Here we are at the start of a brand new year, and if you’re already asking how to market a self published book and ready to get serious about your book promotion, you aren’t alone.
Reinvention is a common theme this time of year, and book marketing is no exception. We’re all about revamping and restarting our lives in new and fresh ways, and the best way to accomplish this is to create new habits.
Getting into the habit of marketing your book isn’t hard, though it feels less creative to say it that way. Establishing a routine where you complete one book marketing task a day feels, well, dull.
But let’s look at it another way: every single one of those small tasks can add up to big results.
If you’re like most authors I’ve worked with, your initial push of book promotion was probably pretty solid. You had a checklist of things you did – some worked great, while others worked less well. But you got it done.
When it comes to how to market a self published book in 2021, however, the question is really what will you do to keep moving in the right direction?
Unless they have promotions on the horizon, like an eBook deal or an event, I find that authors often get caught in this in-between phase where the seeds have been planted, but nothing has quite come up yet. It’s tempting to sit and wait for something to grow.
But that’s not how a successful book promotion campaign should be run. Here are some practical tips on how to market a self published book in 2021 and beyond!
Pick Two (or Three) Book Marketing Strategies for the Long-Term
Because it’s early in 2021, I’ve talked a lot about goal setting and establishing a solid foundation for the new year. The same is true for your book marketing strategies.
Ideally you know what your focus is – maybe you want more reviews or more engagement on social media. Maybe you want more speaking.
Remember that every big goal needs to get chunked down into pieces that are more bite-sized and manageable. In an earlier blog post, I talked about creating smart book marketing goals (link below), and now is the time to really dig in and figure out what yours are.
Create a Simple, Repeatable Process for Success
Your daily book marketing should be easily repeatable; you don’t want to spend each morning figuring out what the day will bring. By repeatable, I don’t mean boring.
Remember, you’re personalizing an approach for how to market a self published book by creating steps you can take each day to get closer to your goal.
Let’s say your goal is to get more reviews for your book. Your daily list might resemble the one below.
- Find 1-2 new bloggers to pitch my book to this week.
- Dig through a hashtag appropriate to my topic and find folks who might be interested in reviewing my book (offer them a free copy).
- Ping my email list (once a month) and ask for reviews!
- Research other books in my genre to see where they’ve appeared on blogs; those outlets might be good ones to add to my pitch list!
Now you may say: if this is a daily list, why is my newsletter on there? Because you might send your newsletter more frequently, maybe even once a week.
And even if you don’t, newsletters take time. Adding this to a daily list will remind you to find and save interesting tidbits for your next/future issues.
You’ll be glad you added this task to your To Do list when newsletter day arrives and you already have some content to work with!
How to Market a Self Published Book – Smartly: Variety is Key
As you begin to execute your plan for how to market a self published book, you may exhaust reader reviews or feel like you want to move on to something else; that’s fine. You could, in fact, change up your list every week to focus on a new aspect of your marketing.
One week you might focus on reviews, the next on getting more engagement on social media. The week after that, maybe your focus is on media or pitching yourself to podcasts.
The idea behind this approach is that variety will help you push into several different areas – by assigning a week to each focus – without overwhelming yourself with too many To Dos at once.
Setting up small but repeatable strategies that help push your book promotion along is a great way to generate more buzz and start moving the needle on your book.
Most authors come in hot on book launch day but cool off as the days tick by. Not because they aren’t sure what to do, but because they feel overwhelmed.
Chunking your long-term goals into bite-sized, repeatable pieces will not only get you to where you’re going, but it’ll also help you feel less overwhelmed and like you’ve got the secret sauce for how to market a self published book.
Resources and Free Downloads
FREE Monthly Book Marketing Planner
How to Promote a Book in 2021: Smart Ways to Plan Your Book Marketing Goals in the New Year
21 Awesome Book Marketing Promotions and Predictions for 2021
AME Book Marketing Podcast on Apple Podcasts
Independent Book Publishers Association