Market, promote and advertise
Getting a book published is only the beginning. Reader demand drives the book buying cycle. So, take every opportunity to let people know about your book. Most writers are naturally introverted. So, promotion is not very easy for them. Solicit the help of your extroverted friends and family members. Publishers make sure that books are available for readers to buy but authors must do their part to create buzz for their title and drive readers to the stores or eTailers. Look for free and lower cost opportunities to advertise such as Goodreads, Facebook and blogs written around your genre or content.
Post. Post. Post.
Document your journey as a first time author. Let your audience into your world. Post photos of your events. Share your triumphs as well as your challenges. They will encourage you. They may even have some great ideas you could incorporate.
Make it crystal clear that you want people to connect with you. Make that plain in your book, your website, your blog, on Facebook, via Twitter, when you speak or give interviews. Create a special email address for your readers and be sure to answer email and comments.
Ask for press
Ask your network to help you spread the word about your new book. Ask your friends to forward your posts to anyone who could help sell the book. Ask friends and family to submit reviews on Amazon.com and other sites.
Make sure your Facebook url, Twitter handle, website address and email address are on every marketing piece, bookmarks, business cards, post cards, flyers, guest posts, blogs. Make sure that everybody knows where to find you and how to contact you.
Get a video book trailer created
Book trailers are great little commercials for your book. Post your trailer on YouTube, Vimeo, or your own website. Your trailer can be used at the beginning of your AV presentations, church Imax boards, or at your speaking engagement. We are adding a page for author videos soon.
Be an expert
Look for opportunities to be a guest speaker, lecturer or teacher. Teach a class at your church’s Bible Institute or Sunday school. Be someone your audience will associate with a particular topic. The invitations will start to come. As you post about those invitations, more invitations will come.
Frequent your local bookstores and libraries
Most bookstores have a section for local authors. They would be happy to add traffic to their store by hosting your book signing. At your book signing, you can connect with other authors and potential book readers.
Guest blogging is a great way to connect with another audience. Be sure to blog about solutions your book offers or interesting things in your book.
Create a seminar or workshop around your subject
Years ago, when T.D. Jakes was unknown, he was going around the country doing Woman Thou Art Loosed conferences. That was a built in audience for the title of the same name. Who could forget… “Get ready! Get ready! Get ready! Get ready!” He paid for the printing on that book. Now, publishers pay him huge advances.
Repackage and repurpose
Use your imagination to find ways to use your title, book cover, and content. That not only applies to products you wish to sell but for other useful items such as bookmarks, mouse pads, coffee mugs and pens, I’ve even seen authors have fans printed up like the ones usually reserved for funeral homes.
Bam! I’m an author
Whip out your business card with the title author. Exchange your card whenever the opportunity presents itself. Strategically leave them on church tables, bookstores, libraries, schools, the beauty parlor, the barber shop, the local boutique, anywhere where posters and flyers are allowed. People usually keep business cards and they can easily share them.
Create other editions
It goes without saying that you must have an eBook version of your title. That’s an entire post series! Other editions include a hardback, audio book, workbook, and podcast. We have an author who has a production company interested in doing a movie about the content in her book.
We usually suggest them to our authors. You want the site done… or at least have purchased the domain before your book is printed so that you can mention it in your book. You want your website on all marketing materials and you want to mention it during interviews. It does not have to be complicated. Make it simple so that readers can easily find useful information. You only need a few pages or pieces of information: about the author, the book cover and description, links to purchase the book, news that lists your upcoming events or reviews and pictures about your past events, a book trailer, book reviews and endorsements, links to your social media sites, a press release or press kit for the media with a high res copy of your book cover. contact information or a contact form.
Support other people’s projects, products, or dreams. Promote other authors. Help someone else get published. Give away books. Utilize Goodreads book giveaways.
[Kimberly Stewart is the president of Christian Living Books and the Vice President of Pneuma Life Publishing. She’s a twenty year industry veteran and has a passion to help authors get published.]