As an author, I find the most joy in actually writing. I’m talking head down, fingers flying over the keyboard, cup of coffee in hand and the sounds of nature. Often, sitting outside brings me the most inspiration as well as listening to movie soundtracks to stir up the right emotions for the scenes I’m writing. It’s an honor to be blessed to write, and more importantly, share those words with others.
Sharing is where most authors tend to get stuck, and if that’s you, you’ve come to the right place. Yes, the writing process is the best part, but ever since planning a book launch for The Five Warriors, marketing has become one of my favorite things to do. Let’s be honest, when you see a killer 5-star review about your book, doesn’t that make you want to dance?
The biggest hurdle though, is the fact that there isn’t a formula for going from 0-2,000 book sales in 60 days. Much less, every book is different and marketing can get tough, especially if you have a terrible book cover design. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, people actually judge your book by it’s cover. You also won’t get far if your book isn’t edited or has a ton of typos and errors, especially book formatting errors. If you have those 2 things covered, next up, you need reviews in order to seal the deal and sell your book.
Which brings me to the whole reason for writing this post. Book Marketing helps you sell more books, but how do you get started if you aren’t sure where to start? Here are the 7 book marketing challenges authors have told me they experience and how to overcome them.
Where should I market my book to get the most bang for my buck?
This is a popular question among authors, but the answer is, there isn’t one. Not what you wanted to hear, is it? Here’s why. There are over 7 billion people on the planet, and there’s not a single source or one global way for them to discover all the books on the market today.
So, why do you think there’s just one thing you can go to get the word out about your book and then stop? The truth is, if you only want to do one thing to market your book, focus on reaching different audiences.
Your goal should be to sell more books, not market your books to the same people over and over again. Focus on finding new audiences and telling them about your book.
Read my guest blog: 7 Ways to Market your Book to a New Audience
How do I get more reviews?
The simplest thing you can do to get more reviews is just ask. It’s not rocket science.
Ask your sister who read your book two months ago but forgot to post a review on Amazon. Ask your friends who have had copies of your book for years but haven’t said a thing. Ask book bloggers you find on social media, but make sure you develop a relationship with them first.
Build a network of book ambassadors for your book launch party, and ask them to read your book and post a review on launch day. The #1 mistake I see authors making is not asking or following up with the people they have asked.
Read this blog post: Build A Bigger Brand with Book Ambassadors
Cover design is SO expensive, how can I get a beautiful cover without breaking the bank?
Face it, a gorgeous cover design is mandatory to help you sell more books. Honestly, selling paperback novels (you heard me, paperback novels, not ebooks) helped me recuperate expenses from my cover design. If you’re hardcore budgeting, you can get money to pay for some of the costs by pre-selling your book directly to people. Also, host a big book launch party on the day your book comes out, this is one of my favorite ways to make instant money and connect with fans in person. Think about it like this.
- Your book cover design cost $500.
- You order 100 books and spend $5/book on printing, shipping and handling, bringing your total it $500.
- Oops, now you’re out $1,000. Yikes!
- You have an amazing book release party and sell all 100 books for $15 each.
- You make $1,500 which allows you to pay back the $1,000 and pocket the $500.
Of course, your numbers will vary, but think like that when it comes to investing in your book.
I don’t have time to market my book, what should I do?
Uh…this is going to sound a little harsh but, do you actually want to sell books? Set aside time whether it’s 2 hours a week or 15 minutes a day to focus on marketing. You HAVE to be talking about your book every day, online and offline in order to make those sales happen.
Should my book be for sale in other countries? What’s the point?
It’s not every day I get a request to send my book to a book blogger in Norway. I said yes, especially since they were willing to pay for international shipping, which can get quite pricey!
Your goal with selling books is to appeal to a larger audience, so you’ll always want to be sending your book out to new people who have connections with other readers.
Do I need a blog for my book website?
No, you don’t NEED a blog for your book, but they sure help with getting more traffic to your website. Plus, you can turn that traffic into email subscribers and book buyers, who doesn’t want that? Of course, if you’re busy writing like crazy, you may not want to keep up a blog at the same time.
I recommend creating a schedule. If you’re super busy post once a month, or twice a month. If you have a writing vacation, write 5-10 blog posts and schedule those up. In fact, for this blog I usually write blog posts a month in advance, but that wasn’t always the case.
If you need blog ideas, check out this post: Blogging for Fiction Writers
If you have a blog but it sucks, learn how to make it awesome.
Should I create separate social media accounts and websites for my book?
If I asked you to name the authors of these books series, what would you say?
- Lord of the Rings
- Game of Thrones
- Harry Potter
Do you have to Google those book series to find the author names, or do you know them right off hand?
When it comes to creating a website and social media accounts for your books, I highly recommend using your author name and just having one account. Why?
Build a brand using your name and people can find everything you do. I’ll take a gander that writing isn’t your only creative pursuit, and when people look at authors, they are curious about who they are as a person as well as the works they’ve created.
Only have one social media account and make it your personal one, don’t create separate accounts for your book. It can be a hassle to keep them all updated, especially if you run out of things to talk about. People like to connect with people, so build a brand around your name and even if you pivot and change, people will always come back to you.
Need a website? Learn how to create a website for writers.
In the back of my book should I include links and a request for reviews?
It never hurts to include a little something special in the back of your book for readers. When they get done and flip to the final page, what do you want them to see? A review request? A teaser for your next book? A special offer if they join your email list? All of these can help you further connect with your readers and get more fans and reviews which lead to more book sales.
Want more solutions to your marketing woes and answers to your FAQs about book marketing?
Join the 30-day Indie Book Marketing Challenge and get relief from doing it all and going it alone.