by Penny Sansevieri
For many authors, creating a successful book marketing campaign seems as difficult and mysterious as effectively whipping up a delicious chocolate souffle. What are the ingredients, what are the tricks, what are the best tools and in what order should I be using them?
While there is an art to baking and also an art to marketing, you don’t have to be a professional to find your way to the sweet smell of success. Marketing amateurs can make great progress toward a terrific book marketing campaign by working on bite-sized pieces. So instead of chocolate souffle, think Snickers fun-size – and let yourself have that fun!
Today, I have some small but mighty book marketing strategies for you; many of them are quick and/or free.
You might think about sprinkling them through your week, doing one a night. Or maybe grab a handful and settle in on a weekend afternoon. You’ll find you’re in a much better position, marketing-wise, when Monday rolls around.
Claim What’s Yours
Claim your Amazon Author Page. It’s Amazon. This is a Must Do and you already know that. If you’ve been reluctant, decide you’ll just add your bio. Baby steps ARE steps.
Claim your Author Profile on Bookbub and get your books listed. It’s free to submit your book to be added to your profile.
Claim and fill out your author page on Goodreads and claim ALL your books. At minimum you should have representation on this site, even if you haven’t taken steps to use all of its features as part of your well-rounded author marketing approach…yet.
Use What You Already Have
Celebrate declining Covid cases by masking up and making your way out into the world to leave five of your author business cards around town this weekend. If you have a way for someone to use a coupon code on your website – jot that down as well to really up the ante!
Brainstorm a bunch of ideas for your next blog posts. Don’t overthink it, don’t commit to all of them, just jot down every single idea that comes to you. Overthinking can be one of your biggest author marketing downfalls.
Publish one of your popular blog posts on Medium. It’s fast and super easy to find new readers and extend your author marketing.
Look at your blog or website and find three improvements you can make. Or, look at other authors’ sites and steal a few ideas you’re missing out on.
Read your author bio on Amazon and social media. Spend five minutes thinking about how you could improve it and make notes.
Plan an upcoming newsletter to send to your mailing list. You don’t have to plan it, write it, illustrate it, revise it, edit it, and send it all in one sitting. Break it into manageable chunks and take satisfaction in chipping away at the process to get to a great product!
Socialize and Network
Comment on a post on a popular blog or on a newspaper article. Commenting is one of the most effective ways to get noticed as an indie author. If there is the option to reply to already posted comments, even better, as you will be entering into a conversation and getting a chance to show off your knowledge or experience in a key area of interest to those who frequent that site.
Join a writers’ group. Sometimes other writers have good ideas you can steal!
Follow 100 people on Twitter. On average about 20 will follow you back. Do it regularly and you will build a solid following to help your author marketing on Twitter.
Follow 10 friends of your friends on Facebook. You’ll be surprised how many will accept your request because they will see that you are in some way connected to them. You never know, you might be connecting with new fans!
Follow 10 authors in your genre on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (or whatever platforms you frequent). Not only is this good networking, you’ll also likely pick up some tips and tricks of the trade and learn from their own author marketing activities.
Share five posts of interest on Twitter, Facebook, or any of your social media accounts. It’s amazing how many people will notice and perhaps follow you back because you are sharing and playing nice, not shoving your books down people’s throats.
Find five new blogs that cater to your genre and add them to your master blogger list. Before you click out of each, leave a comment. Everyone wants feedback and bloggers will remember and be appreciative of whatever tracks you leave behind.
Learn New Tricks
Google search ‘book marketing for 2021’ and read two articles. You won’t ever come up with new ideas if you’re not always trying to learn. Learning does take time, but it’s free – pick your battles.
Read up on SEO and learn to write your blog posts around keywords to increase visitor traffic.
List some new materials or tools you’d like to master and then choose one to spend an hour on. Maybe you’d like to learn more about using Canva (which is free!) so you spend your time making a few practice social media posts featuring your dog. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to up your Zoom game so you do some research on ring lights and the best way to set up your desk for video chats.
Check out a few websites and blogs for writers and independent authors with an eye toward free downloadable information. You might emerge from a dedicated surf session with everything from a monthly book marketing planner to a reader profile sheet. We routinely offer both of these tools at the end of Author Marketing Experts blog posts.
Book marketing doesn’t have to be a scary slog through the unknown if you make use of what you already have, build on your current success, look for holes in your learning, connect to others with like-minded interests, and, most importantly, enjoy the ride.
Best of luck to you!
What small actions have made a big difference in your book marketing efforts? Share them with us down in the comments!
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Penny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a bestselling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She is an Adjunct Professor teaching Self-Publishing for NYU. She was named one of the top influencers of 2019 by New York Metropolitan Magazine.
Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most innovative Amazon Optimization programs as well as Social Media/Internet book marketing campaigns. She is the author of 18 books, including How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon: 2021 Amazon Ads Powerhouse Edition, Revise and Re-Release Your Book, 5-Minute Book Marketing, and Red Hot Internet Publicity, which has been called the "leading guide to everything Internet." Her next book From Book to Bestseller is due out in Spring 2021.
AME has had dozens of books on top bestseller lists, including those of The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.
To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, visit www.amarketingexpert.com.