Now is the time to focus on how to market a self-published book while so many of us are home and looking for something to keep us busy. Entertainment needs are at an all-time high.
Also consider this: most (if not all) TV shows and movies have had to stop production – so new content will be in high demand.
If you’ve been holding off figuring out how to market a self-published book because you feel there’s too much going on, I would encourage you to reconsider that. Smart authors are out there promoting their book – even if their in-person events have been canceled, they’re opting to do other things instead.
Or maybe you just have a lot of extra time on your hands and are wondering how to make the most of your free time. While there’s a lot you *could* be doing, I thought it might be a better idea to pull together the top 13 things you could be doing right now, to maximize your time at home, and rock out your book marketing during quarantine!
- Update your Amazon Book Page: I have written a lot of posts on this very topic – if you’ve bookmarked them and thought: when I have time – well, now you probably do. Whatever you’ve been waiting to do, do it now.
- Update your Author Central Page: If you haven’t tricked out your Author Central Page, it’s a good time to give it a polish. Add some of those reviews you’ve been meaning to include in your book description, or just add them to the backend. If you have a non-fiction book, consider adding your table of contents to the book page, or add in an author interview (more on this in a minute).
- Create those Video Shorts for Your Amazon Book Page: These fun, short videos are a fun way for readers to get to know you better, which is really key in figuring out how to market a self-published book successfully. You can record and upload them from your phone.It doesn’t get much easier than that. So, what would you record? Well, just about anything.Talk about characters in your book, what inspired you to write it, maybe tips from your book if you’ve written non-fiction – even a short video from a book event or talk you gave. The sky is the limit!
- Add that Author Interview to your Amazon Book Page: You’ve been meaning to do it, haven’t you? Well now is the time. Add an author interview or five things you didn’t know about me, either one helps your readers learn a little bit more about you, which is always a good thing!
- Consider Customizing your Book Description: I spoke with an author the other day who wrote a book about anxiety – I suggested that she update her book description with a lead-in mentioning Covid-19 and how much anxiety people are experiencing. There’s no reason you can’t mention any natural tie-ins your book has to current events – it doesn’t have to be the coronavirus, it can be anything from pop culture to politics, and anything in between.
- Do Some Local Promotion: I just did a blog post on newsjacking the coronavirus, if you think you have a topic that can lend itself to this discussion, now is a great time to pitch this. Or maybe you want to share a virtual event you did, when your in-person book signing got canceled?Local promotion is a great way to not only gain visibility and build your media appearances, but it’s a nice way to add some new readers! Newsjacking the Coronavirus
- Start Building your Fan Base: This is a great time to get started on building your fan base. Maybe you thought about it and said: when I have time. Well guess what? You probably do. Ready to dig into this? Here’s a blog post on this topic! Building Your Fan Base
- Set up Amazon Advertising: You’ve been considering it, maybe you even read my book and thought it sounded like a great idea. Well it is, especially now. So put that Netflix series on pause and get started on your Amazon ads. I have an entire section dedicated to this in my book which you can get here: How to Sell Books by the Truckload
- Create Some Video for Amazon: Aside from the Amazon Video Shorts, you can also create video that you upload via your Amazon Author Central Page. Here again pretty much anything book-related is great: speaking or signing events, book trailers, more insight into your development or writing process, behind-the-scenes – give readers more insight into you, your process, and your book!
- Offer a Limited Time Discount: Consumers are looking for a distraction right now, and a great way to get in front of new readers is with a limited-time discount on your eBook. Plan one that lasts a day or two days and share it with all your followers – invite them to share it with their friends.You could also offer a BOGO, buy one, get one – if you wanted to push your book without doing an eBook discount.
- Did Your Book Event Cancel? Want to know how to market a self-published book when your events have been cancelled? This is a great time to move it online!Offer to do a virtual event instead. Nearly all of my Q1 and Q2 speaking gigs have canceled, but most of them are converting to online events – which is a fabulous idea.People are hungry for content right now. Why not move your book talk to Zoom or Facebook Live?
- Share in new ways: With so many of us online, especially now, sites like Wattpad are great places to begin excerpting your book to gather more of this reader audience. Though you could also share excerpts on your social media channel(s) or via Goodreads.
- Get Friends and Family Involved: Most authors are hesitant about involving friends and family in their promotion – but guess what? We’re all in the same boat – many of us quarantined and, frankly, a little bored.Now is a great time to ask your friends for a little help. Ask them to push out your book promo (maybe your discounted eBook?) to their social media or their friends list!Or if you aren’t doing a special promo, just ask them if they wouldn’t mind recommending your book to their friends.
While it’s tempting to sit around and cue up Netflix, this is a fantastic opportunity to get ahead of the game and make some lucrative decisions about how to market a self-published book effectively before the world comes back online again. I hope these tips prove helpful to you and I hope you all stay safe and well!
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