Marketing...the necessary, but not-so-fun reality that indie authors must face to sell their work. With so many recommended ways to market and finite time and resources, what is an author to do? Penny Sansevieri, the BookWorks Blog Team's Marketing Expert, comes to the rescue with her very doable "5-Minute Book Marketing" approach, which she outlines below...
5-Minute Book Marketing
Did you know that most authors only market their books for 90 days? When they go work for a paycheck by day and cram in as much marketing as humanly (or inhumanely) possible by night, it sets a pace that’s overwhelming at best. Only those who don’t need sleep could keep up that pace. So, if you think you’re too busy to market your book, welcome to the club. Who could stand to keep up such a punishing, relentless regimen any longer than three months? There are so many things authors need to do to successfully market their book, and most simply don’t know where to start.
Enter the five-minute book marketing approach. As much as you may want to try to do everything, it’s just not realistic. Instead, try doing three things each day that will bring value to your marketing efforts. I found that authors are not only more focused this way but tend to be a hundred times more effective.
If you’re marketing your own book and you’re becoming overwhelmed by the magnitude of the work ahead of you, try setting aside five minutes to do just three things a day. Some things will only take you a minute, so in just five days, you’ll have promoted your book in fifteen new ways. Keep in mind, your three daily marketing tasks don’t have to be earth shattering; they can be as simple as sending a thank you note.
Need some help getting started? Here are ten ideas that you can work into the next several days:
- Create incentive—run a promotion using your social media and offer a prize to a random winner. There are many ways to do this! Have your Facebook followers share your page to enter. Twitter followers can tag you in a #followfriday tweet. On Instagram, invite your followers to both like a photo and tag a friend.
- Create a free Goodreads account (which I wrote about previously) and start gathering friends and building your profile.
- Reach out to at least one author in your genre. Networking is invaluable and helps you stay current on what others are also doing. You can find similar authors online (check out how on this blog) or send a contact request via LinkedIn.
- Keep your website fresh by adding book reviews and other relevant content. This is the marketing tool that never sleeps, so make sure it’s updated.
- Subscribe to Google Alerts, Mention.com, or Talkwalker.com for keyword alert on terms like your name, your book title(s), brand, and related keywords.
- Post a comment on the blog of another author that has a similar fan base. Commenting on blogs with similar readerships can be both an easy and effective way to grow your own following. If you need tips, Anne R. Allen has a good how to comment on a blog article.
- Send a thank you note. Thank the news person who did a feature on you, or to the book store manager who recently hosted your book signing. Personal touch goes a long way—saying “thank you” is a powerful marketing tool!
- Go to Meetup.com to find groups where you can network. Better yet, search for relevant groups that host speakers, and pitch yourself. Speaking to their members would be a win-win!
- Make new fans by donating a few books! Look for local groups that may enjoy and benefit from your writing.
- Find a place to host a local book reading. A coffee shop, retirement community, school, library, community center, college, etc.—reach out and pitch yourself.
Happy Five-Minute Book Marketing!
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