The Most Affordable Way to Market Your Book
There is really no secret to book marketing. And finding affordable ways to market a book is no different. It’s all about creating a relationship with customers and engaging your readers ways that create a long lasting relationship.
The act of engaging a customer (your reader) in a relationship with your book is called “engagement marketing” and directly engages your reader by inviting and encouraging him or her to be part of the growth of your brand (you and your book.)
How do I Create Engagement?
Think of the reader of your book as your best friend. The same attention you would pay to a good friend is really the same attention you need to pay to the readers (and potential readers) of your book. Creating positive incentives, giving potential readers a reason to consider your book, finding ways to build interest in exploring your website, blog, and book are all ways to create a relationship with your reader.
Sounds easy, right?
Actually, it can be easy to create this relationship - and build an incredible powerful, very affordable way to market your book.
Engagement is about developing value with current and potential readers that keeps them coming back for more. This might come in many forms, and usually involves reaching an emotional connection with customers. Below are a number of ideas for creating long-lasting engagement with your audience and drive affordable book marketing success.
Consider Giving Away Books - digital AND print
Letting ‘influencers’ have access to your book - with the promise of writing a review or letting others know about it - is a great way to create a relationship that lasts. This might mean review sites, readers, libraries or even just offering a free chapter download from your website. If you’ve got an interested reader on your website, why not give them a taste of your book by allowing them to download a freebie? Freebies work, and most of the biggest sites, including Amazon use this strategy to attract customers. All of this should be centered around building a mailing list so you can alert your loyal fans when your book is finished or a new one is on the way.
The Power of the Autographed Copy
Lots of authors have taken to crowdfunding sites to attain the funds needed to publish a book. And something ALL of them seem to have in common is offering an autographed copy of the book for investing. Every single reader values an autographed copy. It creates a connection with the author that goes far beyond a generic e-book or print copy. There are many ways to get signed copies into the hands of your readers, below are a few as examples.
While book signings are typically not your go-to for large scale book sales, they ARE one of the most intimate ways to create a connection with readers. And, bookstores love them (don’t forget to approach other ‘non-traditional’ outlets for book signings; you might be surprised at the results).
Most authors offer their books for sale through their website. It’s fun, and might even command a premium, if you offer special “personalized and signed” copies in addition to the more basic regular product.
Surveys, Contests and Giveaways
Social media has gotten very sophisticated in creating surveys, contests, and giveaways. Use your Facebook, Twitter, Blog, or MailChimp account to create a contest. Name a new character, most creative review of your sample chapter, alternative endings - all are ways to build engagement with your reader and build affordable book marketing. The reward for participating is of course a signed copy!
Good Old Email Marketing
Email marketing gets a bad rap because all of us get more junk than anything else. But your readers already LIKE you! Give them more of what they liked by engaging them in the process. Announce new content on your site, let them know of the contest we talked about above, ask them questions. And ask if they might like a signed copy of your book - personalized for them or as a gift. However, don’t inundate your readers and don’t just advertise. That will do the opposite of engaging them.
Creating engagement via social media is all the rage. Social media is the darling of the marketing universe, and in many ways for good reason. It’s also one of the most affordable ways to market a book. Every reader wants a connection with the author of the book they are reading. Use your social media accounts to talk to your readers openly and honestly. Remember that not everything is appropriate for your ‘public’ author persona - so maybe don’t use your personal account. But, readers DO want to know you as a person. So not everything needs to be solely about your book. Talk about the experience of writing, talk about ideas you have for new books or directions you might have taken. All of these create a connection and an opportunity for engagement. Make your readers feel as if they belong. As if they are sitting in your kitchen over a cup of coffee with you.
Ways to Use Social Media
The de facto photo sharing site is great for creating visual insights into your world. Your office, your yard, your inspiration. Heck even your dog. All of these things builds your persona in the mind of your reader.
Facebook is great for sharing little snippets of news, and amazing for re posting content, and works mighty nicely for video goodies. Readers don’t really need to know what you had for breakfast AND lunch, unless it inspired something amazing in your newest book.
It’s the equivalent of sending a text -quick bits of news about you and your book.
Ask for Engagement
Everyone likes to help those we know and like. When your readers like your book, they would love to be asked to leave positive reviews on various sites. Goodreads, Google, Amazon. Rotate who you ask for what so that you keep a consistent set of reviews across platforms. You’d be surprised how infrequently readers think of leaving reviews - especially positive ones. Don’t be afraid to ask!
And, every time a reader leaves a review, you’ve created a connection - we all like to share things we love, and when we do we have built an investment in seeing them succeed. The act of getting a reader to leave a review creates an advocate who will be invested in your book’s success.
Engagement = Affordable Book Marketing
Creating engagement with your reader will be the most affordable way to market a book. All of the ideas above just begin to scratch the surface of how to market a book with little to no cost. Remember that no one can market your book as well as you can! It’s your baby - we can help create the framework and a variety of tools, but in the end it’s your perseverance and ability to connect with your reader that will define success. And, let you build your book sales and book marketing success through ALL your books.
Why Dog Ear?
Promoting your book and your brand may be new to you, so having experts to guide you in developing a solid marketing strategy is an invaluable resource. With more than 50 years of traditional publishing experience, Dog Ear Publishing knows what it takes to promote authors and their books. Our team of experienced editors, proofreaders, and designers can help refine your work into a top-notch finished publication. Your book should be a quality reflection of who you are as an author.