Marketing is probably the most important thing for you to do, apart from actually writing something that is. You can write a hundred books, and even get them placed on Amazon, and other online stores, but unless you actually tell people they are there, you’re not going to get many visitors.
You need to be thinking about this a good few months before your book hits the shelves. I use the What, How, and Where Plan for my marketing:
What are my objectives?
How am I going to achieve these?
Where am I going to market?
This may, or may not work for you, but feel free to adapt it. The first thing to do is write a marketing plan, and I’ll go through mine with you here:
It’s no enough to merely state ‘sell lots of books,’ you need to break this down into smaller objectives. Mine are:
- Attract high numbers to my website
- Convert visitors into buyers
- Place my book into high-street bookstores
- Create public awareness
If you can achieve these four simple objectives, then as long as your book is good enough, you should be able to sell some. Next up is deciding who your target audience is. Who are you going to sell these books to? For my book (Kopek the Destroyer), it’s:
- Dog lovers
- Animal lovers
- Humourous story lovers
The next section is the first part of How, and Where. This section includes tools etc. that you’re going to use:
- Free Bookmarks
- Free Pens
- Free T-Shirts
- Signed copies
These are things that you can use to encourage people to buy your book directly from your website. You can use these as giveaways or in competitions.
Now the important bit, what tools can you use:
- Google AdWords
- Word of mouth
- Awareness material
- Work Colleagues
All of the above are things that you can use to either create awareness or drive people to your website. I should mention a company I frequently use here, and that is VistaPrint. They often give away merchandising products on a regular basis. One of the most useful I get from here is postcards. There is almost a weekly giveaway of 100 postcards for free from this company. You can just choose one of the standard designs, or for a small charge (about £3.00 in the UK) you can design your own bespoke one.
I spent about £100 over a month by using VistaPrint’s offers. They generally send out an email every week with some offer, either 250 free business cards or 100 free postcards. For my initial month, I collected:
- 5 bespoke t-shirts
- 12 pens
- 500 postcards
- 1,000 business cards
- 75 brochures
- 3 notepads
- 100 return address labels
If I were to go to a typical shop, this would have cost me close to £600. The t-shirts and pens I can use as giveaways or in competitions. Either of these will help to create awareness for both the book and the website.
This is how you are going to use the above tools and information to achieve your objectives.
- Using marketing material in competitions or giveaways – t-shirts, etc. should create more awareness
- Placing material, such as bookmarks and postcards in public areas
- Shops – postcards
- Give away free business card magnets
- Pubs – list the pubs that you go to on a regular basis. You can drop material into others, but they won’t be as effective as your regular haunts.
- Radio Stations – list the individual radio stations that you are going to contact.
- Newspapers/Magazines – Which magazines are good matches to your target audience.
- Dentists waiting rooms
- Doctors waiting rooms
The final four points are places where people have to sit and wait, and most people will generally pick up something to read, even if it’s a flyer.
If you have any questions (or suggestions), then please leave a comment or drop me a line using the Contact Form.