Many people underestimate the importance of marketing a book. Often, budgets are formed around the actual publishing process (editing, designing, printing, etc.), and marketing can be easily overlooked. Spending time and money on publishing is crucial, but without a plan on how you will promote your book, who will know about it?
There are several ways to promote your book, and it is important to find out which methods will work best for you. At Mill City Press, we break down book marketing into three groups: online book marketing, social media marketing, and traditional book publicity. Many times authors will use a mix of all three types of marketing in order to reach the broadest group of people possible. Some marketing services are used before a book’s publication to generate publicity before it comes out. Others can be used after the book is published to keep readers up-to-date on the latest happenings.
Traditional Book Marketing
First, let’s talk about traditional marketing. Like the name suggests, these types of services have been around the longest and are still very popular today. Services in this category include but are not limited to: sending out press releases, pitching your book to media outlets, and sending review copies of your book to media outlets. These services are most often used to get reviews that you can use to promote your book. Writing a successful press release takes finesse because it needs to stick out to whomever you are asking to review your book. These reviewers receive hundreds of press releases every day, so if yours isn’t unique or doesn’t get to the point, it will be passed over.
Similar to a press release, a pitch letter also needs to grab the attention of a reviewer. Imagine you have 30 seconds to tell someone about your book and why they should review it. It’s not that easy, which is why it takes time to determine the best way you can get your message across.
Online Book Marketing
Next, let’s move on to online book marketing services. The great thing about online marketing is that there is potential to reach so many more people on the web than would be possible to reach in person. The web has made it so much easier and faster to tell people about your book, and with the constant advances in technology, it will only become more efficient. There are dozens of things you as an author can do online to promote your book, but we’ll give examples of a few that Mill City Press offers to give you an idea.
Another online strategy we believe all authors should take advantage of is creating an author website. Author websites don’t have to be complex if you don’t want them to be; five simple pages is enough. We believe that all websites should have a book synopsis, an about the author page, a contact page, and a sales page. You can check out our blog on The Importance of Professional Author Website Design to learn more about the benefits of creating an author website to help you promote your book.
Social Media Marketing
Last but certainly not least is social media marketing. Today, social media seems to be everywhere we turn. It’s talked about on television, on the radio, in magazines, and, of course, all over the internet. With the masses of people using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, authors have a greater chance of attracting fans by using and marketing their books on these sites. If you know how to set up Facebook and Twitter pages yourself, this is a free, easy way to promote your book.
There are a few tricks to being successful at using these pages. For example, authors should regularly update their social media pages to keep their fans engaged. This can be once a day, once a week, or once a month if desired, but should be consistent. The pages should also represent the book they are promoting so that there’s no confusion on the user’s end to what the page is about. To learn more about how you can use social media to promote your book, see our blog on The Power of Social Media. For authors who want help designing their social media pages, Mill City Press has Facebook and Twitter services to help our authors!
Marketing isn’t just a one-time thing. It requires time and dedication if you are really serious about making your book stand out to readers. While you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to promote your book, you do want to make sure that you set an appropriate budget so that your marketing campaign is successful. The more you put into promoting your book, the more you will get out of it.