How to Market Your Book: 5 steps to attract readers & sell books

How to Market Your Book

Whether you’re launching a brand new title, or you’re wanting to see some action on one of your older titles, there are many strategies for how to market your book.

Is there a difference between MARKETING and ADVERTISING?

Yes, there is a difference. In fact, there are distinct differences between lots of terms that fall under the big header of “marketing.”

Before you can learn how to market your book, you need to understand how marketing works. You'll begin to find opportunities everywhere!
Before you can learn how to market your book, you need to understand how marketing works. You’ll begin to find opportunities everywhere!

The best description I ever read came from a book by Allen Dib called The 1-Page Marketing Plan.

If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying “Circus Coming to the Showground Saturday,” that’s advertising.

If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that’s promotion.

If the elephant walks through the mayor’s flower bed and the local newspaper writes a story about it, that’s publicity.

And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that’s public relations.

If the town’s citizens go to the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they’ll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions and, ultimately, they spend a lot at the circus, that’s sales.

And if you planned the whole thing, that’s marketing.

Allen Dib, The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, and STand Out from the Crowd

How to market your book by…

Advertising your book

You’ll want to set an advertising budget. You won’t have to break the bank, although the more you spend, the more eyeballs you’ll get on your book.

Some options are:

  • Facebook ads – You’ll probably get the most bang from your buck with these. Facebook ads can be done for as little as a dollar a day, and you can run the ad for as short of a period as you want. Start with boosting posts from your Author page. (You do have an author page on Facebook, right?) You can set parameters for your target audience, a budget, and a goal for your boosted post.
  • Ebook mailing lists – Explore your options. These can be very reasonable (The Fussy Librarian) or very expensive (BookBub), and everything in between.
  • Amazon ads – Kindlepreneur has some great content all about how to market your book with Amazon ads. Check it out here.

Promoting your book

Promotions are where you do something special to really attract attention to your advertising message.

For books, a few surefire ways to stand out to readers is to offer your book at a steep discount for a limited time, or even make it available for free.

I keep the first book in my Adam Fletcher Adventure Series available for free all the time. I’ve found that it is a great promotional tool to get new readers to try out my books and it has proven very effective in being a gateway to them buying the rest of the books in the series.

Publicizing your book

Let’s say you get a blogger friend, or even a newspaper, to do an interview with you or to review your book. That’s publicity.

If you want to know how to market your book without spending a dime, trying to get publicity is a great way to do it.

Public relations for your book

Public relations ties in nicely with publicity.

Think outside the box. What kinds of things might your books tie in with that you can piggy back on for publicity?

Are there any related topics that you might be able to write about on your own blog or to cross publish on another blog?

As an example, I wrote a lengthy article all about colonial era coopers around the time my first book was published. To this day, that post is one of the most highly trafficked articles on any of my blogs. School teachers have apparently found that article useful so they often send students to read that article, which publicizes my books, and right at the target age for my series!

Selling your book

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re communicating with readers about how great your book is and how much they’ll love it, and if they buy the book, then you’re making sales. Congratulations!

Marketing your book

If you’re doing a variety of the suggestions mentioned above to get readers to buy your book, or to talk about your book, or recommend your book to others, then you know how to market your book!

The trick is to pay attention to the effectiveness of any of your marketing strategies. If some work better than others, keep doing those, or even step them up so that you can reap greater rewards.

On the other hand, if some strategies don’t seem to move the needle, then cut your losses and move on from those. You don’t want to waste your time and money investing in things that aren’t going to generate interest and sales.

You should be always refining your marketing strategy. You should also keep writing and publishing more books. The more books you have available, the wider net you get to cast to catch possible readers.

What are some of your favorite book marketing strategies? If you don’t have a book published yet, think about how you came to read some of the books that you’ve read in the last few years. What kind of marketing reeled you in?