3 Essential Steps to Market Your Book

Who’s gonna buy my book?

Who’s gonna buy my book?

Writing a book is hard work. Once it is complete, how do you let the world know? Taking people on the journey from awareness to purchase comes through an intentional and sustained marketing effort.

Marketing may seem daunting. It’s not simple or a quick one-time task. But your book deserves nothing less than a strategic marketing plan.

Start with Your Brand

You need to develop your brand. Your brand is you. Your books are products of your brand. Start by thoughtfully exploring these questions:

·       Who are you as an author?

·       What uniquely positions you to write your book?

·       Why do I want to connect with you as a reader?

The answers will lead you to the heart of a brand that is authentically yours. Write out the results.

Coupled with your overall brand is the product brand of your book. You’ve already branded your book by creating the content structure and cover. You may already have written a synopsis designed to entice people to open that cover. Your book’s brand is the story it tells in words that speak to the reader.

Create Your Brand Message

Now that you know what your brand is all about, you need to translate that into a message for your target readers. That message needs to make them aware of your brand and entice them to purchase and read your book.

You may need to begin this work by researching your target reader. Acknowledge up front that your book is not for everyone. Nothing is. Understand who the person is that most wants to read your book. That’s your true target market.

Defining your target reader goes well beyond the basics of age and gender. What does your target reader care about? What competes for their time? What influences their decisions about what to read? Where do they learn about great books like yours? Ask all the questions necessary to feel like you deeply know your reader.

You will also need to discover the words and phrases that your target reader uses that relate to your brand and your book. These are often referred to as “keywords.” You want to use the same words that people are already using. That is what helps you to connect with them, offline and online.

Use the results of your research into audience and keywords to translate your brand into a message that will resonate with your target reader. Typically, your master message will be 300-500 words. That will give you enough to work with for just about any marketing effort.

Once you have your messaging, you need to consistently use it. Everywhere. Effective branding comes through consistency. It may seem boring to you to be saying the same thing over and over, but that is the foundational work that creates a brand.

Establish Your Brand in Your Target Reader’s World

Now you are ready to put yourself out there in places where your target reader will find you. These days, that always means having a solid online presence. Your online presence needs to be built in a way that establishes credibility and connects with your target client.

For authors, there are several key online marketing and communication tools to consider.

  • Website: Your website is the online location where you have complete control over look and feel, messaging, and engagement. It is the place where you need to send anyone who is interested in learning more about you online. For this reason, your website—viewed from desktop computers as well as mobile devices–is the most critical component of your online presence.

  • Email Marketing: Email still gets the most attention and engagement among all online marketing options. To remain relevant to your target audience you must develop a way to compile a list of interested people and regularly share information to remind them of you.

  • Facebook: With the largest (by far) number of active daily users in the United States and beyond, Facebook is the social media channel that no business can afford to ignore. Users span all age groups and demographics. Your potential readers are on Facebook, likely every day.

  • Social Media: There are literally hundreds of social media channels. It is important to identify the ones that are used regularly by your target reader and have a credible, active presence on each. 

  • Amazon: Amazon has several opportunities for authors to present information and to get gain visibility in relevant site searches.

You need an effective presence at these key online locations. Your presence must be consistent across platforms, including branding, imagery, and messaging. You must present content that meets the needs and interests of your target reader.

With a solid brand and a digital presence where your reader can find you, your writing is poised to get noticed and get readers. Your writing deserves nothing less.

By Jill Kurtz, Kurtz Digital Strategy