeting my messages, I really started to get some traction with a new audience.
This method is not just for self-help authors either. You can align yourself with any charity, industry body or influencer that is affiliated with your genre.
Start Marketing Your Book Now
It’s tough, it’s tiring and at times can be very demotivating when you feel like you’re not getting anywhere. But once you start to get some traction, the hard slog will be well worth it.
From absolutely nothing, I was able to become an international bestseller in 5 countries on Amazon and consistently #1 for the Self-help category in Amazon Australia every month.
That’s the power you have at your fingertips when you embrace these five simple book marketing strategies.