Have you ever thought about how to go about marketing your book? As a self-publisher, all of the responsibility of getting your book from written to bought is all on you.
To help you in the process of getting your book in the right hands, create a marketing plan. I want to share with you a few top reasons why it's important to create a marketing plan for your book.
1. Gives you an easy map to follow. As a self-publisher, the idea of marketing your book can be a nervous task to take on, especially if you're a newbie at this. Having a marketing plan gives you step-by-step actions to moving your book professionally through the marketing process.
2. It helps you to get creative and become more connected with your book's message. You've probably heard that the more you do something, the better you will remember it. Developing this plan is a great way to take your brain dump ideas and organize them well, while you're learning more and more about what message you want to portray to readers. As you're creating this plan, you're becoming more comfortable with talking about your book with others.
3. It's a great tool to have to build your contact and media lists. Creating this book marketing plan will require you to do some research. As you're going section by section, you're finding the right media outlets and connections to get your book out there to the masses. This is a great way to get to know other people in the industry and ideas on how to connect your book with them.
I have attached a book marketing plan cheat sheet HERE, and also the webinar on how to do the marketing plan. I would love for feedback, and tell me what you liked or learned from this experience.
Remember authors, your book is your experience, and sharing it with the world is your goal.
Publishing and being successful in book sales is not something that's quick and easy. Just because you publish a book, it doesn't mean that your book is going to skyrocket up the best seller list or be a hot-ticket item among book clubs. Take a look at this video to see how important marketing yourself and your book is even before the book is even finished...
1. Give a brief introduction of your main character's job or position in the story. What kind of job does your character have? Is their job instrumental in defining them in your book? Perhaps sharing the position they have in the "community" may play a role in how your readers will connect and understand your character.
2. Introduce the problem or conflict the character faces. What is your story going to be about? What is the "secret" or issue that they have? Give just enough to get your readers to want to know more.
3. Use words to engage the reader. Connect the character's issues with your reader's issues or problems. For example, "divorce", "confusion", "living a lie", "fear of giving her (his) heart."
4. Leave readers hanging with a cliffhanger question or ellipse statement. In my book, Devil in Disguise, on my back cover, I wrote: "Being blinded by who he believes are his enemies, Ben gets blindsided once more on the rollercoaster that becomes his life. Is there any hope for him to be truly delivered and restored, and find the real... Devil in Disguise?"
5. Use powerful, attention-grabbing quotes from the main character. What profound words or phrases did your character make that resonates with the title or subject matter of your book? Share it with your readers to get them wanting to hear more from your character.
Use these basic tips on how write your book blurb (or synopsis) to not only grab your reader's attention, but to set the stage for the journey your book will take your readers on.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” KJV
What does the word “virtuous” mean? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it means having or showing high moral standards.
What are the standards that you’ve set in your business? Have you ever thought about that aspect? In designing your business, you do a business plan, right? In that plan, where does God fit in? Is He merely mentioned in the executive summary, or does He flow throughout the entire plan?
A standard is a level that you’re looking to attain. So now the deeper question is: where are you looking to get to? A ROI of 45%? Hmm, maybe you’re looking to get that new house you were praying about a mile outside of town?
When setting standards for your business, there is nothing wrong with setting physical objectives and goals, but also set spirituals ones. Desire to build your brand spiritually.
The scripture says that her price is far above rubies. A ruby is considered to be an extremely expensive gemstone. In biblical times, they represented wealth and power. So, for a quality cut ruby, be expected to shell out a good $15,000. And that’s just for one! And did you know that authentic rubies are rare to find? Yes, the authentic 100-percent ruby is rare to find.
Symbolically throughout biblical history, rubies symbolized God’s judgment, mercy, and righteousness.
So, what standards in your business’ industry is rare to find? And how would having that rarity shine the light on God and bring others closer to Him through your business?
What standard would you set for your business that many would pay good money just to have it? What is a must-have for your business?
Comparisons to rubies are mentioned six times in the bible. This gem is seen as very precious and valuable and is referenced to women as well as wisdom and knowledge.
