Book Marketing 101

The most common mistake people make when self publishing their books is to ignore marketing until it is too late. As an author, you want your book to be the best in its category. To make it stand out from the rest, you need to market your book carefully and there are a lot of decisions to make right at the start.

Who are you planning to sell your book to? This is the most critical question you need to answer. Before taking any steps to promote your book you should be aware of who your target audience is. ‘Everybody’ is not the correct answer to this question, although it is a common answer. The more focused you are on your target audience the easier it will be for you reach them. After identifying you target audience, you should try to gather as much data about them as you can. The next step should be to outline your goals and objectives, determine your budget and implement your strategies. From there, you can then determine what form your book should take. For example, the size and weight, number of pages, type of cover, etc.

The best selling books are not necessarily the best books so it depends on how it was promoted. It used to be a common wisdom that the only way to become a best selling author was to go through a major publishing house. However, for many years, many bestsellers have actually been self published and self promoted. When deciding whether to self publish your book or not, you should examine the advantages that successful self-publishers seem to have over their not so fortunate counterparts.

Has your book already been published? You want to make sure you are going to market with something new. So make sure to do some research before putting all your effort into selling something that has already been sold. Your title will be critical in capturing your target audience so choose it carefully. Similarly, your cover should catch your target audience’s eye. Think of what appeals to that particular demographic.

As writers have a reputation for being sensitive creatures, it should first of all be noted that those who plan to handle the marketing and publicity aspects of their book themselves should shed this image and possess thick hides. While sensitivity is great while writing your book, you have to alter your approach and become practical when it comes to marketing it. You should not take any negatives situations that arise personally and should feel as if all the setbacks are taking you closer to your end goal.

In this age of internet a book that is promoted through the web gains an added advantage over those which are not. Thus, to promote your book online, you should first of all have an exclusive website for it. Here you should display your book’s cover, excerpts, reviews and testimonials on the home page and provide links to distributors that carry your book. Another way to get your book noticed is by including it in a books in print database. Several online bookstores use this database. If you are not building a website for your book then you can use an email promotion campaign for promoting it. First of all, you should send a newsletter to your different email contacts. Inform them about your book and then follow up with a sales letter.

Another way to promote your book online is by creating your own blog. Having a blog has now become one of the most profitable things on the web. On your blog you can add the link to your site and depending on the popularity of your blog it can receive more than one hundred thousand hits a day.

Price is a major consideration in marketing your book. Be aware of your target audience’s typical disposable income level. This can make or break successful promotion of your book.

These are some basic tips on how to start thinking about marketing your book. This is an ongoing process and will require constant re-evaluation. Become aware of what works for other authors and incorporate ideas when they make sense. Above all, have fun marketing your book!

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