There are so many tips, strategies and book marketing ideas for new authors bouncing around the internet, it is enough to make your head spin!
Let's take a look at which ones to focus on that actually work, and which ones you can ditch.
Short-term vs Long-term
The first thing to think about when you are choosing a book marketing strategy or weighing up book marketing ideas for new authors is whether you're in this for the short-term or the long-term.
Short-term strategies include things like promos and publicity. They may get you a short-term spike in sales or page reads, but they will not sustain your career long-term.
If you decide that you are in this for the long-term, then you need to choose a book marketing strategy that is going to support you for the long-term, such as growing your readership.
That means it's really important to focus on your readers rather than book sales alone.
Some of the things that you can do that will support that goal of growing readers are to grow a Facebook group, rather than post to a Facebook page, or publish content that attracts your readers, such as on a blog or a podcast, rather than spamming social media with ‘buy-my-book' messages.
Collaborate with other authors
Think about collaborating with other authors who have a shared readership. What can you do together that will help you get in front of more of their readers? So you may think about newsletter swaps. You may decide to go on their podcast. You may decide to do a Facebook Live together.
Remember it's really, really important to be getting in front of your target readers. So focus on what you can do that will help you do that, rather than hire, say, an expensive publicist who may be able to get you a piece in a national newspaper or on a really popular TV show. While that may help you get some exposure, and it's good for credibility and authority, it is not going to help sustain book sales like a loyal readership can.
Grow your email list
My number one tip, or book marketing idea for new authors that really, really works, and it works long term, is to grow your email list. Yes, you have probably heard this one before, but it's incredibly important.
Having a loyal tribe of readers that you are connected to is the best way to market your book. These are people that you can get in front of any time that you want. You have a direct link to their inbox. And although email is not quite as effective as it once was, it is still the number one way to communicate with people.
On social media, the lifespan of a tweet or a Facebook post, for example, is so short and the guarantee of people actually seeing it is minimal. But if you get emails into somebody's inbox, then you have a much better chance of being seen.
And now we all have so much email, we tend not to stick on email lists that we are not finding valuable or interesting. Therefore, the people that do stay on your list, they are genuinely interested in what you have to say and they are more likely to respond to your emails, to open them, to engage with you and to buy your books.
Just remember it's important not to only add numbers to your email list. You don't want to be simply collecting subscribers. Instead, you want to be nurturing them. I will go into more details on how to do that in a future post.
So my final tip for you for successful book marketing is to be consistent! This one is crucial.
It is no good spending some time on Facebook, throwing up a few posts and then disappearing for weeks. There's no point sending an email to your list and then not sending another one for three months. You have to show up and engage with the people that have put their hand up and said they want to hear from you. You want to nurture those people.
So, if you have a Facebook group, you need to be showing up consistently and regularly. Often, you need to be in that group starting conversations. I know it's difficult when people don't seem to be responding; it feels like there are crickets in your group. You have to take control and start the conversations. If you have a blog or a podcast or a YouTube channel, you need to be showing up consistently.
It's best to set a publishing schedule. Whether you post something every week, every day, or if it's just once a month, decide what you can commit to and commit to it. And tell people when they can expect to hear from you.
Finally, with your email list, you want to be emailing at least once a month, every single month. Try not let months and months go by without sending an email, because when you do send one, if you haven't been in touch with people, they will unsubscribe. They will have forgotten who you are and forgotten why they signed up.
So keep in touch with people and stay top of mind. If you show that you're interested in your readers, they are more likely to respond and show interest in you.
Grow your platform
So as you have probably guessed, growing an audience of loyal readers, also known as a platform, is the number one thing you can do for book marketing success and one of the best book marketing ideas for new authors. To get started, download my free, 7-step guide to growing your own author platform.