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How To Promote A Book

Now that you have completed your book you may feel that your work is done. Actually, writing the book was just the first step if you intend to sell it to the public. There is plenty of work left to do. If you want the book to sell well, you will have to learn how to market a book. Here are some tips about book marketing that might help you take the final step to becoming a published author. Some of them are tactics from an earlier age when books were entirely in print and distributed physically. Others suggest that you take advantage of the Internet.

1. Determine who your audience is. When you were writing the book, you may have been so passionate about the idea behind it that you never thought about who it might interest. Now you need to step back, look at your book and ask yourself what kind of person would like to read it. Once you have some sort of answer to that question, you will understand better how to promote a book about the subjects that they like.

2. There are websites which will promote your book for free. Some seem to have largely altruistic motives, as they are also self-published authors looking for exposure. Some use the promotion to get a kickback on sales from Amazon. Either way, it works for the author.

3. Mail copies of your book to all the magazines that publish book reviews for your genre. If you have a publisher, they may already do some of this work for you. If you self-published, it is critical that you get your writing out there and into the hands of someone who might talk about it publicly. A lot of these magazines will ignore your submission, but you only need one to write about your book to get some great publicity.

Make newspapers your target after this. Do not simply send in your book and hope that someone will read it and review it. Find out ahead of time who handles book reviews and mail the book to that specific person at the newspaper.

At these magazines and newspapers, there may be other editors and writers who would be interested in your book. This is especially true if your book is not a literary but rather political or technical. Send a copy to the people who might have interest in it. They may not review the book but they may mention it in their writing.

4. Start a webpage devoted to your book. This should be separate from a website or blog that you already created for yourself and your writing in general. Books that are just added to an already-existing blog or website simply disappear.

Since the website is devoted to your book, it should have a title and a web address that is identical or similar to the title of your book. Do not just get another blog that uses some form of your name.

You can manage a website for just ten dollars a month or you can get a free blog if you cannot afford that. Adjust the settings so that people can leave comments and reviews of their own. Interact with the commenters so that you stir up interest in a community that discusses your book.

5. Ask your readers to review the book on your website or on Amazon. Make sure that they rate your book using a five-star system or otherwise explicitly state something about its quality. Take these reviews and quote from them on the website that you made for the book.

Utilize your friends and family for their manpower and their connections. If they do not know someone in the media business, they probably know someone who does. Through a chain of acquaintances you might find someone who can help lift your book into the public spotlight

6. Call up local radio stations, explain that you have written a book and offer yourself for an interview. Some stations are going to pass in the opportunity, but it is more than likely that at least one will take you up on it. Radio stations often look for locals to interview and they might just have a slot open for you.

Next contact the local TV stations. The stations that are network affiliates may be harder to approach but give it a shot anyway. Definitely include any local stations or public access stations to see if there is a chance that someone will want to review your book or interview you.

7. On your personal blog or on the book's own website, post quotes and passages from the book and offer them up for discussion and comments. You want the site to be more than just a promotion for the book or a blurb that gets people’s attention just once. It should be something that draws people back again and again.

If your book has tables and charts, post one of them and a segment from the book that is pertinent to the graphic information. Encourage and respond to discussion about the point made in that section of the book. You may form a community of interest around the topics in your book, which will only drive up the likelihood of someone buying it.

8. Review other books on the Internet and leave your name and a link to your book's website. In general you should be very loquacious on the web and leave comments everywhere. This increases the chance that someone is going to click on the link and find your site.

9. Rove the internet and make comments on blogs and other sites that are relevant to your book. This includes commenting on videos. If your comments are written well, you may spur someone’s interest and cause him or her to click on your name. Be very careful and watch your spelling and sentence structure. No one will be interested in your book if they perceive that you are not a good writer.

Make sure that your book’s website or blog address is the address to which your name links. Avoid sending people back to your personal website while you are concentrating on promoting your new book.

10. Post downloads from your book and let people have as much as a chapter for free. Do this with your best chapters, regardless of their order. This is the digital version of someone leafing through your book in the library or at a bookstore.

