The simple act of putting your book on Amazon does not a marketing plan make and contrary to what your mom, family and friends may think, or perhaps what you’ve been told in your writers group: your book is not the field of dreams. Just the mere act of publishing won’t bring droves of people beating a path to your door.So what’s an author to do? Well the good news is it’s deceptively simple!
- Build your fan base: Fans, and Super Fans in particular will really help you to market your book. In fact if you really engage with your Super Fans they may often help you sell your book, and wouldn’t that be great? So how do you build this fan base? Well, I talk a lot about putting a letter in the back of your book, something engaging, inviting, something that encourages readers to contact you. Building a loyal base is worth its weight in gold and if you really want to not spend your life marketing your books, then you must invest in the fans that find you organically. I have a longer Super Fan article on this if you want to dig into this further, you can see it here.
- Pitch Reviewers: I know how tedious this is, but if you only pitch five bloggers a week that’s twenty new blog pitches in a month. And it does add up. You should always pitch your book consistently to bloggers, readers, Amazon reviewers, etc. Not sure how to find them. Check out these links for a list of bloggers you can pitch:
- Boost your Amazon visibility: It’s hard not to venture onto our blog without seeing a post about Amazon Optimization. Yes, I’m a huge fan of it but not just because I wrote a book about it, but because it works. If you want Amazon to (almost) market your book for you, you must check your keyword strings and categories. If you have single keywords replace them with actual keyword strings. If you want to dig deeper here, check out this piece on how to find keywords.
- Blog & Social Media: I get that this is a turn off for most authors. You already have another book you want to write and now I want you to blog and be on social media, too? Well, yes but don’t overthink this. Be interesting, or be funny, or “open the Kimono” as they say and share a glimpse of a writer’s life. The blogs don’t have to be long, in fact some of the best posts aren’t. But they should be interesting, insightful, even funny if being humorous is your thing. How often do I want you to blog? Well twice a week, once at a bare minimum. In terms of social media, keep in mind that it’s not about being everywhere but everywhere that matters. If you only have time for one site then do just one site. Post one piece of content a day, that’s it. It literally takes less than 5 minutes, and it’s free. Engage, build fans, and network.Whatever you do, whether it’s one of these things or all of them (rock star!) do it consistently. One blog post every once in a while, one social media update or one pitch to a blogger will not move the needle but done consistently this will have an affect on your success.All of these things are easy to work into a schedule and some (like the Amazon keywords) only have to be done one time, or a couple times a year if you’re in a popular genre with lots of new competition coming in. If you wrote a book, you owe it to yourself and the book you spent so much time on to do something, even if its at the smallest level.
It’s easy to throw your hands up and say: I don’t get it!
And believe me when I say that I see this a lot, authors giving up, walking away.
When I was first in business I hated a lot about what I was required to do. Taxes and accounting are a great example of that. I did this myself for a while and it wasn’t pretty but I did it and it got me through. When I finally had the means to I outsourced this. I’m glad I didn’t walk away from my business just because I sort of suck at math. Why am I telling you this story? Well, to emphasize the fact that we all have pieces we hate to do but if this journey and your book are important to you, you’ll make time to do them or learn how.
You only fail if you fail to try!