Unfortunately there’s a common perception among writers that getting their book listed for sale on Amazon or with other retailers means sales will automatically start to come in. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. If no one knows about your book, no one will buy it! This means that marketing the book is even more important than writing it.
Many authors are so focused on the writing, editing, and production of their book that they don’t start thinking about the marketing until the very end, when it’s almost too late. Whether an author uses a professional book publicist or does all their own marketing, there are several steps an author can take, while the book is still in the publishing process, to set the stage for marketing. Here’s where to start:
First, define the value proposition of the book. What is the purpose/goal of the book, and what will someone who buys it get out of reading the book? This should be done before writing, to make sure your manuscript delivers on the value proposition.
Next, identify the book’s target audience. Who are you trying to reach? Narrow down the sex, age range, level of education, buying habits, etc. of your target buyer. Unlike many authors think, not “everyone” is going to be interested in the topic of your book. Figure out who will and write it for, and market it towards, them.
Third, do your research! What are the other books in your genre/topic? How much are they selling for? How can you make your book different from the competition? What tactics will work best to reach them? These are all things an author should know before they publish a book.
Develop a marketing plan. In the plan, include your target audience and budget, then detail the steps and tactics that will be taken to reach the target audience and promote the book. There are many tactics in this digital age that are used to promote books: social media, blogging, paid ads, press releases, book signings, and more. Determining which ones are best for each book will vary depending on the target audience and genre.
All of the marketing and finances in the world won’t make your book sell if it’s not a quality product. Be sure your book is professionally edited by a book editor, and that you have an attractive and professionally-designed cover. These are things that will definitely make a difference in book sales.