Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
Quick question: When do you start marketing a book that you’ve written, or are writing? Answer: Right now! If you have an idea for a book and are good at following through with those ideas, then you should start marketing your book as soon as the idea has blossomed. If you want to write a bestselling book, there are many ways to get started and many ways to make that happen. The “bestselling” part though comes in the actual “selling” of copies.
There are ways to become a bestselling author on Amazon and that can happen through a strategic pre-launch campaign, but prior to that you need to have a pre-marketing/pre-release campaign.
If you want to write a book — and many of our pet bloggers do — you need to focus on your ideas, find a topic about which your audience wants to read and get it written. Oh, yes, you also need to take the time to develop a marketing strategy while you’re in the midst of outlining the book itself. Whew! It sounds like a lot of work — and it may be, but if you take the time, you just may sell enough books to keep your pets in treats and clothes!
Here are my top five tips for marketing your bestselling book:
- Prepare a media kit. Your kit can be either available as a download when you send it to news outlets or you can have a physical copy that you carry with you when you’re visiting local bookstores. What goes into your media kit? A picture of your book cover, your bio, a blurb about the book, endorsements about your book, your headshot, your contact information and all of your social media contact information as well. A pre-written press release (you can save a busy newspaper editor a lot of time with a well-written press release that he can simply have typeset and put into the paper). If you don’t have a copy of the book cover yet because you are building your marketing strategy while you’re writing it, just remember to put one in later. Do you live in a small town that has a daily or weekly newspaper or a “pennysaver”? If so, they may be amenable to interviewing you (especially if you follow tip #5 and become a best selling author). If you grew up or graduated from a town that is different from where you now live, send a press release to your former town with the angle of, “Former resident pens a bestselling book.”
- Talk about your upcoming book on your social media pages, but don’t annoy your followers. Follow an 80/20 mix of content; 80% information your followers will find relevant, 20% self-promotion. When I say self-promotion, I don’t mean, status updates that read, “Buy my upcoming book.” You can offer tidbits from the book such as, “Have you ever wondered how you can grow your business through the use of only one social media platform?” I’ll be sharing that information in my upcoming book…” or something along those lines. Or offer an actual tip like: “Did you know that if you send a newsletter to your clients at 1 pm on a Tuesday the open rates are higher than if you send one on a Friday morning?” Even if you’re not saying, “buy my book” your readers will understand you’re writing a book and will hopefully want to buy it. Share information about the book writing process with your readers. Don’t forget to blog about the process of writing or marketing or both.
- Do your research on keywords for books in your niche on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other book sites — check sites like GoodReads as well to see what people are reading, reviewing and the keywords being used. Choose keywords that are intuitive for a reader to find you. For example, “how to groom a poodle” would be more intuitive as a search than “how to groom a dog that weighs less than 10 pounds.” Do some Google keyword searches for your book title or potential book title. Are there other books by the same, or similar name, to the one you’re writing?
- Interact with the market for your book. Attend networking meetings or speak to professional groups that you think may be interested in the book you’re writing. Give your speech then in your wrap up or in your intro you can mention, “I’m finishing up my book called XYZ and because you attended this meeting, if you give me your email address I will send you a discount code to use once it’s been released.” What did I just do here? I showed you how to promote without being pushy, I showed you how to get email addresses (perfect if you’re trying to build your email list, which you are) and you’ve given them an incentive to purchase ie a discount code. Does your book have a local angle? If so, play up that angle in your marketing efforts.
- Propel your book to bestselling status (even if it’s only for one day) on Amazon. How? Prior to the book being released you can either run a contest or offer a free download or free access to a webinar you’re hosting IF people buy your book on XYZ date. You want to get as many people as possible to buy your book on a specific date as a way to propel you toward bestseller status. This kind of marketing strategy will earn you the “bestselling author” status on Amazon and can be used in your marketing materials. If your reason for writing a book is to elevate your level of expertise to garner you either more speaking engagements or more clients — being able to write, “Jane Doe, Bestselling Author of XYZ Area of Expertise” will certainly elevate your level of credibility.
The fast-approaching BlogPaws 2014 Conference has many sessions that can help a newly published, or an in-the-process-of-writing-a-book, actually write the book, the market it and monetize it. You can see the program outline here and there is still time to register if you’re looking for ways to propel your pet blogging efforts to the next level this year!
(Photo: Shutterstock, Kitten with Book)