Include a table of contents with the available downloads. Uncertainty is the biggest obstacle to book sales in the Internet. In a bookstore, customers can pick up a book and peruse it to see if they are interested. Do not hide your book away. Make it as available to people as possible, without actually giving the entire thing away for free. (Except in certain circumstances which you will read about below.)

11. Start an internet newsletter about your book or about your writing in general. Allow people who visit your website to subscribe. The tricky part will be maintaining the newsletter with new content. That is why it might be best to make the newsletter about your writing in general. Of course, if you have written a real monster of a book, there may be enough material in it for dozens of newsletters.

Once you have enough subscribers, you may be able to interest advertisers. They will especially be interested if their product and your book touch on similar ideas. You can make additional money from advertisements while you write about your book.

12. Give away free copies of the book. This may hurt but you will never sell any copies for money if you do not get some circulating in public so that somebody can talk it up.

13. Sell or give away products that are based on themes similar to those addressed in your book. However, if you are already making income from other websites on the Internet, do not confuse this site for one of them and begin using it as another website engineered to make money from advertising or affiliate sales. The products and services that you offer should relate to the book and you should intend their presence to stir up interest in the book, rather than just make it into another product on the page.

You can also draw attention to your website by giving away small, free items. These things could be recipes, advice, poems. It depends on what your book is about. These giveaways should either be portions of your book or they should bear a direct relation to its topic.

14. Speak publicly about your book. If your interviews went well, you could turn this into an opportunity to become a public speaker. This is especially true of you have written a non-fiction book about an important public topic.

15. Speak to local bookstores and inquire about getting your book on their shelves. You will have to negotiate the listed price of the book and how much you will keep as profit. You may want to offer them a few books free to get them interested.

You will not make money off of libraries but you probably noticed that all the biggest sellers have copies there. Libraries are good places to stir up interest in the book. Also, in order to have the book available, libraries must buy the book. You might try to stir up interest by asking to place a free copy or two at your local library. It is not unknown for people to read a book they find in the library and then buy it later at a bookstore or online.

16. Go to an Internet vendor and convert your book into the right digital format to sell as an e-book. E-books are becoming very popular right now. Customers enjoy the convenience of paying a small fee and downloading books onto their mobile readers. This may require you to re-determine the sale price of the book.

17. Create a contest on your website and offer copies of the book as a prize. The contest should be based around a theme from the book. This will work even better if the theme or topic is one that is currently of interest to the general public.

18. Participate in trade shows and book fairs. You may find opportunities to do book signings at these activities. They may just provide you with opportunities to discuss the themes of the book and stir up interest in it directly or indirectly.

19. Search for the addresses and phone numbers of all the bookstores in all the towns you might visit in the next year or so. When you visit these towns, utilize the bookstores Just as you already have in your hometown.

20. Write and publish e-zine articles about your book or about the topics presented in your book. Include the link to your book’s website with your name. Use it as the home address that is usually requested by these outfits. You want to make it as easy as possible for someone to click on your name and go straight to the book’s page. If they get to your personal page they may get distracted and wander away before they ever see your book.

21. Put up posters about your book at local stores. Call the store owners ahead of time and ask permission. Many stores, such as supermarkets, will have bulletin board areas outside where people advertise, seek jobs and look for roommates. You should be able to put up a poster of nearly any size about your book here. This opportunity goes to waste unless you include contact information or a web address where someone can buy the book.

22. Study search engine optimization and find out how to get your specific website more highly ranked for certain Internet searches. This will probably require you to use certain words a certain number of times in the posted text on your website. Remember that search engines look for words and not images. You can make your website as flashy as possible and fill it with a lot of awesome graphs but no one will find it unless search engines see the words that they like on the page.

23. Add a signature to your emails which references your book.

RC O'Leary
Author of Hallways in the Night
Legal Thriller, Available in print at Amazon
E-book at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and Nook
"When a veteran cop tries to arrest baseball's home run king, one of them ends up on trial and the other ends up dead."

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