Best-selling authors share creative ways to market your book

Over a million books are published in the United States every year, although you’ve probably never heard of most of them. The word never got out as the marketing was flat or non-existent. A lot of authors think they’re going to write a book and people are coming in droves to buy it and read it. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

Writing a book is difficult. It’s isolating because you’re alone with your thoughts and your laptop staring at a screen with far fewer words than you need if you want to meet your deadline. You know you need to write more, but the words are lost; they are stuck. The more you stare at your blank screen with the flashing cursor, the more your frustration grows.

Eventually, you’re writing your book as you go through periods of ebb and flow. Sometimes the words come out faster than you can type them, and other times your creativity just doesn’t work and the room becomes painfully quiet. When you’re done, you change the words, and finally it’s something you’re proud of, exceptionally proud of. You believe deep in your soul that your book is perfect and can make a difference in people’s lives.

But no one outside of your family, friends, and co-workers knows you and your work. Writing a book is more than just sitting at your desk and writing sentences in sequence. But what could be more demanding than writing a book? Marketing your book is even more difficult. It would help if you reached people far beyond your friend group.

A small handful of authors, such as Daniel Pink and Brene Brown, are selling record numbers of books and appearing on the New York Times list of bestsellers as soon as their book was released. But for the thousands of authors who don’t have such a huge fan base, the road to selling more books is incredibly difficult.

One of the most common ways to get your book noticed is by appearing on podcasts. Many authors make a habit of being interviewed on 150 podcasts to coincide with their book launch. Even the smallest podcasts have around 50 listeners who listen to you and your message in its entirety. Plus, the interview is always green because it lives on the various podcast platforms, so new listeners can always come back.

A virtual or in-person tour is very common when launching a new book. Waiving speaker fees for purchasing a set number of books is also a common strategy to get the message across.

A few best-selling authors have shared with me their creative strategies for marketing your book if you don’t have a huge fan base.

Laura Gossner Otting

Author, Unlimited

Washington Post bestseller

I told people how important the pre-order period was for authors who didn’t have a big enough platform to pre-sell to that audience. But, unfortunately, your friends, colleagues and family have no idea that the pre-sale period makes such a big difference, tells bookstores of early interest that encourages them to carry the book, and makes your numbers count for big listings. .

Michael Bungay Stainer

Author, How to start

Wall Street Journal Bestseller The Coaching Habit

Instead of seeking endorsements from people you consider important but your potential readers may not know about, consider getting introductions from people at well-known companies.

Dorie Clark

Author, The long game

Wall Street Journal bestseller

Find a “podcast lookalike” to identify shows that might be interested in featuring you. Ideally it should be someone who has written a book in the last 6-12 months on a similar topic to yours and is just a bit better known than you – maybe 2-3 years old. advance on you. You can search for them in any podcast app of your choice and see what shows they’ve appeared on, listen to the episodes, and then pitch those shows by saying, “I know you’re interested in topic X, and I really enjoyed your recent chat with {PERSON} My book on a similar topic, {NAME OF BOOK}, just came out, and I was wondering if you would be interested in exploring a related topic, including X or Y or Z? success will be much higher than throwing blindly!

It’s also good to read your book before it’s released, especially with an eye out for sections you can dig into. Your goal should be to identify between 10 and 20 (or more!) sections that could be standalone articles, adaptations or excerpts, so that you are ready to pitch them to relevant media, alumni publications, etc. .

Kinga Stabryla is a marketing consultant for non-fiction authors and founder of UK marketing agency Brandspire. When she works with authors, she encourages them to “stay consistent in their marketing efforts, introduce delivery variations, and don’t be afraid to use excerpts from their book in marketing.

The best results come from a holistic and consistent approach that supports your next business goal. Don’t just do social media marketing. Introduce some PR activities and do offline marketing as well. Your potential reader has a life outside of social media.

Consider playing podcasts, encouraging friends and business connections to promote your book, writing a guest blog for a high-traffic website, printing materials to support your speech, and offering copies for contests. Remember that marketing is more effective when it is persistent. »

You don’t need to have a huge following to get your book out there. Instead, consider creative marketing and remember that amplifying the word about your book extends far beyond the launch.

Lance B. Holton