by Wendy Hinman, author of Tightwads on the Loose
You’ve spent months or years crafting that perfect book. Now you need to get it into the hands of readers. Readers read to help them make sense of the world and the struggles they face and to explore what interests them. If your book offers this, they will be glad to learn of it. Effective marketing means finding the people who would be most interested in your book and letting them know about it. It’s like finding the right match, so your story can do what it is designed to do: engage your readers.
Get creative. Brainstorm. Just as you spent countless hours finding clever ways to tell your story, you can be innovative with generating exposure for your work. If you use creativity to make marketing interesting, you’ll want to do it. Enthusiasm is contagious.
Below is a list of ideas for marketing that have worked well for me. Each author and book is different, so do what feels most comfortable for you and your book.
Crystallize your book description and bio into 25, 50, 100, and 250 words. Find that universal truth. These blurbs will come in handy.
Identify your audience and the topics your book touches upon.
Create a professional website to use as your home base (see www.wendyhinman.com)
Add your book title and website address to your email signature line and all materials you produce, so people can find you.
Plan to send periodic newsletters with links to information housed on your website.
Draft a press release. Be sure to include images, such as your book cover and a professional author photo.
Keep in mind what’s in it for the reader and why the media would be interested.
Identify local media/publications in each market where you have a connection (an event, an audience, places you lived/worked/studied/are doing a book event).
Tailor press releases for each purpose or event with addresses, dates, times, and contact info
Use various angles to appeal to specific topics that your book touches upon.
Craft a good story and headline (specific event, timely topic, anniversary) so media can use it without extra work.
Send a release one month and, again, two weeks before an event.
Post book events on local DIY website calendars (Chamber of Commerce websites, local blogs, clubs); Look up officers for local clubs and contact them.
Reach out to your community in a mutually beneficial way.
Share your knowledge through articles, blog posts and public speaking. Make sure each party gets something out of it: audience, attendee, and you.
- Libraries, clubs, conferences, schools, stores
- Radio and TV need good stories. (Pitch program producers with info from your press release.)
Plan to give away books.
Identify media, bloggers and online publications that are likely to be interested in your book.
Send Advance Review Copies (3-6 months prior to release)
Run ads on Book Bub and Goodreads for discount eBooks.
Auctions, fundraisers where your book is seen by many prospective readers.
Leverage your travel to reach new readers.
Always carry copies of your book or at least promotional materials.
Do something every day
Steadily working at it will produce tangible results and lay the foundation for future success. Think of yourself as an entrepreneur and keep in mind that old saying “If it’s to be, it’s up to me,” because no one is as likely to care as much as about your work as you do. Good luck and happy marketing.
Wendy’s recommended resources are:
How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead by Ariel Gore