Have you written a book during this down time or have one in the works? Congrats! It takes time, dedication, and more than one set of eyes to publish a book. Whether you decide to go the traditional route with the help of a trusted publisher or self-publish, marketing is essential to selling books.
If you’re on a budget, you can do a lot of this on your own, but it’s time intensive. If you’ve chosen to engage a publisher’s marketing team, there’s still work you have to do. You need to build a platform to entice readers and media attention.
The secret is to set aside one hour a day and focus on one marketing task.
Book Marketing in 60-Minutes a Day
- Uncover high-traffic websites. Find websites with tons of traffic that relate to your subject matter. If the task seems daunting or you’re too busy, ask for help from friends and family, or hire a virtual assistant. Search Google, industry resources, blogs on Buzzsumo, and places you already know to compile a list. Your goal is to find the perfect audience for your book and websites that accept content from outside sources.
- Create a ‘follow the link’ strategy. Follow the links on these websites and check out where blogs, infographics and related content lead to. You can also explore links at the bottom of every Google search page. Use an Excel spreadsheet or Google doc to keep track of potential websites and media channels that focus on your topic.
- Find out who’s in charge. Every website, blog or media channel has someone that heads up the team. Sometimes it’s an editor and contact information is readily available. Other times, it takes more of an effort. Here’s an article on How to Find Any Blogger’s Information. From here, check out a website’s or blogger’s social media platforms and handles, then record the information on your spreadsheet.
- Connect the dots. By now, you’ve built a list of top websites that focus on your expertise, you have a good idea who the decision maker is, and you know their social media handles. The next step is to engage on social media. Comment on their articles. Like a Facebook post. Answer a question in their LinkedIn groups. Watch and subscribe to their YouTube channels. Repin their pins. Don’t move too fast, though. You’re still in engagement mode.
- Spark interest with valuable content. Every publisher loves valuable content. It saves them time not having to curate their own. As a subject matter expert, you have unique insight and info that their audience wants to know. Now’s the time to look at your list’s previous blogs, articles, graphics, and videos to see what they’ve posted in the past few months. What can you post that’s original or has a new perspective?
- Offer a unique twist or something they don’t have. Here’s your chance to tell them what you can do. Gift a chapter of your book. Write a guest post or Q + A question series on their website. Record a podcast or video interview. Switch things up and ask them to write for you, or be a guest on your podcast or virtual panel. Offer a few copies of your book for a giveaway. Everything leads to free publicity to promote your brand, build your platform and sell books. Consistency wins.
- Short, sweet, and simple sells. When you pitch, be concise – no more than two or three paragraphs, and think about starting with a compliment or a comment that shows you’ve done your homework. I get at least 10 pitches a week and some of them are really good. If you’re unable to get through to a decision maker and the contact page method doesn’t work, try social media or leave a direct message on their strongest platform.
- When you get the green light, go. Strike while the iron is hot. Respond quickly, send additional information (when asked), and make yourself available on their time schedule. Keep your messages short and to the point, and always say thank you – by email, and when published, with a short hand-written note or small gesture of thanks.
- The last piece of the puzzle. Share your blog, podcast, article, column or infographic on your social platforms and link back to your content on their site. It’s also important to thank them on social media, and include their respective handles and hashtags. Sharing content allows you to drive traffic to both sites, starting a relationship and the prospect of future opportunities.
Bottom line: The ultimate goal of this simple book marketing strategy is to drive traffic to your website, entice them with your content, and build a base of raving fans who’ll be life-long advocates (and buy your books).