The following guest blog post is by Kemya Scott. Scott (or “Miss Kemya” across the web) is the self-titled “solopreneur” of Phisco Marketing: a stratetegic marketing consultant agency that specializes in helping small business. Scott, a 15-year marketing consultant veteran and MBA grad, believes small businesses are “the lifeblood of our economy.” She is an “open-book,” funny, personable, and looks at problems as challenges. For more information, see the Phisco Marketing website.
Are you a self-published author struggling to do your own marketing? Are you one of the millions of people wanting to write your first best-seller? Have you already been published, yet your sales are lackluster and you’re not quite sure what to do about it? With all the competition in the marketplace, how are you supposed to catch the attention of today’s reader and entice them to purchase your book?
Let’s be honest, you can write a book and get it published, but that doesn’t mean you’ll make any money. So here are 3 significant tips to help you promote your book and begin building a buzz to drive sales. It doesn’t matter if you’re an independent self published author or you have a publisher, you need to build the buzz. Why? Because the marketing of your book is typically your responsibility, whether or not you have a publisher. If you’re still writing your first book, there’s plenty of work you should be doing right now to create a buzz. Let’s get started with these 3 Key Tips to Build the Buzz for Your Book:
Know Your Audience
To sell books, you have to know who you’re selling to. This is not as easy as it sounds. Let’s use an example: I’m writing a coffee table book about shoe design, including images and sketches of shoes from around the world over the last 50 years. Who would you consider as the audience I’m targeting to buy this book? Are you thinking this book would appeal to all women over the age of 18, since women love shoes? Well…you’d be missing the mark, because all women over the age of 18 is not a target audience. Women like buying shoes, but that doesn’t automatically translate into buying a book about shoes. You can’t wear a book can you?
Think about this audience: a boutique might like to have this book in their sitting area, a hair salon might like to have this book in their lobby, and I might give this book as a gift to a fashion design student. This is the beginning of a targeted list of prospective book buyers. Understand the importance of knowing your audience, and you can promote your book accordingly. *Note: Don’t get excited, I’m not writing this book, it’s just an example.
Pitch Yourself to The Media
The media will become your best friend! First, create a web page specifically for the book. Ideally you want to create a separate website with an address that features the book title. If you have a website dedicated to your speaking engagements, you could add a separate page devoted to the book. With a dedicated web page, you can exchange links and drive traffic to the site with comments, blogs, quotes and extracts of the book. Be sure to show people exactly how they can buy the book. Encourage user feedback, comments and reviews to build a community around your book.
Next, use social media and traditional media to create the hype! Here’s a key element many people forget – everyone is not on social media, and those that are on social media aren’t all buying from tweets and Facebook posts. Hence, a series of Facebook posts about your book will most likely leave you hungry. There are plenty of people who use radio, tv, and print as a vehicle for peer influence. Therefore, you must integrate a combination of traditional and social media into your marketing plan to catch your entire prospective audience. Pitch yourself as guest on appropriate radio and tv stations. Pitch yourself as a featured story in your local community newspaper. Develop social media profiles to reflect your book’s content and your speaking ability and promote your heart out! Develop your own brand ambassadors to leverage cross-promotional opportunities where appropriate. By appropriate, I mean as it relates to your audience. When you blanket the market with your promotional activity, you are ensuring your audience sees your book, which builds a buzz. Remember, we talk about things we see and things we buy? Just be sure to always tell people exactly where they can buy your book – if online the exact link – and spell it out if necessary.
Use Reviews and Testimonials to Build the Hype!
Ask your friends, family, and colleagues to provide reviews and testimonials. Send excerpts to influential media persons and ask them for reviews and testimonials for the book. Use your social media networking community and ask for the same. These reviews will demonstrate the quality of your content, as the reviews form a cross-section of the population. This will create a buzz that makes people want to find out about your book. Post these reviews and testimonials everywhere possible. You can include a testimonial on a bookmark (for print books) or on the back of your business card. You can even post a testimonial as a tweet or Facebook post, linking to your website. Get creative in the use of these reviews and testimonials. This also builds the buzz in a way you may not anticipate – the person writing a review or testimonial will tell people about the book! They become part of your brand ambassador tribe!
Ideally, the marketing of your book begins before the book is finished. Whether you do your own marketing, or hire a marketing company to market your book, the success of your sales will be largely determined by your tenacity. So take ownership of your work and your brand, and build the buzz about your book!