If you have the budget, you should also make it very clear to the public that your book has launched, or is going through a discounted period. This is where press releases come into play. I will attach a sample press release here, but don’t copy it! You will need to put your own together, and the Internet offers a lot of good advice on how to write an appropriate press release (I will include a list of resources here).
Though there are a lot of press release websites (all of which submit your press release to thousands of journalists and bloggers), I endorse PRWeb.com, EasyNewsWire.com, and PR.com. These are sites I have used and though it may look a bit pricey for a single press release, do take into consideration that your release is sent out to a plethora of valuable resources. You can assume that for every press release launched (be sure to time it appropriately), at least 20 percent of those who receive it will take interest, and 10 percent will take action.
Other ways to reach the press are simple enough. Find some popular magazines relative to your genre or niche market, and ask to have an ad placed (or see if you can negotiate a strategic partnership!). You can do this via web, as well, which is becoming the new medium for this kind of stuff. Yes, you do have to pay a little bit to get things started, but $200 or so for a press-blast to thousands of high-traffic journalists and bloggers?
I will take it.
Oh, and I am not done.
You need a website and social media profiles!
Best For Last!
I saved the best for last. The single most important element of your marketing strategy is a properly-aligned website and a chain of active social networks, among the most necessary: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram (in that order). You may think Instagram would be above LinkedIn, but guess again. Though Instagram seems to be a more popular choice, it offers less pragmatism and value for marketing a book. LinkedIn would represent your book’s self-publishing platform, and I do not mean the self-publisher you went through. I am talking about the company or organization you have assembled for the sake of marketing your book.
First, a website is not hard to set up these days. I suggest WordPress as your primary platform for all of your website needs. It is easy to set up, comes with a ton of great themes, and for around $100 a year, you will have access to even more themes and plug-ins that will assist you in your marketing endeavors.
If you have trouble, there are a lot of great WordPress developers out there who can set up the site for you, but first sign up for a free account and see if you can handle the workload on your own. Include a page for your book(s), an author profile, and a way to contact you. There are a few other things you may want to include, and I would check out our Press page to view a sample of a press page, which acts as an e-Portfolio. For social media, start with Facebook. You can use your own profile to set up a Fan Page.
Sign up for a Fan page, choose the right category (obviously you are a Product, not a Service) and give your book’s page a title. The best course of action is to use the title of your book for sake of being located the easiest. Then, continue by editing the profile so it contains all of the required descriptions (both short and long), as well as categories you belong to, and so on. Your Description should be the same thing you would put on the back-cover page of your book.
Urgency Brings Success
A sense of consistency is necessary when selling any product. You do not want to feature one description on your website, then contradicting descriptions on other social media pages. Consistency is a science. Above all else, you need to also take into consideration the value of relating to your customer. This can be done on all social media profiles and websites by being so much more than just an author of a book. Do what I did: offer proofing and editing services, post about your book in a way that comes off as earthly and human, and avoid sales pitches! They are bad for your health – seriously, not joking.
An example of a humanistic approach to writing a post about your book is below:
“I was always a big fan of cars. Cars were a huge part of my childhood, where I would spend hours working on my dad’s truck with him. But what happens when the truck has a mind of its own? If you want to know, you should definitely pick up my book: “Wrong Lane!” It is a thriller about what happens when the car begins to take on the characteristics of those who work on it, just like myself and my dad. Fan of cars? Fan of racing? Pick up this book!”
Relating To YOU
As you can see, I related to my past. The fact of the matter is, people are social creatures, and they do not know how to communicate to a product or a service. Rather, they need to see the author as their source of contact. It is a very simple yet novel business practice. An example is a recent Skype message I got from a not-to-business-minded web developer.
“Hey Ryan, do you need any help with building your web presence?”
He did one thing right: he got my attention in less than 8 seconds, which we discussed prior. However, he made a rookie mistake: he went straight for the sale. You never communicate in an unsolicited manner. Asking someone to read your book without giving them a reason to (and equally important: without giving them a clear picture of who they are communicating to) has a low success rate and an even lower impression-of-worth (a fancy way of saying, “now that person is no longer someone you can try to sell to.”) Sometimes it will take two or three abstract conversations before you can even pitch the sale! You have to realize that your book can’t talk!
When I first started my business career, I learned this from a man who gave me an Associate Producer credit on “The Expendables 2,” which was shot in Bulgaria at his studio. He told me to always communicate with a sense of urgency, but to also remember that unless you are selling something that everyone needs – and I mean needs – you have to make it seem as if you have more than just a product or service to offer them. “The cheapest woman is often the one you pay for,” i.e. paradoxically-speaking, the sale itself is based on their opinion of you!
[Which platform do you think is best to market with: Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn?]