Book marketing is a subject that a lot of first-time authors that I speak to are worried about. After all, writing and publishing a book is a big investment of both time and money; you want to make sure that you see some level of return on that investment.
Now, I’m not an expert on book marketing per se… for that I recommend you talk to the lovely Karen Williams at Librotas (https://librotas.com). But I have published two books that both achieved the ROI goals that I set for them fairly quickly after publication, and I’ve seen what a lot of my successful authors have done to market their books. The key thing that I’ve learned is that A) book marketing doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, and B) that marketing a book is no different than marketing your business.
As a side note, the return on your investment of publishing a book doesn’t just have to be copy sales. To learn more about the various ROI opportunities there are for books, check out my article “5 Powerful Way to Measure Self-Publishing ROI”
In this article, I’m going to take a look specifically and book marketing on social media; simply because it is the easiest to implement, it can be done completely free of any cost, and you can start doing it at any time – you don’t need to wait until your book is on sale, and the same rules apply if you want to revitalise a book that has been on sale for a while.
There are 3 simple rules for effective book marketing on social media; regardless of what platform you use:
1. Little and Often
This was a rule I learned the hard way when I published “Stress-Free Self-Publishing” back in May 2019. I made the very common mistake of thinking I had to do everything all at once as soon as the book was officially published and I ended up burning myself out. The other risk with this tactic is that your readers get bored of seeing your post constantly about your book and they switch off.
The trick is to post little bits about your book as often as you can realistically sustain it over a long period. Effective book marketing is all about playing the long game. Little reminders that you are an author, that you have published a book, and that book could be the solution to someone’s problem without being pushy, overwhelming, or overburdening yourself with a posting schedule that you can’t maintain.
A great trick to make this a little bit easier – and more effective in the long run – is to think of lots of different ways of talking about your book. Some will be the ‘buy my book’ type of posts, but as any social media marketer will tell you sales posts should only make up a maximum of 20% of your content. The rest can be things like sharing quotes from your book, re-posting reviews, starting a conversation about a topic you write about in your book, share your insider experience of being a writer and your publishing journey, the list can go on and on. The more varied your content, the less likely people will get bored of it, and the easier it will be for you to achieve the goal of posting regularly without overwhelm.
2. Consistency is King
The rule of consistency applies to two aspects of your social media book marketing, and they are: be consistent with when you are posting as well as what you are posting.
In regards to ‘when’… take what you learned from rule number 1 and work out what a realistic posting schedule could be for you that you could easily maintain over an extended period. Whether that is one a day, once a week, or once a month, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you stick to that schedule consistently. Sure life happens sometimes that can throw your schedule off, but a good tip to minimise the impact of these hiccups is to write out a posting schedule and then use any of the various social media management services out there that automate posting for you (such as Buffer, Hootsuite, of my personal favourite CoSchedule).
As for ‘what’… aim to maintain a consistent style to your posts in terms of writing style, branding, imagery, etc. as this will make it easier for your audience to recognise your posts and start to build a relationship with them.
3. Be the Solution
This final rule goes a long way towards helping achieve that 20/80 split in the content type that I mentioned under rule number 1.
When you wrote your book, you had a purpose in mind for how your book could help your reader. Your book marketing is where you share that purpose with the world. Make it clear that your book solves a particular problem for your target audience. The key to unlocking the true potential of this rule is altruism. By being willing to give small snippets of your support/knowledge/advice to people without any expectation of return, the more people will build an affinity to you and want to either support you back or want to learn more from you – both quite often lead to people going any buying your book.
So make actively posting comments on other people’s posts part of your book marketing strategy. By offering advice, giving recommendations, being the expert with the solution, you start to convert those who you help to rave fans who will then go and market you to their followers. When that happens your book marketing starts to grow exponentially and beyond your immediate network. Very powerful stuff!
There you have it; 3 very simple rules that will help you form a social media book marketing strategy that will keep you moving in the right direction of achieving your self-publishing goals.
Do you have any tips or examples of things you did to market your book on social media? Please share them in the comments.
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