You finally wrote the end on the perfect edited copy of your work. You might think it's time to sit back and enjoy your accomplishment, but your job has just begun. Having a published book is great, but having a book that sells takes time and effort. Marketing has become the second job of authors, both traditionally published and indie. If you want your book to sell instead of sinking in the rankings, you're got to have a marketing plan.
Book marketing is such a huge subject you may feel overwhelmed, but if you break your plan down into manageable steps you can get a good result in about an hour a day. Start small and grow your efforts. Once you start a social media account, post on it daily without fail. Social media shouldn't take more than ten minutes a day; any more than that and you're just being social, not marketing. Start this marketing plan about a month before your publication date, and you'll consider book promotion just a small part of your day instead of being overwhelmed.
- Start a MailChimp account, or an email account on some other mailing system. Having a mailing list is crucial for future marketing
- Look for ARC readers. ARCs, or advanced reader copies, are books you send out before publication in exchange for an honest review. Check reviews on book in your genre to find regular reviewers who welcome submissions
- Set up a separate sub-mailing list for ARC readers. Not everyone who wants info on your books wants to be an ARC reader
- Upload a copy of your book to InstaFreebie. This allows you to send clickable links to your ARC readers, which they can use to download books in their form of choice, either .mobi, PDF, or ePub
- Contact BookRazor to get more ARC names, unless you've found 50 or more reviewers on your own. They'll send you a list of proven book reviewers who love to read books in your genre
- Send out ARC request emails to half your prospective reader list. Offer them your book in exchange for an honest review. Include the link to your ARC mailing list for them to use when signing up
- Send out ARC request emails to the other half of the list
- Search Facebook to find groups in your book's genre. Join as many as you can. Post daily from now on
- Join Goodreads. Research ahead of time to learn accepted Goodreads author behavior. Interact daily with groups there from now
- Put your book up on pre-order wherever you plan to publish it. This will start a little buzz going, and allow ARC readers to see the cover
- Send InstaFreebie links to all the ARC readers who accepted
- Research and find spots that offer free book ads
- Research Facebook ads
- Choose a publication blast day. This is the day you'll concentrate all your marketing on. Make it within a week of your publication day. Set up and order a Facebook ad on that day
- Apply for five free book ad sites
- Apply for five more free book ad sites
- Research and find book bloggers in your genre. Like ARC reviewers, book bloggers read and review books, but they post their reviews on their own sites
- Email five bloggers
- Email five more bloggers
- Apply for five free book ad sites and email five bloggers
- Email the ARC readers using the mailing list, thanking them for reading the book and reminding them of the publication day, which is when they can post reviews
- Send out newsletter to general list, telling about upcoming publication
- Sign up for Hootsuite, which is a social media scheduling app. Create a general Facebook post about release day, schedule it to hit all your Facebook groups on the same day
- Post to any writers groups you're a member of and write to friends and relatives, announcing your upcoming release. Ask them to pass it on with their own social media accounts.
- Publication day! Enjoy the feeling of a job well done. Ok, that's long enough. Get back to work writing your next book. You haven't started it yet? Get moving!
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!