After writing (and editing), marketing and promotion is a key step in book publishing. It helps to keep this in mind throughout the whole process.
For example, The Book Designer recommends authors take into account a couple key questions:
- Who are you writing for?
- Where does your reader hang out?
With this information, you can make sure you craft a pitch that resonates.
You can also test out how well your book will sell before writing and publishing. Nonfiction Authors Association has a list of 11 ways to prove your book will sell, including testing your promotion plans by sharing with your community, testing your brand, and testing your goals. Teachable discusses the idea of pre-selling content, by having a private launch of your idea. The article is geared toward an online course, but you can apply the same concepts to your book, such as figuring out what your audience needs, having a pre-sales page, and hosting webinars to talk about the idea and pre-sell.
One of the keys to all this is to set goals for yourself. According to Content Marketing Institute, it helps to document your goals, measure them, and review them, to help you accomplish more.
The next big step in marketing and promotion is your book launch. Planning helps here too. Nonfiction Authors Association recommends building an email list so you can announce to them, planning a book launch party, and finding and pitching to bloggers and podcasters, among other things. One thing to keep in mind is to not tweet, “Buy my book!” very often, according to Career Authors.
However, as BuildBookBuzz mentioned, it doesn’t stop with the book launch. You can continue promoting your book reader reviews and blogging. But don’t count on your friends to write reviews. The Book Designer instead recommends figuring out which books are similar to yours to find potential readers. Also, figure out who your super fans are, to get beta readers and people who will spread the word about your work, according to The Book Designer.
Aliventures also has tips for marketing novels, which include advertising on email lists and guest posting. And ALLi recommends collaborating with other authors. You can also ask authors for endorsements. Nonfiction Authors Association has a template you can use to reach out.
You should also consider advertising. David Gaughran has a great, in-depth guide on how to advertise and sell more books. The guide explains key phrases and concepts, and gives tips on which metrics to target.
If you’re looking for more ideas, ALLi talks about how to reach forgotten markets, Reedsy has 50+ book marketing ideas, including researching categories and keywords and planning a blog tour, and Smart Authors Lab has a list of 640+ ways to promote your book. Nonfiction Authors Association also recommends creating diverse income streams, by turning your book into mini versions of your book, selling merchandise, and speaking at events.
Last, for general tips check out Unruly Guides, and for some inspiration, read Tracey Pedersen’s book promotion success story on Your First 10,000 Readers (the key is to just take action).