At long last, you’ve made it. You can almost feel the warmth coming off the pages, hot off the presses, as you sit with a copy of your book - YOUR book - in your hands. As you re-read your name over and over again on the front cover, you can’t help but imagine where this book will go and in what libraries and homes this book will proudly sit.
So how do we get our books on the shelves?
Everyone dreams of the day their book will take off, but according to Forbes, between 600,000 to 1,000,000 books are published every year in the US alone. Typically, publishing companies will handle some marketing, like indexing, disseminating your research, metadata delivery, and cataloguing, but the success of a book is also largely determined by marketing on the author’s side. As our means of information collection shifts from newspapers and magazines to websites and social media, it is key that marketing tactics target the place with the most traffic. Here, we dive into a few of the most up-and-coming ways to market a book online.
Presence on social media is absolutely key in reaching the largest audience possible. Facebook and Twitter are a standard for both professional and personal pages, and each can be used to market your book. Photo-based websites like Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest might seem like unusual choices for marketing a book, but they can be very helpful if utilized creatively, especially if an author has a preexisting page with a steady following. Not only is posting and keeping your page up-to-date important, but so is interaction. Creating an open line of communication between you and your potential readers can help increase awareness while also providing helpful feedback. Knowing what gets people excited about your book can develop further interaction, and spread the word as far as possible.
Video marketing is a relatively new method of advertising, and authors have started implementing this tactic to showcase their books to consumers in a new format. Some authors choose to make “trailers,” where they preview story elements and characters in something that looks almost like a movie trailer. For non-narrative work, authors have started creating more personal videos, like allowing viewers glimpses of work “behind the scenes” as they write, or giving self-interviews. Consumers tend to respond most to advertisements that feel personal, and video marketing is a great way to connect individually, but on a massive scale.
Audiobooks and podcasts have been rising in popularity for years now. According to a study conducted in early 2022, 38% of the U.S. population reported to have listened to a podcast in the past month, more than three times the share recorded a decade earlier. Authors have responded to this rise in listeners by guest starring on podcasts. There are around 2.5 million podcast channels available right now, and the vast range of topics makes it easy for an author to find one that would best reach their target audience. People typically listen to podcasts while they are multitasking, such as driving, walking, or working. Guest starring on a podcast is an easy way to become part of a consumer’s day and create an impression with a personal touch that attracts people.
It can be daunting to talk about paying for online advertisements, but if you know who to advertise with it can make a huge difference. Along with posting on your own social media pages, you can also take out social ads. Each social media algorithm is a little different, but typically a user can pick whom they want to target, goals they might have for their product, and how the ads are presented. Huge companies like Google have so much demand for advertisement that they do a “keyword auction,” where they sell keywords that lead to your product in large group settings with other bidders. But it is worth noting that other companies, like smaller book retailers, could be spoken to individually.
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