booksellerIf you’ve read the previous blogs on turning your book idea into a plan, then getting the idea into words and finally getting published you just have one very important step to complete now: Marketing!

Whether you publish your book through a conventional publishing house or you go down the self-publishing route, your book will not succeed if you don’t make any sales. Even with an established publishing house on board, don’t expect them to do lots of marketing for your book, unless you are an established author with a good track record. They will probably promote the foreign rights for you and send out notifications that the book has been released to book reviewers, but that’s probably about all you can count on.

If you have written a book that you don’t think has a market then you may be treating the book-writing process more as personal therapy than as a commercial activity. Ideally, you have a specific market in mind and now’s the time to get your book in front of them.

So, back at the beginning, who did you think would find your book useful and interesting? This might be more than one group of people.

Where do those people hang out and how can you reach them to let them know that your book is available? This will be online as well as offline. If you’re writing for people who are professional speakers, which online forums are full of people who are speakers and trainers? Are there websites that provide services to this group? Do they meet as a group anywhere?  If you’re writing a book about health gyms or exercise centres might be good places to promote your book.

  • This is where your network comes in – ask them who they know in your target audience and ask if they will let them know about your book. If you provide the right words many people will include your announcement in their newsletter or put a link on their websites.
  • If your publisher hasn’t done so, get your book on Amazon – ideally in hard copy and as an ebook.
  • Tell all your clients and your extended network about it – not once, but regularly, to keep it in their awareness. That doesn’t mean spamming them, but ensuring a series of messages with ‘teaser’ content in is posted in all the places you think they’ll be looking – Twitter, Facebook, relevant groups that you belong to (but only those that allow promotional content), etc. Don’t just do one hit and wonder why your sales aren’t ongoing. Keep the messages going over the next weeks and months to keep awareness high.  People rarely buy on the first time of asking.
  • Run a competition with the book as a prize.
  • Get other people to give you material you can include in a winning ‘bundle’ for everyone who buys the book in a specified time frame. That might include reports, ebooks, teleseminars, coaching, access to a Q&A session on a related subject; be creative!
  • Give away a summary of the book as a thank you for people who complete a survey (make sure the survey gives you useful material to feature in your next book!)
  • If you are training or speaking anywhere add a copy of the book for a specified number of delegates. For example, if you’re speaking to an audience of 100, then offer 20 books free; the organisers will probably want to give every delegate a book and may buy additional copies.
  • Get on local radio and digital radio stations to talk about your book.
  • Don’t forget to let your local press know you’ve published it – they like stories of local people who have achieved things.
  • Swap copies of your book with other people who have written books in a similar subject area and offer your market a wider choice (on the proviso that they do the same, of course).

Don’t do this for the few weeks after your book is published – but keep doing it as long as your book is in print and, over time, it will develop visibility. If you don’t do anything, your book sales will look very slim!