How to promote your book (step by step)
I’ve talked about the lack of understanding on how to promote your book before, in the mistakes self-published authors make. The biggest problems authors have in general, is not understanding that they are building a brand. So many times they look at it like they are trying to sell a single product, like their book. They don’t realize they are really selling themselves, their future and their past. So here in short is a How to promote your book step by step.
There are usually 2 places writers are at when they publish their books. I’m going to combine them. First you may already have a website, and you might already have an audience. If so, then you are here to promote just your book. If you do not have a site, then you are just getting started. Either way, the process is about the same, and I’ll address each as we go.
Step 1 Establish a Presence
Establish a presences on the web. YOU must have control of this platform. I mean DO NOT get a free site. Do not depend on Facebook. Do not use your Amazon author page. Ultimately people can go to Amazon to buy your book, but you want control over the look, feel, and everything else about your Brand. Does Nike let a free site decide how their shoes will be showcased? There are tons of examples of this on the web. I think one of the best is Terribleminds http://terribleminds.com/ramble/blog/. This is a great example of an author controlling his brand. He just had a book it the best sellers list. I bet his audience online had something to do with that. Also, he writes one blog post, EVERY DAY. That’s a professional writer.
If you already have a website, then you will establish a page for the book, and start writing articles that connect to the book and deal with it.
Create a website through Hostmonster (I like them best, we are an affiliate of them. I’ve worked with them for years, use their services, and think they are outstanding), and then start working. You should write something for your site EVERY DAY.
The 3 things you absolutely need on your site:
- About you page
- Blog for every day writes
- Information about your book
I would suggest more, but you MUST HAVE THESE THINGS ON YOUR SITE as a minimum.
Step 2 Connecting Real World and Online
Get involved in communities that are related to your writing. Find message boards, bookstores, coffeehouses, and even game stores anywhere that might house people who you think MIGHT enjoy your book. Then you can do the following.
- Leave flyers/postcards/business cards
- Do a reading
- Library read a book
Step 3 Social networking
This one has been played to death because it works!
- Get a twitter to promote your new articles every day.
- Get an FB page to promote YOU! Put your book on their
- Get a Google plus page and promote the book
- Get a Pinterest page to promote your interests
- Get a Instagram page to promote YOU
I would say this is the absolute minimum for social networks and authors. Remember the pages are for you, not for the book. The pages promote you, and you promote the book.
Step 4 Publishing is just the beginning
You are a marketer now. You have to work on all fronts. It doesn’t matter if you have a job. It doesn’t matter if you have no time, these are the things you need to do to be successful. Do you know how many books are sitting on a shelf that no one bought? I believe that one of the best books ever written isn’t being read. The author said, “I’m an author, not a promoter.” Do you know how I know this? Because some of the books we read are the worst ever written, so there has to be a balance, right!?
The fronts you work on are the same as everyone who promotes anything:
- Commercial/media: Your website, online communities, social networks, etc.
- Ground game; this is where you meet people in the real world (See our list of ideas here)
- Viral and word of mouth. Word of mouth is the old going viral. Basically, this is sort of an X factor for promoting. You are looking for something that will go viral and put you on top. They are difficult to find, but just keep creating.
In the long run these steps are you best bet to selling your book. I know they are not easy. I know they take time and effort. These are the tried and true ways of promoting your book and becoming a success. It takes work. This is a start. If you do these 4 things you will on your way. This just gives you the jump off to be successful. After you have all these things going, you will move on to the next steps, you will know or find them when you get there. Good luck.
I also just want to add, we do have a very good promotion for authors, you can list your book with us.
Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal…check our About Us page for more. Also here is info on our On Classic Articles