Congratulations! You’ve finished your book and you’re searching for book marketing ideas, guerilla marketing tactics, social media book promotion, articles on how to publicize your book, how to sell more books on Amazon, book marketing tips and tricks…
And I’m about to burst your bubble. Brace yourself.
The biggest book marketing mistake authors make is waiting until after, or very shortly before, publication to start marketing. The time to start thinking about marketing is at the very beginning, right down to your book’s audience targeting, your concept as it relates to that audience, your book’s title, your cover, etc. I’ll write a post on how to think like a marketer in the very beginning at a later time, but for now, let’s focus on something simpler. Here are three things authors should do far in advance of publication.
3 Things You Should Do in Advance of Your Book’s Publication… Bare Minimum
#1 Input (strong) metadata as early as possible.
Meta-whatta? I’m glad you asked. Your book’s metadata includes all the information tied to your book, and this metadata directly influences how easily people find your book online. This includes text you can see on screen, like the title, subtitle, and book description, as well as off-screen information, like off-screen keywords and the subcategories for your book.
Independently published authors: Unless you hire a professional to manage it, this is all on you. And it’s the bread and butter of your digital marketing.
Traditionally published authors: Make this an aspect of publishing companies that you research thoroughly before you sign a book deal, and also learn about which parts of the metadata are directly or partially within your control.
It takes time for algorithms to pick up new information, so if your book isn’t already online at least a couple months prior to publication, you’re missing out! I focus a lot on metadata, so if you would like to stay connected and learn more specifics, sign up for my newsletter. I’ll keep you in the loop!
#2 Get your book cover everywhere.
You didn’t spend all those months or years writing a book only to have people base their purchase on the book cover. And yet, that’s basically what happens! We all know better than to buy a book by its cover, but we do it anyway, time and again. It is arguably the most influential factor in your book sales.
Your book cover is arguably the most influential factor in your book sales.
Hopefully you’ve got a cover that’s expertly designed for your target audience. If you think it could stand to be improved, click here to learn how to make a few simple changes to your book cover that can seriously impace book sales.
Regardless, the biggest key here is to have your book cover well in advance of publication and get it everywhere. The more familiar it is to people, the more likely they’ll buy it when it’s available (if they haven’t already pre-ordered it!). Post your cover along with anything and everything to do with your book, at every opportunity, starting as early as you can before publication.
#3 Get early reviews & praise.
Whether or not you manage to get a hold of printed advanced reader copies (ARCs), gather as many reviews and praise quotes as you possibly can, as early in the process as you can, and start sharing them… you guessed it… everywhere you can. This includes your descriptive fields in your metadata, your book cover and back cover, your social media, your press release, etc.
If you’re working with a publicist, you should also read up on how to not accidently drive your book publicist up the wall.
Showing readers how amazing your book is before it comes out builds credibility and anticipation. Plus, the more reviews and blurbs you have, the more people and outlets you can tag on social media when you share their quotes… meaning an exponentially larger audience reach. Couple this with tip #2 above, and you can see how much this matters!
What you can still do after publication
So what if you’ve already made this biggest rookie mistake? Don’t give up just yet. There’s still plenty you can do. For starters, get this free booklet of 115 effective book marketing ideas. Most of them don’t cost a dime, and every single one of them takes only 10 minutes or less.
Once you’ve got that free guide, turn your attention to your metadata. Okay, so you didn’t get it done as early as you should have, and maybe it’s sloppily done… But it’s never too late to whip it into shape, and it is still, and always will be, your #1 influence for online book sales.
Was this post helpful to you? Leave a comment!