There is one thing indie authors crave above all else but often eludes them. They have hopes and dreams perhaps of winning literary prizes, retiring off the royalties of their debut novel or becoming the next children's laureate, but they don't crave those things and they certainly don’t expect them at all.
Want they really want is visibility. And when I say 'they', of course I mean you!
You want your book to rise to the top of the pile, to be glimpsed among the thousands of others available on Amazon and other retailers, to be plucked from obscurity and placed in the hands of a reader. Perhaps that reader will even become a fan!
One thing is certain, however. A book without visibility is doomed to never having any readers, or any fans.
But visibility doesn’t need to be elusive. There is plenty you can do as a self-published author to help get your book noticed with fantastic results.
Note: I’ve put together a bonus book marketing resource that dives into more detail about the steps you need to take to get your book noticed. Grab it right here.
No one knows your book exists
So what you really want is exposure and to give your book a chance. That's not too much to ask is it?
No, it’s not. You're not being greedy or unrealistic. Sure, you may want to make a living as a writer but that's not the true purpose of your writing. You have something to say and what matters most is that readers get to hear your message.
But how can that happen if no one knows your book exists? It's time to get your book noticed. And fortunately it doesn't have to be as daunting or as time consuming as you may fear.
Book marketing is your responsibility
First you need to understand why your book isn’t getting noticed, why it doesn’t have the visibility you wish for.
It all comes down to book marketing and as a self-published author that is your responsibility as much as the writing and publishing. After all the work you have put in up to this point, you owe it to yourself and your book to give it the best possible chance of success.
Book marketing is a terrifying prospect for many indies but it doesn’t need to be. All you have to remember is that marketing is about building relationships. It’s about matching your book to its ideal readers and satisfying those readers’ expectations.
Book marketing is about matching your book to its ideal readers and satisfying those readers’ expectations - click to tweet this.
Marketing is not cold selling. It’s not really selling at all, it’s simply sharing what your product is, in this case a book, and why it’s perfect for the target buyer (reader). A sale is the natural conclusion.
The key point here is ‘sharing what your product is’. You need to let the world know about your book, or more specifically you need to let your ideal readers know, as the whole world is not going to be interested in your book.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Identify your target readers
- Identify what you want to share about your book
- Identify where your readers hang out
- Share your message.
Where indie authors go wrong
Ok, it’s that simple in theory but maybe less so in practice. Where I see authors go wrong is that they do attempt some book marketing but fall down on one or more of the above steps.
- They market to anyone and everyone, rather than narrow their focus on their ideal readers
- They don’t provide compelling reasons why someone should be interested in their book (title and cover image are not enough)
- They don’t use the right channels to reach their target readers
- They are inconsistent and/or infrequent when it comes to marketing.
Successful marketing that gets your book noticed is dependent on two crucial elements:
- Being specific and targeted
- Being consistent
There is one simple solution that will ensure you cover these two crucial elements and that is having a marketing plan.
A marketing plan will allow you to set goals that you want to achieve and map out a strategy for reaching those goals. You should also consider how you will keep track of your marketing activity and achievements so you know whether you’re on track to meet your targets.
That’s important, but you’re not ready to put together a marketing plan until you have considered some of the most basic aspects of your book marketing. Who you are marketing to and what it is that you have to offer.
10 steps to get your book noticed
There are several steps you need to take before you sit down to write your book marketing plan. It’s true these are also elements of a marketing plan, but it is wise to adopt a relaxed approach in the beginning so you can focus on learning and building relationships rather than on hitting targets. Ideally you will be doing some of these things before your book is published, but it’s ok to jump in wherever you are.
- Step 1: Know your reader - who will read your book?
- Step 2: Know your book - what are your book’s selling points?
- Step 3: Get ‘out there’ - spread the word about your book.
- Step 4: Don’t over-commit - resist trying to be everywhere, it’s not sustainable!
- Step 5: Build relationships - with other writers, your readers, book bloggers and more.
- Step 6: Start a mailing list - find out why this is so important here.
- Step 7: Be consistent - regular, organised book marketing is essential.
- Step 8: Make time for book promotion - it matters, don’t skip book marketing!
- Step 9: Devise a strategy - this is when you can think about a marketing plan.
- Step 10: Keep learning - invest time in learning more about book promotion.
In my free guide, How to get your book noticed with fantastic results, I explore these 10 steps in detail and provide the actions you need to take to succeed. Information is great, but much more useful if you know exactly how to implement what you’re learning!
So that’s it. To get your book noticed with fantastic results you need to put some work into book marketing. If you’re not sure where to begin, don’t worry. Just download the free guide and it will take you through the steps needed to get your book noticed. And I promise, if you put in the work and follow the steps diligently, you will see fantastic results.