Must-Have Marketing Tools for First Time Authors

You’ve done it, you’ve written that book, and now you’re ready to get out there in front of the public. That’s impressive, but you need to slow down there. Before you do anything, you need to ensure that you’re marketing your book properly. With a market so saturated with new authors, you need to ensure that you’re standing out from the crowd. Here are some tips and tools that you can use to make sure your book gets the attention it deserves.

Put Aside Time for Marketing

You need to ensure you’re putting aside plenty of time for marketing your book. It sounds counterproductive, as shouldn’t you be writing the next book? However, the more time you devote to getting the word out there, the better your book will sell. Two or three hours a day should be spent on marketing your writing.

Have a Plan

Sounds obvious, but many people don’t even have a plan before they put their book up for sale. Think before you publish. Who’s your target audience? Where are they, and how can you meet them? What tactics are you going to use? The more you plan, the better.

Make Sure You Edit

This sounds like common sense, but many first time authors get excited and put their writing out there before they even give it a second read through. This means that you can be putting out writing that’s full of errors, which will put readers off. Author Freddie Tubbs from AcademAdvisor says, ‘I’ve seen a lot of writers who think editing isn’t important when it’s vital to the success of your book. I hired professional editors to give my manuscripts the once over, as I want my books to succeed.’

You can do a run through yourself on your manuscript, but it’s often better to have another person look at it too. Hiring a professional editor is an investment, as they know exactly what will make your writing work, without losing your voice in the process.

Try Getting Into the ‘Also Bought’ Section

On Amazon, you’ll see that each book has an ‘also bought’ section. This shows customers the other books people bought after they looked at the book on that page. You can get in this ‘also bought’ section if you’re clever.

The way to do this publish your book with Kindle Direct Publishing. This will make your book free to users for 5 days in every 90. During these 5 days, get the word out about your book as much as you can. The more you can get people to download it, the better. Once it reaches a certain threshold, it’ll start showing up in the ‘also bought’ section.

Work With Outside Experts

Earlier we mentioned editors as a valuable resource for your book. There are lots of other people out there who you should be talking to in the run up to your book being published. For example, you’re going to need a good cover, as it’s the first thing people see. Try talking to a cover designer, as they can create something unique for you. If you’ve never sold a book before, you may want to talk to a professional marketer, as they’ll know how you can find your audience. Get help from whoever you can on the publishing journey, and use their experience to get ahead.

Have a Website

You may not think it’s that important to have a website in the age of social media, but you’d be amazed at how much it can make a difference. Your site is the home base for all your marketing efforts. You’ve got to ensure that you’re engaging your readers through it, and keep them coming back for the latest news.

The best way to do is hire a team of talented writers. Yes, you’re a writer yourself and you could do it, but you’ll need to focus your attention elsewhere. Writers from agencies can write your material for you, including press releases, blog posts, and more.

If you’re going to go it alone though, take advantage of the help that’s out there. Tools like State Of Writing and Via Writing can help you with your grammar, website content, press releases, and more. This makes your website look professional, encouraging readers to buy from you.

Be Wary Of Plagiarism

Nothing is worse than starting to market your book, and then being accused of plagiarism. Of course, many stories and books out there are similar, and so offer the same idea in a different way. The problem is that plagiarism is still a huge concern in the publishing world, so you want to ensure that you’re not accidentally using someone else’s work in your book.

Before you put your book out for publication, ensure that you run it through a few plagiarism checkers, like Plagium and Academized. These will be able to tell you if any passages could be considered plagiarism, so you can adjust them before they go live.

Build Up a Community

If you want people to know about your book, you’re going to have to talk to your audience. You’ll actually need to start doing this well before your book is released onto the market. Most authors recommend about 6 months before is a good timeframe.

What do you do in this period? You build up your relationships with your audience. Help them create a community with each other, and they’ll be eager to see your book when it comes out. Social media or dedicated sites can help you build up this community in the run up to the book launch.

Give To Your Followers

The more you can offer your fans and followers, the more you’ll get out of the marketing process. No one wants to hear you talk about the book 24/7, as that gets boring, fast. Instead, give them content that they want. Recommend other writers to them, share content that’s in their interests, and generally spend time connecting with them. The more you can give to them, the more likely they are to buy from you.

Get Reviews of Your Book

There’s nothing consumers trust more than reviews from their peers. That’s why it’s a good idea to get as many reviews as you can of your book. Encourage readers to share their thoughts about the book once they’ve finished it. You can do this by using a hashtag on Twitter or Facebook, or by asking them to review it on Amazon. You can even send out preview copies, asking for honest feedback. Just be aware that if they receive a copy from you, they’ll be obliged to tell their followers that the book they got was for free.

Be Yourself

Finally, remember that when you’re selling a book, you’re really selling a piece of yourself. That means the best thing to do is just be yourself. Don’t just blindly retweet something, give it your own personal spin before you put it out there. The more honest and genuine you are, the more success you will find.

Marketing a book can seem like a maze you can never find your way out of. If you follow these tips though, you’ll find it much easier. Put them to the test, and see how your sales soar!

Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. She’s a consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs at Oxessays. Also, Brenda is a part-time educator and Editor in Chief at Paper Fellows. She believes that constant learning is the only way to success.

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