For many aspiring authors, the journey from manuscript to bestseller can seem like an insurmountable task. Writing a book is only half the battle; the other half is marketing it effectively to reach a wider audience.
That’s where a comprehensive marketing plan for authors comes in. A well-crafted plan can help authors successfully launch and promote their book, generate buzz, and ultimately achieve bestseller status.
In this article, we’ll explore the key components of a successful marketing plan for authors, including social media, email marketing, book reviews, and more. So whether you’re a first-time author or a seasoned pro, buckle up and get ready to learn how to take your book from launch to bestseller status.
Understanding the Book Market
Before diving into the various marketing strategies, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the book market. Knowing your target audience, popular genres, and current trends can help you tailor your marketing efforts and increase your chances of success.
One of the most important things you can do is research your target audience. Who are they? What ages, genders, and interests do they have? Understanding your audience can help you create targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with them. Additionally, it’s important to research popular genres and current trends. This can help you determine where your book fits in the market and how to position it for success.
Another key component of market research is analyzing your competition. Who are the top authors in your genre? What marketing strategies have they used to achieve success? Analyzing your competition can help you identify gaps in the market and differentiate yourself from others.
One of the best methods for researching competitors is the Facebook Ads transparency feature. Start by following your favorite, high profile publishers, including Amazon Publishing, on Facebook. Pay special attention to their ads and when you see a book advertised that is the same genre and target audience as yours, tap the three dots and choose “why am I seeing this ad.”
This simple method can give you a plethora of information and drastically reduce the time it takes to get started.
Pre-Book Launch Marketing Plan for Authors
One mistake many authors make is waiting until their book is published to start marketing. In reality, the pre-launch period is just as important as post-launch. This is when you can start building buzz, generating excitement, and growing your audience.
One effective pre-launch strategy is to create a launch team. This is a group of dedicated readers who are willing to read and review your book before it’s released. Launch team members can help spread the word on social media, leave reviews, and provide valuable feedback to improve your book.
Another pre-launch strategy is to offer exclusive content to your email subscribers. This can include sneak peeks of your book, behind-the-scenes content, and special promotions. By offering exclusive content, you can incentivize readers to sign up for your email list and build a dedicated audience.
Email marketing platforms like Mailerlite offer a simple, easy-to-use interface that can create automated, beautiful emails for potential customers as well as your launch team. Communicating effectively with those who support you most from the beginning can pay dividends, particularly in the beginning.
Finally, consider creating a book trailer or teaser to generate excitement for your book. This can be shared on social media, your website, and other online platforms to build buzz and get readers excited for your launch.
Creating a Buzz on Social Media
Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools for authors. With billions of users worldwide, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer a massive audience to promote your book to. However, it’s important to use these platforms strategically to maximize your reach.
One effective social media strategy is to post engaging content that resonates with your audience. This can include book quotes, behind-the-scenes photos, and updates on your writing process. By posting content that your audience enjoys, you can grow your following and build a dedicated fan base.
Another effective strategy is to run targeted ads on social media platforms. By targeting your ads to specific demographics and interests, you can reach readers who are most likely to be interested in your book. This is where that Facebook Ad transparency data can come in handy! Additionally, consider partnering with influencers in your niche to reach a wider audience and increase your book’s visibility.
Utilizing Book Reviewers and Influencers
Book reviews are essential for building credibility and generating buzz for your book. However, getting reviews can be a challenge, especially for first-time authors. One effective strategy is to reach out to book bloggers and reviewers in your genre. Many of these reviewers have dedicated followings and can help get your book in front of a wider audience. Check and see if your local publications have dedicated book reviewers or try reaching out to the Arts reporter at each publication to discuss sharing your story as well.
Do not buy or swap reviews. Reviews should be authentic. This is against Amazon and many other platform’s policies. It can result in a complete ban of your account.
Another effective strategy is to partner with influencers in your niche. This can include authors, bloggers, and social media personalities who have a large following for your respective genre. By partnering with influencers, you can tap into their audience and reach readers who are most likely to be interested in your book.
Book Launch Strategies
The book launch period is a critical time for authors. This is when you can generate the most buzz and make the biggest impact. It is often the most important time for the ranking algorithm on bookselling sites as well. To make the most of your book launch, consider the following strategies:
Host a launch event: This can be a virtual or in-person event where you can read from your book, answer questions, and interact with your audience. Consider going live at the event on Facebook and similar platforms to allow those who can’t attend in person to experience the buzz and excitement. It’s also a great way to celebrate with your launch team and thank them for their commitments!
