Before we talk how to market your book after it's published, we'd be remiss if didn't first mention this:
You really should start marketing your book before you publish.
During the time your book is actually being prepped for publishing (e.g., during cover design, editing, or interior layout), you should step up your game and increase your interaction. This is the perfect time to start building your author platform and get people aware of and interested in your book. And if you decide to reach out to media outlets for coverage, you’ll want to begin your outreach two to four months before your publication date.
Now for the real reason you're here: can you market your book after it's been published?
Yes, you can. But keep in mind that marketing your book after it's been published when you haven't done any prior marketing greatly diminishes your chances of receiving coverage or reviews. That said, you have a few marketing options available to you post-publication that can aid you in gaining traction.
If you haven't done any pre-publication marketing for your book and want something to do post-launch, you might want to consider hosting a Goodreads giveaway. Giveaways can run anytime within six months after your book's publication date, and you'll typically see a lot of traffic.
When we help authors with Goodreads giveaways, we'll see anywhere from 200 to 800 people enter the giveaway. Many of those people also add the books on their “to-be-read” list, which means that whenever they go to their profile to see what books they've added, yours will be right there along with the rest.
With Goodreads giveaways, you have the option to run it for as long as you'd like and give away as many books as you choose. As an added bonus for the winner(s), you can even sign a copy of your book to make it more personal—readers love that kind of stuff.
Not only will hosting a giveaway increase exposure for your book, but it may even produce reviews from your winners, and reviews can help spread the word about your book.
Goodreads advertising is another great way to get your book in front of the Goodreads audience faster than if they were to discover it by searching for new books. If you plan on running Goodreads ads and hosting a Goodreads giveaway, you'll get more exposure if you run them both at the same time.
If you're running a giveaway, Goodreads advertising will give you the option of displaying this information on your ads. This means that when someone sees your ad, they will also see "Enter to win a free copy" on the ad, too. Our publicist Robin, having run many ads and giveaways for authors, has found that doing giveaways and ads at the same time gets almost twice as many people entering the giveaway and increases clicks on the ads.
If you're already on Facebook or Twitter, or you want to become active, using social media sites can be powerful and inexpensive tools to promote your book. The earlier you can start, the better, but starting now beats never starting at all.
Promoting Your Book on Facebook
When you promote your book on Facebook, you'll want to create a new page just for your book or for you as an author (if you plan on publishing more books). Facebook requires you use a Facebook page for commercial purposes (i.e., promoting your book to obtain sales), so by creating a Facebook page, you'll be adhering to Facebook's policies.
Another benefit to having a Facebook page is that you can run Facebook ads, which is another post-launch activity you might want to consider. Like Goodreads ads, this can be an effective way to get your book in front of readers by targeting people who've expressed interest in topics related to your book.
Promoting Your Book on Twitter
With Twitter, you can have a personal and a professional profile OR you can just use one profile for both. Unlike Facebook, Twitter doesn't require you have a page specific for your business, and you'll find that many people just like to have one profile. In fact, Twitter only allows you to use one Twitter handle per email account, so if you'd like to have two Twitter profiles, you would need to use two separate email addresses.
Need more information on social media? Check out the dos and don'ts of social media, learn how to optimize your social media profiles, and get started using social media as a book promotion tool.
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