Many writers feel as though once they’ve written the book, the work should be done. In fact, that’s really only the beginning. Author marketing can make or break the success of a book. Promoting a book in today’s congested marketplace can seem like a huge challenge, but there are a number of things an author can do to get the word out, and learning how to market a book is an important part of being a writer.
Social media is crucial. That means posting on Twitter and Facebook and maintaining a blog. However, there are etiquette rules that need to be followed or social media promotion can backfire badly. Authors should remain interesting and engaging on social networks, chatting with readers and potential readers. While the book should be promoted, posts should not primarily be about the book. For example, multiple promotional posts in a day or more than one for every ten or so tweets quickly gets tiresome. Authors should post about themselves and topics related to the book that readers may find interesting. Authors should also avoid adding people to Facebook groups without asking and spamming people with emails or other promotion-related material.
Social media can be a great place to do promotions and let readers handle some of the marketing. For example, for a short time, authors can offer to give free books in a random draw to anyone who retweets a promotional tweet.
Sometimes Kindle books are offered free for promotional reasons. If authors choose to go this route, they should be careful about letting the free promotion last too long. It’s not clear whether free offers actually boost book sales very much. Authors who decide to try this should make an effort to track sales to see if it does lead to an increase. Authors should also reach out to reviewers with high-traffic blogs to offer the book free for review.
Writing regularly for a market on or offline that is related to the topic of the book is another route to promoting a book. For example, authors who have written a horror novel may want to get a gig blogging regularly at a horror site.
It’s important for authors to learn how to market a book. As the book becomes more visible, more requests for interviews and review copies will roll in, and with consistent author marketing, sales will grow as well.