What is and What isn't Book Marketing
Let’s delve into book marketing for a second, or a minute, or for however long it takes you to read this post. Most people, both some authors and readers alike, think of book marketing as those sales pitchy type posts on Facebook, Twitter or in the comment section of someone else’s blog posts that tell people to buy their book.
The 'Buy My Book' tactic isn't book marketing, sort of.
Those are awful and I wouldn’t consider that book marketing, sort of. I will explain why I say ‘sort of’ in a moment, but first let me explain why telling people to ‘buy my book’ anywhere (in line at the grocery store, at your friend’s dinner party, on Facebook, etc.) isn’t book marketing. I am going to say something that people may not like to hear, but the truth is never pretty. The ‘buy my book’ tactic that some authors use isn’t book marketing, it is harassment.
I know, harassment is a strong word, but let’s look at the definition of both marketing and harassment for a second.
Marketing: (as defined by the American Marketing Association) Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
Harassment: (as defined by Merriam-Webster) to annoy or bother (someone) in a constant or repeated way.
What do you as an author want from a reader?
Are those ‘buy my book’ posts or comments annoying or bothersome? Yes, they are. They get so annoying I have even unfriended some people who only seem to do this on my Facebook page. I am sure some of you have also. So, why would an author who is annoyed when someone else badgers them to buy their book, think book marketing is to do the same? It, obviously, isn’t effective. That’s why I say it is harassment and not book marketing.
What do you as an author want from a reader? Do you want to deliver or communicate with them something of value that you created? Of course you do. You look at the book you wrote as that thing of value. You are quite sure, people who like the type of books you have written, will love your book. Now, how do you communicate that without harassing them?
. . . make people curious about what you write.
I know what you are thinking, “How are people supposed to know I have a book out?” This is where the ‘sort of’ part I talked about earlier comes in. You tell them about everything but the book. That may sound odd, but it does work. You tell them that the awesome cover reveal is coming in five days. Then you do a countdown every day. The more anticipation for something, the more people will be interested. Have a very blurred picture of your cover or your cover actually covered by something with a small tear in it, to make people wonder what it looks like. Maybe even have a special giveaway attached to the cover reveal to get people really excited. Some authors even have Facebook or Twitter parties for their reveals.
Do the same for the release, but amp it up. Send out newsletters to all your fans, special contests in your fan group, post early reviews (usually from goodreads) about how excited people are about the book, etc. Make it out that this is exciting and show what people (with reviews both right before the release and after the release) are saying about your book. If there is another book you published in the same series, boast about how many five star reviews it got or the glowing reviews it received. In other words, make people very curious about what you write.
Maybe you catch their attention with a giveaway, only to win a prize, but then they keep an eye out for your posts. Your next post is how a blog they like gave a book of yours five stars. They respect that blogs opinion and now want to check out your book.
This is marketing. It’s not about pointing the reader to the buy button of your book, but laying out the stepping stones in a clear path to your book. The more they come to the decision themselves to buy your book, the more chance they will like it and become a fan.
No tricks. Simply getting excited about your book.
As I mentioned in a previous post, fans are the ultimate goal. They will support you, hold your hand when you need it, and be the first to buy anything you put out. Your book may be your heart poured into words, but fans are the blood streaming life into your career. They really are the gold at the end of the rainbow.
Someone who was harassed into buying your book, will most likely come to it with a negative bias. They will never be a fan and, probably, never buy another book from you again. That’s why telling people to ‘buy my book’ just doesn’t work. Creating a foundation to get readers and fans is the only way to market your book.
No tricks. Simply getting excited about your book. Sharing that excitement through posting cover reveals, teasers, prizes, and even sharing other's excitement through reviews. Reaching out to people who read the types of books you write and sparking their interest. That’s it.
That is your cup of joe for today. Check out my next post on what to do once your publish your book.
Check out the previous Book Barista post about The Fans HERE.
As an indie-author I was wondering what I could do to help get my books out there. So, I looked into it and that's when I realized I had a lot to learn. These posts are to help my fellow authors learn how to market and publish their book. I pass on what I found out about making a book a success.