In running your business, it should be considered as precious and valuable – not only in the services you offer, but also in the institution itself. One thing about a business, is it is more than just making money and having freedom. It is about providing something for someone else, that without having it, they would be lacking it.
What is the spiritual “price tag” that you’ve placed on your business and brand? When people come to you, are they viewing not only your products or services – but also you – as valuable? Are you rare and a must-have?
Seek to be virtuous. Structure in your business plan to have standards that are rare, yet precious and highly valuable that no one can do without.
*From my upcoming 2-book It's God's Business series entitled, "Doing Business As Unusual: Proverbs 31 Study Guide for Women Entrepreneurs."
Why are leaving reviews so important? For one thing, it helps build credibility for your author. An author can talk up their book, but it helps when readers can vouch to other readers how good the book really is. And word of mouth still works; so when one person said the book was good, other people will want to read it, and they'll buy it.
In this blog post, I'm going to share with you some great ways on where you can leave a review for your fave author as well as how to leave reviews that will be noteworthy to not only other readers, but to book critics and other important people that can help feed your author.
WHERE CAN YOU LEAVE BOOK REVIEWS?
Go to their website or blog. If the author has a blog or website, which most of them do, leave one on there. If they have a comment or review link, share your testimonial. Leave your name or email and ask to be added to their email list, so that you can be among the first to receive free stuff (like eBooks) or previews to their new pieces of work.
Online bookstores. Most books are published on places like Barnes & Noble or Amazon. And they has various lists, that your authors would love to be in the top 10 of. The more traffic a book gets, the more notoriety it receives, which pushes the book up the line to get more engagement. Some authors have previews on these sites, so leave a review there as well as when the book hits the store; leave another review there, too.
Goodreads. If your author isn't on Goodreads, suggest it to them. There are many groups on Goodreads, and there is a way to suggest a book to others as well as a book list for people to add books that they plan to read. This builds credibility and gets other readers to take notice of your author's book.
Book fair videos. Whuh? Yeah, have you ever been to a book fair, and saw your fave author in the flesh? Get out your iPhone and record a video right there on the spot with them, telling the whole wide world that you met your fave author and how much you loved their book. You've just done an awesome review that can go viral. This adds a personal touch when you chat it up with your author face-to-face before a new readership online.
Your local book clubs. Local clubs are always looking for new good stuff to read. Suggest books by sharing with them things to say on their social media group pages, and when you go to your meetings. These aren't exactly "written" reviews, but remember, word of mouth still brings in the bucks.
Social media. There's nothing like it. Twitter and Facebook are the social hubs that people respect. Tweet and hashtag your fave author by saying something really cool and profound about the book. Get on Facebook and leave a review on their page. People still read that stuff.
HOW SHOULD YOU LEAVE A REVIEW?
This has been one pet peeve of mine; people not knowing how to leave a review. It's more than just saying the book is great. You want to intrigue other people to actually read the book, too. Here are a few tips on how to leave a book review for your favorite author:
• Give stars even if the review platform you're using doesn't have any. Rating the book speaks volumes to people who are looking for something new and good to read. This is especially important for new authors who haven't developed a following yet.
• Express an emotion on how this book made you feel. Readers are normally looking for entertainment when they read. Some may look to be educated or empowered. This appeals to their emotions, and they're looking for a book that will charge up their emotions as well as their brain.
• Be honest; but be tactful. If you really liked the book, say that, but if there are parts of the book that may not have sat well with you, express that as well. Why? This gives other readers the impression that you actually connected with the book and its characters or subject. And that's a tell-tale sign that it's a good book.
• Leave your contact information. If you're not keen on leaving your name, at least leave your initials. And leave an email address. Some authors love to connect with their readers and bounce ideas off of them, or get them involved in developing their next book - such as book cover ideas, contests, etc.
There are plenty of authors popping up daily, and people still love to read. But if no one knows about the book, no one buys the book. And if your fave author doesn't have money to invest in keeping the books going, how can you have something to read? Leaving book reviews are like stock dividends to your authors. Help them spread the word, so that they can keep providing you with great reads.
Do you have a blog?
Are you interested in knowing how to blog?
Never heard of a link up party or wanted to know how they work?
