by Bobbi Linkemer (used by permission)
Start promoting your book or ebook with the three most important questions:
- What is your book about—its core message?
- What is its “mission”—how it will benefit the reader?
- Who is your ideal reader—the person you are writing for?
The answers to the questions are the heart of book promotion, which is all geared to getting your message across, achieving the book’s purpose, and reaching that ideal reader.
Strategies and Tactics
What are the three results you want from promoting your book? These are big-picture results—strategies. Do you want to position yourself as an expert in your subject area? Gain name recognition on the web? Sell books? Drive traffic to your website? Help you secure speaking engagements?
OK, now, what specific actions are you going to take to achieve those results? These are called tactics. Let’s look at the first strategy: to position yourself as an expert in your subject area. Here are some tactics you might consider:
- Write articles on your subject and submit them to online article sites, e.g., http://www.ezinearticles.com.
- Start a blog, write regularly, stick to your topic, provide useful information, respond to comments.
- Put your book on Amazon and take advantage of all the promotional opportunities this very powerful site has to offer.
- Start a newsletter, provide a way for people to subscribe on your Website, look for valuable information to pass along to subscribers, be generous, give away whatever you can share.
Develop a Marketing Mindset
The heart of marketing is identifying a need in the marketplace and finding a way to fill it with your product or service. The question is what does your ideal reader need and how can you provide it? If you have written a nonfiction book, your reader needs information or inspiration. If you know your subject, you should be an endless source of information.
Go beyond what you already know, and keep learning. The more you learn, the more you can share. If you have overcome a difficult situation or survived a tragedy, you are in a perfect position to provide encouragement and motivation. The point here is not to sell your book; it is to fill a need.
Tap Into the Power of the World Wide Web
The Internet has changed the world—certainly the world of book promotion. You must have a presence on the Web. It’s a non-negotiable reality. Your readers are everywhere, which is exactly where the Web reaches them. The flip side of that statement is if you do have a presence (a Website, for starters) and no one knows about it, it’s like having a billboard in the middle of the Sahara desert. Here are some ways to let people know about your Website and your book.
- If you can afford it, hire a Website and Web-marketing consultant; it will save you loads of time and cut down on your learning curve.
- Research and register with directories; learn about search engines; educate yourself about key words and search engine optimization (SEO).
- Describe your book’s contents in short phrases or bullet points; explain your qualifications to write it; and display the cover and your photograph on your site.
- Create name recognition by submitting articles on your subject to multiple article sites and starting a blog. Make sure your content is high quality and provides a benefit to readers. Inform, educate, inspire, motivate. Don’t lecture or proselytize.
- Keep adding new content. Remember, search engines find your site by new material. Demonstrate your expertise. Show, don’t tell, that you know your subject.
- Make your contact information obvious. People must be able to find you easily. Include your name, e-mail address, and phone number at the very least.
- Join social networking groups—Twitter, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr—fill in your profile information, make friends and contacts, check in frequently.
- Make it easy for people to buy and pay for your book. Set up a store through Shopsite.com or some other shopping cart service; sign up for PayPal or get a merchant’s account.
- Set up a media page. Include a press release that announces your book in a copyable format (Word or a text file), links to previous interviews in print, and future commitments for book signings or presentations.
Is that it? Well, no, but it’s a very good beginning. If you do everything I have suggested, you are well on your way to a successful book launch. Then, if you want to do more, there are books and blogs and newsletters and courses out there to teach you every possible tactic. Good luck.
Bobbi Linkemer is a book coach, ghostwriter, editor, and the author of 16 books under her own name. She has been a professional writer for more than 40 years, a magazine editor, and a book-writing teacher. Her clients include Fortune 100 companies, entrepreneurs, and individuals who want to write books in order to enhance their credibility or build their businesses. Visit her website at: http://www.WriteANonfictionBook.com.
Please share your best ideas for book marketing here.