One of the biggest secrets behind the success of every published author is an incredible marketing plan for their book. Even when looking at book proposals one of the things that a publisher will look for is a solid marketing plan.
First I would recommend you look at this post by Ryan Holiday. It’s his book marketing plan in a nutshell and considering you couldn’t browse the web without running into his name the week of his book launch, I’d say it was well executed.
1. Guest Posts
The same way you grow your blog by guest posting on sites with audiences bigger than yours, guest posts are an integral part of a promotion plan to raise awareness of your book. This is why you’ll notice guests posts from the same author across a several blogs you read the week their book launches. It’s what Michael Ellsberg refers to as the Tim Ferriss effect.
2. Email Blasts
If you’ve done everything right, you should have a solid e-mail list. Most authors prepare their audience for the launch of their book by sending several emails about their book prior to the launch. If you don’t prepare your email list for the fact that your book is coming, it’s a bit like inviting people to your birthday party on the day of and being surprised that nobody shows up.
3. Network Outreach
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received on how an early stage blogger should get the word out about their brand, was from Shannon and Kristin at Revoution Apparel. Who did they start with? Friends and family. So don’t just depend on your blogging friends. Think about anybody who might be able to help you promote.
A good relationship marketer will have cultivated their network long before they ever need to ask for a favor. While people in your network will probably see your book, reaching out to them individually asking them to help you spread the word about your book will multiply your reach.
4. Book Trailers
With the rise of online video, book trailers are becoming quite popular. But only a handful of people have done them well. For examples of truly amazing trailers I’d recommend the following:
5. Media Appearances/Interviews
As somebody who runs a show where I interview people I’ve learned that one of the best times to approach somebody about being interviewed is when they have a book coming out. Every interview/media appearance that gives you an opportunity to talk about your book should be a part of your marketing plan. If you have relationships with people that might interview you for their shows, reach out to them in advance and let them know. My friend Angela England has a book called BackYard Farming coming out and part of her marketing plan is being a guest on my podcast.
Another effective component of author marketing plans is sending a copy of your book or even sample chapter to potential promoters. In an effort to promote our new book From Blog to Book Deal: How They Did It, we’ve made 2 of our other Kindle books completely free for the next 5 days.
- The @BlogcastFM crew is giving away a copy of their Relationship Marketing Book on Kindle for the next 5 days (Click to Tweet)
- Pick up a Copy of @BlogcastFM’s Web Content and Traffic Strategy Books free for the next 5 days (Click to Tweet)
8. Speaking/Book Tours
Speaking engagements are another powerful element I’ve seen integrated into many author marketing plans. Sometimes a speaker’s session at the New Media Expo will be tightly tied to the content of their book. While most publishers have stopped paying for book tours, there are people have still made good use of book tours. Chris Guillebeau’s Unconventional book tour is the best example I’ve seen of a well executed tour.
This might seem like a strange tip for marketing books. But one of the things I’ve noticed is that people who get results that other people don’t get will often do things that other people don’t do. It might mean mixing up all of the above ideas or coming up with your own variation on them. One of the most interesting experimental approaches to book marketing I ever heard about was with Mike Michalowiz. You can learn all about his in my recent interview with him.
In order to sell as many copies of your book as possible, a solid marketing plan is one of the most critical elements. Whether you’re self publishing or working with a publisher don’t neglect the importance of a marketing plan for your book.
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