In a recent podcast we covered the complexities of promoting an older book, and shared a lot of book marketing tips for how to make the most of the hard work you put into writing and publishing it!
Below are some stand out excerpts from the show, but it doesn’t cover all the tips we shared, so we encourage you to listen to the whole episode (and others!) by visiting: https://www.amarketingexpert.com/podcast/
An Older Book Can’t Be Treated Like a New Book
We get lots of authors coming to us assuming if they didn’t focus on book marketing when their title was released, or it didn’t get much attention, it can be treated “like new” and that’s just not the case.
That doesn’t mean you give up, but it does mean you have to be realistic about what strategies make the most sense and the limitations that do come with an older book. But either way, there’s no reason to waste all the time and energy you put into the book’s creation – you must do something.
Also, let’s define “old” because I think that needs to be mentioned first. Because there’s old and there’s OLD – I find that if a book is fiction, it doesn’t age as quickly as a non-fiction book, which tends to get outdated quicker, but this isn’t true for all non-fiction.
It All Comes Down to Evergreen Content
There’s definitely evergreen content out there, topics that don’t change year after year. Two easy examples are memoirs and cookbooks, even self-help and self-improvement depending on the approach the author took. But a lot of industry-related books age much quicker, not only because they’re super competitive and someone new is always trying to do the next, better version, but a lot of industries evolve rapidly Penny you obviously deal with this writing marketing books.
Let’s talk about things that are off the table, in terms of older titles and book marketing. The more a book ages, the harder it is to get reviews.
If the book has evergreen content there’s still creative ways to get reader reviews. This is definitely true for fiction, and even non-fiction with evergreen content. And as you mentioned, if something happens in the news or current events that ties to your older book, you can use that angle to pitch bloggers and maybe even some print and broadcast media, depending on how strong the connection is and how strong your platform is.
Reviewers have a narrow window of interest – and understandably so, I mean they get pitched for new books all the time, so if your book is 9-12 months old or more, it might be tough to get book blogger interest.
There are No Time Limits on Goodreads
If you have a book that resonates on Goodreads, and technically this is a wide variety of books, the only iffy ones are really niche industry books, but giveaways are a great way to get older books in new hands and drum up exposure with a wider audience, with zero limitations on the book’s publication date – Goodreads is a solid book marketing option for most authors because it’s a captive audience of users strictly focused on books and reading.
Stay Relevant Between Releases
If you have a non-fiction book that’s older, you can stay relevant by staying on top of your topic and pitching yourself to the media to hook into an ongoing story.
Social is important for staying relevant in general. If your book is older but you have a history of speaking to the topic and acting as a thought leader on social it shows you have staying power and dedication – which is something you can use as leverage with the media to stand out and improve your chances of being considered.
It Goes Beyond Book Marketing Activities
Reviving an older book – let’s say you want to start promoting it again, or maybe it came out and something happened and you couldn’t kickstart your book marketing it in a timely fashion. Redo the cover and upload it, a cover refresh is always fun to help give the book a little boost.
You can almost always improve your description on Amazon too. Time gives us valuable insight, as do reviews.
It’s also a good idea to have consistent reviews on your book – because it’s a funny thing with reviews, if I see a book that’s 5 years old but the reviews are consistent – it gives the book a sense of newness.
If a book is old and the last review came in a long time ago, it shows there’s a lack of interest for a reason, honestly it implies the author gave up and so did readers. If the book is older but has current, positive reviews it shows it’s stood the test of time!
At the End of the Day Impressions Matter
So an approach as simple as doing discount eBook promotions and Bookbub ads for your older book in prep for another release is a fantastic way to get your name and brand in front of genre and topic readers, which will serve as accumulated impressions for your next book – more simply – once your next book comes out readers will hopefully say, “Wait, I just saw this author’s name on another book…” and the psychology behind that is real, it’s a great trigger for interest.
Do you have an older book you’d like to invest some TLC in? We have lots of ways to help, contact us today!