Book marketing and publicity are probably my least favorite part of publishing a book.
I think most writers are naturally introverted. How else could we work all alone for long periods of time? Writing, then editing a book requires hours upon hours of solitude. Then all of a sudden we have to sell ourselves? We’re like a deer caught in the headlights wondering how we got there and which direction should we run?
I started attending seminars and workshops on book marketing and publicity several months before the launch of my cookbook. And I quickly realized that, as a blogger, I had a huge advantage over the other newly published writers in my community.
- I already had a marketing platform.
Marketing versus Publicity
The first thing to learn about book promotion is the difference between marketing and publicity.
- Marketing is everything you do to tell others about your book.
- It is your social media platforms, email list, and website.
- You get to control the message. You decide how your book is presented.
- Publicity is when other people talk or write about your book.
- It includes interviews, book articles, and online reviews.
- You don’t get to control the message, so publicity is often viewed as more reliable by potential readers.
Effective Book Marketing Strategy
Humans are social beings. We love to connect with other people. I am a firm believer that the best way to connect with your audience is to be yourself!
Here’s my book marketing strategy:
- Brand: You don’t have to share everything about yourself. Just share the part of you that connects to your writing.
- Website: Everyone seems to have a website. It doesn’t have to be a blog… just a landing place for when people google you or your book. Use it to direct readers to your favorite platform. Here’s my author website.
- Platform: Figure out what platform you want to use to connect with your audience. Do you love Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter? Are you a blogger, vlogger, or podcaster? Don’t do everything, just choose one or two platforms and do them well.
- Email Newsletter: I’m relatively new to having a newsletter. But after years of requests, I finally set up newsletters for both my blogs. (Check out the signup link on the sidebar). Now I love it! It’s a great way to connect and share directly with my readers.
- Connection: Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Readers always enjoy genuine interactions. Besides, how exhausting would it be to pretend to be someone else?
What can you do about publicity?
Just thinking about publicity makes me want to scrub my bathtub. I’m good at procrastinating when it comes to publicity! As an introvert, nothing makes me more exhausted than the idea of being interviewed.
Here are a few ways that I dealt with publicity.
- Pitch: Reach out to newspapers, magazines, bloggers, and podcasts. Offer to write a guest article, ask for an interview, or book review.
- Expect rejection: Most pitches will go unanswered. However, you won’t get any interviews or book reviews if you don’t try pitching! (My success rate was about 1 in 15).
- Friends and family: Ask your friends and family to review your book on Amazon or Goodreads. They are your biggest champions.
- Practice public speaking: The best way to become good at interviewing is to practice! I joined Toastmasters and pushed myself to do the program and improve my speaking skills. They have curriculums for everything from using social media to preparing for an interview.
If you really want to do your own marketing and publicity, then I recommend joining Your Breakout Book about 7 months prior to your book launch. The community is great and I learned so much from Dana Kaye and all of her tutorials.