The success of any book relies on proper marketing. Word-of-mouth sounds lovely, but it has limited reach and doesn’t last. The circle of influence is obviously small. What does create buzz about your book is a strong marketing plan that starts months before your book is released and lasts long after it hits the shelves and digital outlets. You need to plan a strong book marketing plan that follows a set timeline to maximize your book’s potential.
Your book marketing timeline requires an initial “build-up” phase to create interest, with a strong follow-through focused on promoting sales and crossing genre borders when possible. A solid follow-up to keep interest going in the face of newer books hitting the market is also needed. We’ve put together a general timeline to give you an idea of what is involved in effective book marketing.
Six Months to a Year Before Publishing
- Begin creating your online persona. This includes a website, blog, author page, and social media accounts such as Twitter and Instagram. Use these to create some buzz and engage with readers interested in your book’s genre or topic.
- Engage with other writers in your genre by commenting on their sites (Avoid blatant advertising. You want to create a network, not offend other authors).
- Coordinate with your publisher to create a plan that maximizes your efforts and works well with the publisher’s plans to prevent duplicate efforts.
- Think about what you are and aren’t comfortable doing to promote your book. Book signings, readings, interviews, being a guest speaker at events? Know what you can do and what you can’t to avoid problems down the road. Play to your strengths and build on them.
- Check out websites focusing on books, including book reviewers, online book clubs, and book bloggers. Also, look for bloggers and websites about the topic of your book. Create an online rapport now so you can request a review later.
- Interact with websites about your book’s topic to establish yourself as a credible expert on the subject.
Book Marketing Four to Six Months Before Release
- Start an email list and announce the upcoming release of your book. Places to garner emails include your author website, friends and family (ask them to forward your announcement to book lovers they know), libraries, and fellow writers.
- Reach out to book clubs and book reviewers you’ve networked with and send them advance copies of your book. Ask for a book review and a publish date for the review so you can track them properly.
- Look for book festivals, arts festivals, and events such as conferences or conventions focusing on your book’s topic. Contact the organizers to see how you can be a part of things, whether it’s as a vendor, guest speaker, or sponsor.
- Research regional media outlets, including radio, TV, magazines, and newspapers, to see if they will feature your book or have you as a guest contributor.
- Work with your publisher to create a media kit and press release that is available on your author site.
- Create a promotional schedule for everything from guest blog posts to visiting local schools or universities to talk about your book. Also, plan book tours and book signings, coordinating with your publisher.
One to Three Months Before Your Book’s Release
- Contact the media outlets, blogs, and social media on your list, sending them media kits and advance copies of your book.
- Work with your publisher to create a book trailer and launch on your author page or website.
- Plan a book launch event at a local venue and put together a guest list of influential reviewers, booksellers, and media contacts.
When Your Book is Released
- Splash your social media accounts with a big announcement, including links to where people can purchase your book.
- Sound out the announcement to your email list.
- Consider a contest for readers on our author page, with the winner or winners receiving a free copy of your book. You can also ask other media outlets to mention the contest with a link to your page.
- Stay active on your website to create hype about your new book.
Post-Release Book Marketing
- Monitor your website and author page, continue to engage on other sites of interest, and keep an eye on social media metrics.
- Thank your supporters on social media.
- Continue to add positive reviews and any news articles to your media kit to keep it fresh.
- Promote tie-ins to events related to your topic. Appear at festivals, conventions, and other events to expand your reach to others interested in our book’s topic.
The key to successful book marketing is persistence and dedication. While you may love writing and may have written an excellent book, it will languish on the shelf if you don’t market it correctly. The more you put yourself out there as an author, the more you build momentum for your published book.
Dudley Court Press
Dudley Court Press works with writers like you every day. As a full-service, hybrid publishing house, we help thoughtful people write their books to achieve publishing success. Contact us to discuss our assisted self-publishing option today.
For more information, including about DCP’s latest programs, please get in touch at +1-520-329-2729 or publisher@DudleyCourtPress.com. We’ve recently launched our latest program, Memoir Writing for Non-Writers. This comprehensive, 10-week course helps you turn your memories into a compelling memoir!