Offer special promotions: Consider offering discounts or special promotions to incentivize readers to purchase your book during the launch period.
Many distributors allow you to run a discount or promotion right from their platform. While it may lower your royalties initially, a lower price point can increase sales and your rankings in the algorithm, leading to more more long-term success. Experiment with a $0.99 cent ebook sale or a discounted price during presale.
Get media coverage: Send a press release to local media outlets and book bloggers to try to get coverage for your book. This can help generate buzz and increase visibility. Keep in mind that some thought needs to go into your pitch.
Most often, just publishing a book isn’t newsworthy. Find an angle and story about your recently published work that is compelling. If your book is in a certain niche, research who the specific reporter is for your niche and send directly to them rather than a generic news@ email address.
Offer presale. Many sites, such as Amazon, count pre-sold books as part of the first week’s total. Offering presale 1-2 weeks before launch is a great way to give an initial boost to your book’s rankings and set it up for future success.
Post-Launch Marketing Plan for Authors
After your book is launched, it’s important to continue marketing to maintain momentum and keep sales steady. Here are some effective post-launch marketing strategies:
Offer giveaways: Consider offering giveaways or contests to keep readers engaged and interested in your book.
Continue social media engagement: Keep posting engaging content on social media to keep your audience interested and grow your following.
Host book tours and events: Consider hosting book tours or events to keep your book in the spotlight and generate buzz.
Run targeted ads. Targeted ads, even with a minimal budget, help maintain interest and awareness for your book. Start with a smaller budget and run tests with different audiences to see which resonates best. It will take a little testing, but as you see what works best you can then scale your ad budget, while maintaining a similar return on the amount you spend.
The Importance of Book Tours and Events
Book tours and events are essential for building buzz and generating excitement for your book. This can include virtual events like webinars, podcasts, and online readings, as well as in-person events like book signings and readings.
There are several services as well as Facebook Groups dedicated to connecting podcast hosts with potential guests. Find groups and explore podcasts in your niche. Create a list to reach out to. It’s important to do the research and find podcasts where your story is relevant. If your story doesn’t align with the host’s niche, you’re wasting your time and theirs. The audience simply won’t engage, which isn’t helpful for either of you.
Another effective strategy is to partner with local bookstores and libraries to host events. This can help you reach a wider audience and generate buzz in your local community. Libraries often have their own public relations staff that will share and promote your event to the local media as well. Additionally, consider partnering with other authors in your genre to host joint events and cross-promote each other’s books.
Paid Advertising Options
While organic marketing strategies like social media and email marketing can be effective, sometimes it’s necessary to invest in paid advertising to reach a wider audience. Here are some effective paid advertising options for authors:
Amazon ads: Amazon offers a range of advertising options for authors, including sponsored product ads and sponsored brand ads. For beginners, it’s suggested you start with sponsored products ads.
Facebook ads: Facebook’s targeted advertising options can help you reach readers who are most likely to be interested in your book. Utilize Facebook’s A/B testing options to determine which ads resonate with your audience and which audiences perform best for your book.
Bookbub ads: Bookbub offers a range of advertising options for authors, including featured deals and new release alerts. Bookhub’s dedicated reading audience is a great place to share your book with potential readers.
Google ads: Google gives you the opportunity to target potential readers in your niche as they search for a similar book. This is huge! They’re actively looking to buy when they see your ad. Plus, you only pay for Google ads when you receive clicks. Keep in mind that a click doesn’t necessarily equal a sale. However, the ability to showcase your book to a targeted group looking to buy similar products is a great paid advertising investment option.
Strategies for Maintaining Book Sales
Maintaining steady book sales is essential for achieving bestseller status. Here are some effective strategies for maintaining sales:
Offer special promotions: Consider offering discounts or special promotions to incentivize readers to purchase your book.
Keep engaging on social media: Continue posting engaging content on social media to keep your audience interested and grow your following.
Offer exclusive content: Consider offering exclusive content to your email subscribers to keep them engaged and interested in your book.
Marketing a book can be a daunting task, but with a well-crafted plan, it’s possible to achieve bestseller status. By understanding the book market, utilizing social media and influencers, and investing in paid advertising when necessary, authors can successfully launch and promote their book, generate buzz, and achieve the success they deserve. So, if you’re an aspiring author, start crafting your marketing plan today and get ready to take the literary world by storm.
If you’d like to utilize Savage Creative Solution’s team, we’d love to help. We can provide custom digital advertising plans, book cover design, book interior formatting, and more. Visit our contact page or give us a call at (318) 519-6230 to get the conversation started about your next project!