If you have designs on publishing and selling a book this year, there’s work to do before, during, and after your book launch. My goal is to help guide you through the process so you can find your readers in 2021.
Thankfully, the American election season is now in the rear-view mirror, but there’s been one more landslide recorded when votes of another kind were tallied.
Every so often, I poll the BookBaby audience by asking this question: What do you want to learn about self publishing?
It’s the fourth time I’ve asked this question in my regular Saturday email. My previous queries have elicited a variety of responses. Some respondents asked for writing tips. Many others asked me to write about self publishing. And I’ve always received a smattering of requests for book marketing tips. Up to now, it’s been a mixed bag without any one area receiving a majority response.
Well, that all changed in my latest request for input. Here’s a representative sampling of the latest responses.
Hi Steven, I have done two self-published books, including one with BookBaby in 2019, Yoga with Trees. You have asked for suggestions about what we would like to have help with. My answer: MARKETING! —J. Garrison
First, thank you, BookBaby. Getting my book published simply would not have happened without you. Your team guided me with confidence and understanding. It’s when my book hit the market that I realized I knew no more about marketing than about publishing. BookBaby offers a lot regarding marketing, but it intimidates me. How can I know if I’m doing the right thing? —L. Hatley
I am open to hearing some ‘do’s and don’ts’ for self-published authors, but can you focus on book marketing and sales and social media campaigns? —T. Jones
I would like to hear more about how to market my book on my own. I’ve done well and sold many copies of both of my books across the world, but I am running out of ideas. —R. Vergato
There are hundreds more responses just like these. In all, over 80 percent of the messages I received expressed the need for more book marketing and promotion ideas, opinions, and tips. Message received, loud and clear!
These voters have sent a clear message. After mulling over ideas about how best to respond, I’ve come up with a plan. Actually, more than that. I’ve come up with a campaign:
2021: The Year To Find Your Readers
It’s a big job, and here’s how we’re going to accomplish the mission: I’m going to spend the next few months reviewing and writing about the best and latest information about book marketing for self-published authors. This isn’t something I can present in just a few blog posts — this is going to take weeks of blog posts, Weekender emails, and our upcoming Facebook Live events to cover everything that needs to be shared.
To sort out all the important book marketing activities, I’m going to divide and conquer this task in ways that make sense to authors in every phase of the self-publishing journey – including how to find your readers. There will be two categories of posts:
1. 100 days before publish. These are tasks authors can and should prioritize while their books are still in production, beginning with my recommendations for creating your very best book. You could have spent $5.5 million on a Super Bowl ad this year, but you aren’t going to sell many books without a professional edit and great cover design.
2. 100 days after publish. These articles will consist of the most important elements of an effective book marketing plan to be worked on after your book launches. There are many opportunities for publicizing books, but I’ll share information about the most affordable and effective methods based on BookBaby authors’ efforts over the last few years.
(One important note: I’m using “100 days” as an easy handle for a timetable. The truth is, these ideas and tips will apply to promote books that were published 1,000 or even 10,000 days ago.)
So that’s the plan. I’ll kick this off next week and continue throughout the next six months to give this subject the attention it deserves. There’s no better time to devote energy and effort toward finding your readers.
Every writer has a dream of having a huge best-selling book during the holiday season. But unless your last name is Obama or Patterson, the marketing work they did in December had little to do with the ultimate success of the book. The fact is that holiday best-sellers are created because of the marketing work and effort that’s done every month prior to the biggest selling period of the year.
Now, let’s go find your readers!
How to Maintain (or Reignite) Your Passion For Selling Books
Marketing A Book (Beyond Social Media)
How To Get Stunning Cover Design For Your Book
Three Social Media Mistakes For Would-Be Authors
Creative Inspiration For Book Selling During Quarantine