By: Amanda Winstead
Book Done? Then It’s Time To Market It
“Not all marketing people are writers, but all writers must learn to be marketers.” ―
Once upon a time, new authors had to bend over backward to market their books using more “traditional” advertising methods. It was harder to be an independent author because it was almost impossible to compete with the advertising dollars of big publishing companies.
Thankfully, that’s not the case today. By accessing social media, new authors can promote their books and themselves, giving readers the chance to explore new genres without doing too much digging. It also allows budding authors on a budget to reach a wider audience and find greater success.
You probably haven’t gotten a huge following if you’re a new author with a first book. That’s where social media can help you with your initial marketing. Many new authors feel intimidated by how, when, and where to market.
The good news? To make social media work for you, you don’t need to be a digital marketing pro or an influencer (though we’ll talk about that later!). Let’s cover a few helpful tips that you can use across all platforms to reach new readers and bolster the success of your books.
Ads Aren’t Totally Antiquated Marketing
You’re probably not going to be able to afford a billboard or television commercial for your new publication. However, advertising on social media is much cheaper and more effective. The most important thing is to make sure you’re doing a Facebook banner ad correctly, considering that 99% of banner ads don’t get clicked. Don’t let that discourage you!
You can help your ad stand out by educating yourself on using the correct banner size and making sure the graphics make sense. It’s worth it to invest in a graphic designer if you don’t have the skills to create something noticeable.
If you’re not into banner ads or you want to stand out even further, consider utilizing video marketing. Video marketing is incredibly successful and effective. One survey found that 99% of people who used video marketing in 2021 to promote their business or a service/product will use it again.
You can utilize video marketing in a variety of ways, including
- Hosting a live Q&A session
- Livestreaming a reading from your book
- Creating a “behind the scenes” video about your book
- Putting together a short video about yourself
Another way to get potential readers excited is to create a trailer for your book. Yes, you read that right. Movies have trailers, so why not treat books the same way? Consider working with a video editor or filmmaker or hone your video editing skills to put together a basic outline of what your book is about and create an exciting trailer to share on TikTok or YouTube that will get people just as excited to read as they would be to see an upcoming film.
While you don’t have to have a substantial social media following to find success, it can help if you work with someone who does. Influencer marketing is lucrative and effective, especially if you don’t want to put yourself in front of a camera.
Influencers are essentially social media “celebrities.” They are content creators with large followings and typically focus on specific genres or niches. There are plenty of influencers in the book community, and their followers and fans trust their opinions when it comes to which books to pick up and which authors are worth reading, even new authors.
If you want to work with an influencer, there are a few tips to keep in mind that will keep you (and your budget!) protected and help to ensure greater success.
- Choose your influencer carefully by doing your research.
- Use multiple influencers at first to determine who best fits your needs.
- Set goals and express them upfront.
- Let your influencers have creative control, but set boundaries.
- Make sure the influencer(s) you choose has an active following in online book communities like #BookTok or on Instagram or those who are on book promotion sites.
Does Your Influencer Have Integrity?
Unfortunately, because influencer marketing has become so popular, some people take advantage of those wanting to hire someone to work with and don’t deliver on their promises. The best thing you can do is research ahead of time and listen to reviews before hiring an influencer to promote your material.
Another way to showcase your book is to have it featured on a site like Shepherd.com. You’ve probably scoped out the competition or read similar books for comparison as an author. If you review five books in your genre, your book is promoted on the site. Next, contact the other authors about a social media exchange.
Finding someone you trust and who understands social media and literary marketing for authors is crucial for getting your book before readers. Cat Lyon knows what she’s doing with her affordable marketing plans:
- Getting you signed for a guest interview
- Custom banners
- Seasonal promotions
- Tweets and Retweets
- Listings on book review sites
Build A Better Blog
“If your author platform is not well built, you may lose readers to an inferior product that was simply easier to find because its platform was superior to yours.”
Social media should only be one component of your digital marketing strategy. Different platforms should serve as places where you can promote both new and existing content.
Writers need to have their own website or blog for audiences to visit. When you have a quality site, you can link to different pages or specific types of content and publish them on social media.
When you have a blog, it’s easy to share posts on Facebook and Twitter, and it opens you up to your audience and potential fans. You can talk about yourself, what your readers might expect, or even share snippets of your writing, so people will know what they’re getting into before they pick up your book. It’s a good idea to join Facebook and Twitter groups that target your genre, subject matter, or any of the legitimate book promotion groups.
Marketing That Makes Sense
All of your digital marketing efforts should “mesh” together. It’s not enough to have a single marketing campaign surrounding your book. Your goal should be to build a strong reputation, and that requires people being able to “find you” on social media and beyond.
In addition to sharing content from your blog or website, make sure you spend some extra time on social media to validate it. Respond to comments or questions as much as possible, and let your readers know that you’re who you say you are by “humanizing” yourself. You might be one person, but you have to look at yourself as a business when you’re a published author. Consumers are more likely to trust businesses and brands that regularly communicate and connect.
If you’re not already utilizing social media to promote your books, now is a perfect time to start. Use these tips to identify your target audience, grow your readership, and market current and future books by connecting with people worldwide. No matter your budget, you can make social media work for you.
Bio: Amanda Winstead
Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts.
If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her onTwitter.
Other posts by Amanda Winstead
Remember: Guest Posts Give You Free Marketing For Your Book
A published guest post on Two Drops of Ink provides you with several things that will help with marketing your book:
- Links to your books, website, and other writings in the bio
- We share every post on our social media, giving you more exposure as a writer and author
- Potential new followers for your website
- Possible sales for your books
- Shahnaz Radjy, a monthly contributor at Two Drops of Ink, does some of the best author interviews and is always looking for a good read, which can result in an interview on the site.
We accept poetry, some prose, and problem-solving tips for writers and bloggers. If you have a subject that you think would work for Two Drops of Ink, send me some topic ideas at email@example.com.
If you know your post would fit after reading the submission guidelines, send it to the same email address.