Blog link up parties can be beneficial in assisting to do a number of things for your blog. In this post, I'm going to share with you what a link up party is, and how to prepare your blog to participate in one.
Link up parties or blog hops are platforms where bloggers meet to read and discuss blogs on similar topics. It is great for getting exposure to your blog as well as networking with other bloggers, attracting new readers and engagement. It may sound foreign if you've never participated in one, but they are fairly easy. It takes presenting your blog in the best light to get noticed and selected among the faves in the party. That's why I'm going to share a few tips on how to prepare your blog to be the life of the party!
#1: Have an amazing thumbnail graphic. It's true that a picture is worth 1,000 words. And you want yours to say the write words. Choose clear and colorful pictures that speak to what your blog post is about. Make sure it's interesting enough to attract them to click and read more.
#2: Selective posts that are noteworthy and interesting to your audience. You may have an amazing blog, but if the post you select doesn't have anything to do with the "topic" of the party, no one is going to read it.
#3: Include the direct link; not the blog. You want your party friends to not have to search through your blog to find what attracted them. Post the direct link to the actual post, and make sure the thumbnail is the same! Consistency is important.
#4: Engage with the party host. This is their party, so don't be rude. Most link up parties have requirements that state you have to like and engage on their blog, but if not, do it anyway. Most party hosts are well-respected in the blog world, and it helps to connect with others who can send some engagement your way.
#5: Always link back to the host on your blog. When you participate in their party, and they've given you honorable mention, return the favor. Let people know where you have been. This does a number of things: shows the host that you appreciate them for allowing you to participate in their party, drives the traffic and engagement from their blog to yours, and it is just plain common social media courtesy.
#6: Don't forget to visit other party-bloggers. Who goes to a party and doesn't chat it up with other people at the party? Wallflowers. But the whole purpose of joining a link up is to get your blog off of the wall. Visit other blogs in the party, like/follow posts, leave comments, mention/tag bloggers in comments in reference to the party host, etc. All of these ideas are great ways to, once again, increase engagement and traffic to your blog. This can also lead to partnerships, such as affiliate or feature blogger opportunities.
Blog parties can be very helpful to building, and even monetizing your written works. What's the point of having all of that great content, and no one ever gets to read it? Research parties based on topics and hop on in the fun. Most parties allow you to share a week ahead of time, and some have special topics for different days of the week, so this expands your chance of reach if you have a general blog that covers various topics. Search engines as well as social media platforms are great places to start looking for blog parties that may be great for you. Remember these tips, and go out there and get to partyin'!
Now that you've written and gotten the book published, what's next? How do you go about marketing your book and you don't actually have the funds to purchase marketing packages to get your book noticed and read? One of the best answers is a virtual book tour.
The benefits of having a virtual book tour include not having to face crowds if you are not the most extrovert type of person, virtual book tours also provide you with a wider reach. Using the internet can be an awesome tool for authors to promote books. Virtual book tours are also good to help you find opportunities (such as awards and author spotlights) to increase awareness and find new readers. In this post, I'm going to share some tips on how to go about setting up a virtual book tour for your book, especially if you're a new author.
Tip #1: HOST YOUR OWN TOUR.
If you haven't established many relationships in the "author world", and are not sure where to find existing tours; host your own. Virtual tours can be as short or long as you like, but a good rule of thumb for virtual tours is 3-4 weeks. You want to give yourself a chance to reach your audience and get into your "groove" about sharing your book.
Tip #2: USE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS.
Facebook is one of the top platforms to join and use for your virtual book tour. You can create an event page for however long you want to schedule your tour and share blurbs with small bios about your book's main characters, share information about you as an author, and host a Q&A for your attendees.
Instagram or Twitter can also be used in your book tour. Share links, graphics of your book cover, book characters, situations, themes, locations, etc. can be added with brief content on these platforms.
Tip #3: BLOG SPOTLIGHT.
There are various ways to use a blog to spotlight your book. If you have a blog of your own, post on subject topics or do character analyses on your blog and share the link back to where readers can purchase your book. Seek out other authors or bloggers to interview you or feature your book on their "book of the week".
