Have you heard the saying “Hope is not a plan?” Unfortunately, some authors use hope or fate as a marketing plan or strategy: Wait for a miracle. Hope that someone trips over the book, falls in love with it, and becomes an angel promoter. Books are sold.
Hoping for a miracle will not sell books or replenish an author’s bank account; at best it will sell 100 books, mostly to family and friends.
In truth, the only way to sell books is by sheer determination and hard work—and by having a real plan. A plan will help you define where you are going and how you will get there; without a plan you will have a hard time reaching your destination.
Here are some tips to get you past waiting for a miracle and into something more concrete:
- Your marketing plan (or some sort of action plan) should be in place weeks or months before your book is published. Don’t wait until the last minute.
- Find time to carry out your plan. Remember the “Swiss Cheese method” of time management? If you chip away at a daunting task, you will eventually complete it, much like a wedge of cheese will disappear with enough holes. Do something small every day.
- Be aware of your readers’ demographics. Who will buy your book? Where do they hang out? How do you reach them?
- Get reviews ahead of your book’s publication. Put these reviews on your Facebook page and website. Ask reviewers to go to your Amazon page and leave reviews.
- Create a website for your book. A website adds legitimacy to your book. Then tell people about your website so they visit it.
- Before publication date, invite your Facebook friends to like your book page. Consider Facebook advertising.
- Work your community or organization network for reviews in their newsletters.
- Ask bloggers to review your book. Send them a free book for their troubles.
- Donate copies to your local library, retirement home, hospital.
- Approach local independent bookstores to carry your book.
- Hosts of Internet “radio shows” are always looking for guests. “Google” shows in your genre and e-mail them about you and your book. Consider approaching traditional radio stations, especially those in your local area or that focus on your target demographic.
- Talk to your local community newspaper about writing an article that ties in with your book’s subject.
- Have a press release ready to send to said radio stations and your local newspapers.
Note that the above ideas are action-oriented. You can’t “hope” that your local bookstore will find your book. You must “approach” the store manager or buyer, which means making a phone call, booking an appointment and meeting with someone, books in hand. Hope might seem like a good solution if you are people-phobic or allergic to rejection, but to sell books you must get over your personal objections and get out there! Good luck!
1106 Design can refer you to trusted partners for book marketing, traditional book distribution, and bulk sales to special markets, each tailored to your publishing goals. We can also help you with an author website and with design and printing of promotional items to support your marketing plan. Check out the Services section of our website, or contact us to discuss a marketing solution for your book.