How to Market a Book – Kindle eBook Marketing, Blog Tours & More
So… the hardest part is over. You’ve written the book. You’ve edited the book. You’ve released the book.
Needless to say, marketing is the most important part of your book’s success.
The first step in how to market a book is to make sure that you have a marketable cover and attention-grabbing book summary. Because once word starts getting out about your book, you want to make sure it grasps the full attention of your audience and makes readers want to buy it.
(Side note: I hired an editor to help write my summary – I found the book title and summary to be the hardest parts. I also went through 5 different book covers before I found THE ONE. So take your time, and don’t release anything until it’s 100% the way you want it.)
Once everything is perfected, polished and ready to go, here are the necessary steps to take to ensure that your book is marketed successfully:
1. Spread the Word through Social Media
The first way to spread the word about your book is through friends and family. And the easiest way to do that is through social media. You can post your book’s Amazon link on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, your blog… wherever you have the most followers.
2. Open a Goodreads Account
If you don’t already have a Goodreads account, you’re going to need one. I didn’t realize (until I released my book) how many readers are on Goodreads, and what a hugely popular website it is.
To register your book on Goodreads, you need to open an account at www.goodreads.com. Once you rate at least 50 books, you can become an administrator and register yourself as an author and upload your book.
When I initially uploaded my book, I didn’t check my account for several weeks. All of a sudden, my book sales skyrocketed, and when I went back and checked my Goodreads page, I had over 1,000 ratings and reviews! Goodreads is definitely the #1 site I’d recommend to anyone for book marketing.
3. Build a Website
I purchased my website domain name from www.godaddy.com for $9.99. Your domain name should be your author name so readers can easily find you. Since my name was already taken, I include my middle initial in my pen name. I then hired a web designer friend (www.ifireflydesign.com) to build my site for me.
Once your website is up, you want to make sure you post your website link on your Facebook profile page, Twitter page, Blog and Goodreads profile page.
4. Start a Facebook Author Fan Page
You should also start a Facebook author page, so that your readers can “like” your page, and once you build up a following, you can utilize this page to update your fans on your book releases (rather than use your personal Facebook account). Be sure to include your website and Goodreads link on your author page.
You can also do Facebook takeovers for pages that have large followings, where they assign you as an admin for the day and you can promote your book to their fans.
5. Start an Amazon Author Page
Amazon has a new feature called Author Central, where you can create your own author page on Amazon. This will not only link all your books together, but it also links to your Twitter page and blog (http://www.amazon.com/author/rachelkburke)
To create an author central page, register at: http://authorcentral.amazon.com
6. Sign up for a Book Blog Tour
Listen to me when I say that A BLOG TOUR IS THE MOST CRUCIAL PART OF BOOK MARKETING!
But before you schedule a book blog tour, you can want to make sure that steps #1-5 are already in place, because the company who sponsors your tour will want the links to your website, Facebook fan page, Amazon author page, and Twitter page (if you have one) to help spread the word.
“What is a book blog tour?” you may be wondering. Basically, you can sign up for a blog tour through a sponsorship company, and they will send your book summary out to book reviewers and bloggers. The reviewers who are interested in your book will sign up for the tour, and once the company has reached a certain number of sign-ups, they’ll schedule one week where your book will be featured on a different reviewer’s website every day. You’ll send a copy of the ebook to the reviewers, and if you’d like, they can also do giveaways on their website.
I’ve found that the most popular tour companies are YA Bound Book Tours and Xpresso Book Tours, but there are many other successful companies as well, so you have to find which works for your genre.
After my tour started, my book sales went from about 50 books a month to 1,500 a month. No joke.
7. Join Online Writer’s Groups
There are many online writer’s groups where you can find a lot of support from your fellow authors. They vary by genre, so you want to select groups that best fit your writing category.
I write chick lit and romance, so I subscribe to the Yahoo Group Indie Romance Ink (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndieRomanceInk/), as well as Facebook groups such as Chick Lit Central (http://www.facebook.com/groups/chicklitcentral.books/?ref=ts)
There is also a website called Authonomy (www.authonomy.com) where you can upload your manuscript or a portion of it, and each month they select 5 winners who are reviewed by the HarperCollins editors.
8. Book Giveaways and Discount/Free Promotions
Book giveaways are great marketing tools. Once you’ve released your book in print, you can do a paperback giveaway on Goodreads, or an eBook giveaway on different reviewer’s sites.
You can also put your book on sale or give it away for free for a certain time period.
You can find a list of discount promotion sites HERE.
And a list of free promotion sites HERE.
For most promotions, I average anywhere from 500-1000 downloads per day, but I’ve had a few that totaled over 5,000 downloads in a day, which boosted my sales tremendously.
9. Start an Ad Campaign
You can purchase an ad campaign on Facebook or Goodreads, where your photo and book summary will appear on the sidebar of the website. Ad campaigns are typically pay-pay-click, and you can select the maximum amount you’d like to pay per day. I personally have not gone this route yet, but I’ve heard great success stories from those who have.
Lastly, the key to great marketing is to network, network, network! I attended a writer’s conference in New York City 4 years ago, and I still keep in touch with my entire writing group via Facebook and online groups. These are the people who will share helpful information with you and support your writing endeavors. And vice versa.
My advice? Go to writer’s conferences, book signings, join writing groups, follow other authors on Twitter and Facebook – do anything you can to meet other writers and get your name out there.