Tip #4: JOIN AUTHOR GROUPS OR BOOK CLUBS.
This is one great way to get to know what people like to read. It is also a way to get to know other readers and authors. Networking is an important factor in not only promoting your book, but getting sales. Most clubs and social media groups host book fairs or feature fellow authors in the group.
Also engage with other authors on their book tours, blogs, spotlights, etc. Be open to share links and ask to be featured on their blog.
Tip #5: PODCASTS OR RADIO TALK SHOWS.
Reach countries all across the world by adding a podcast or radio show to your tour. Feature your book on your own show or seek out shows that are related to the genre of your work. Make sure you provide them with some basic information, such as the name of your book, the release date, a picture of your book cover, and a brief summary or blurb of what your book is about. Schedule a time when you're going to be on and let your audience know about it. Send email invites or invites via social media.
Tip #6: GOODREADS OR BOOKBUB.
Have you ever thought about using Goodreads or Bookbub as a way to host a book tour? Goodreads has a blog as well for you can set up your questions from readers or other authors. Host a Q&A on your book on your profile page. Host your freebies such as e-books, workbooks, gift cards, and other promo products on your Q&A or add a quiz or poll to your platform to promote your book.
Whether you're hosting your own virtual book tour or going through another venue, make sure that you are prepared to share and answer questions. Create a calendar of your tour "stops" so that your readers can follow and join you on the stops of your tour. Reach out to bloggers, media specialists, newsletters, radio stations, book clubs, and other authors to find existing book tours to join to help you get acquainted and comfortable with networking online in regards to your book. Most book tours are free, but there are some that may require you to invest financially to be a part of the tour. Whichever route you choose to take, put your passion on the web and share it! Make sure you post your links and don't forget to create an CTA (call-to-action) with each of your stops to get your readers engaged and to drive traffic to your book site.
No matter how much you try to shy away from using social media, it is there and the urging comes to "have to" use it, even as an author. You may ask how can Pinterest be useful for authors and writers? I'm going to share with you some nifty ways authors can use Pinterest to build their brand, and grow their network to turn them from followers to paid readers.
Your Brand's Eye
Pinterest can be used to get your brand before the eyes of Pinterest users. Since this social media platform is 90% visual, your logo and brand message will be right at home with this platform. It gives you yet another way to get people to put eyes on who you are, why you do what you do, and how you do it.
Why & How You Should Use It
Pinterest can used to do the following things for you as an author or literary artist:
• It is a great promotional tool for book excerpts or chapter reveals
• It is a good tool to draw followers to your blog
• It is helpful to showcase testimonials and book reviews
• It gives a personal touch; you can use it for "behind the scenes" or "what's next" showcasing about your book or upcoming book
• Use it to share resources or to connect with groups, readers, and building your readership
How to Set it Up Right
Making sure your brand identity is being portrayed professionally and perfectly, here are a few tips on how to set it up right.
• Make sure you name your page by your brand and use a professional photo. Don't use "themes" or any of your literary work graphics. Your logo or a picture of you works well.
• Take advantage of your About section. Include your website, other social media links, identification titles (i.e. author, loves to read books about dogs, but writes sci-fi, etc.) as well as hashtags to identify keywords associated with your page, brand and website.
• Create organized boards. Your boards should be based on your interests as well as your readers' interests. Conduct searches on your target audience to see what they're pinning to their boards. Each pin should be categorized to a board that is about that particular subject. You can use these pins to draw interest to resources, book tags, or blogs. You should also create a board with your email's opt-in graphic to link it to your subscription page on your site to collect emails!
• Use the Pin It buttons. These help bookmark certain pins easily for followers to find you. This is sort of like a reference library, so don't be afraid to use them!
Social media doesn't have to be scary, nor do the benefits have to pass you by. As an author or literary artist, you want to use as many available platforms to showcase your work as possible. Not only do you want to let the world see how great of a writer you are, but you want to capitalize on expanding your world of new characters for your books as well as revenue.
If this blog post was helpful, and you would like some help in setting up your Pinterest account, shoot me a message here for your FREE 30-minute consultation.