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ServiceScape Incorporated

4 Effective Book Marketing Methods


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As most everyone on this planet know, writing a book is incredibly difficult. Having the idea is the easy part but nurturing the idea and getting it down in written form is the hard part. In fact, if you're struggling with the "How do I even get started?" part, we have a great article with five in-depth tips you can check out here.

Once you make it past that hurdle and you've written your book, had it edited, had a cover designed, you're ready to launch it into the world. Or perhaps you have a publisher who has taken care of all of that legwork for you, and you're anxiously awaiting release day. Unfortunately, the work is not done. In fact, it's just beginning!

A common misconception for authors releasing books into the world is that your part is done. You've created an awesome story, slapped a gorgeous, to-market cover on it, set the best and most effective keywords for your book, and released it. Now, readers are going to gobble it up and all you have to do is sit back and bask in the praise and sales.


Now comes arguably the most challenging part of the book-creation process, and it's work that would, ideally, not end.

The dreaded M-word: marketing.

Yes, marketing. The thing that will make authors run screaming into the night. The thing that most authors hate. The thing that makes most authors say, "I'd take neverending copy edits from my editor over marketing!"

There's no getting around it. If you want your book to sell, you have to sell it. And that means making sure it gets in front of readers who are in your target demographic—in other words, the readers who are most likely to want to buy your book.

There are a number of ways to go about this that range in price from free to as much as you can afford to spend. Here, we'll identify some of the most popular and effective, starting with no cost.


This option requires you to give copies of your book away for free to readers in exchange for a book review. Why is this important? Simple: book reviews help drive sales. On Amazon, for instance, a shopper is more likely to purchase a book that has a higher number of reviews as opposed to a book with a lower number of reviews or none at all. Even if the low-reviewed book has a higher average, a shopper will almost always select the book with more reviews, even if that book has a lower average. More reviews help a book look more legitimate and interesting.

Selecting an ARC team is key, however. Not only do you want readers who enjoy the genre you've written in, but you'll want readers who can complete the reading and write their review by your desired date.

You can put this team together yourself based on people you ask, or you can use an online service such as Booksprout to build an automatic ARC team for you. This website offers a free and paid version and will place your book in front of readers who are registered on the site who will read and review on your preferred websites on your preferred date. The more books you post, the bigger a following you'll build, and the higher number of reviews you'll get—all of that helps correlate to more book sales.

Social Media

In case you've been living under a rock for the past ten or so years, social media has single handedly become the entrepreneur's best friend. It is, essentially, free marketing to upwards of hundreds or thousands or sometimes millions of people. And it's a tool that as an author, you should be leveraging, and you can do it for free.

There are a few platforms that are particularly author-friendly, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Twitter especially is a great place for authors and booklovers alike. Create a page, preferably on all three platforms, and post engaging and consistent content. There are two keys—one, don't make all your content related to your book. Post some personal things, or, if you're not comfortable with that, post funny memes or writing advice or interesting photos. Occasionally, share snippets of your WIP. The other key is to make sure you're using relevant and popular hashtags. These are key, as users of these platforms can search a particular hashtag and see all content related to it. So identifying popular ones for writing and reading are going to help make sure your content is as visible as possible.

These platforms offer paid boosts to promote your posts, but that doesn't mean you have to spend the money. If you use your hashtags and post interesting things consistently, readers will find you! If you do opt to boost your posts, Facebook, for instance, makes this quite simple with its "Boost" button.

Another effective way to market for free is to do newsletter swaps! This is where making friends with other authors, especially ones who write in similar subgenres as you, is very important. You can find a few authors and feature their books in your newsletter, and in turn, they will feature your book in theirs. This allows you to have visibility among an audience you might not have had a chance to be exposed to previously, and that means more potential book sales.

Book Promotion Sites

The next step you can take if you're willing to spend some money is to use the services on a book promotion site. These are sites that have active visitors to their websites by readers, and they also tend to have strong social media presences too. They'll offer a range of services that often include featuring your book in one of their newsletters, blasting it on social media, and/or including it on their website. Usually, purchased spots are good for one day. Some sites offer promotion packages that can last a month or longer.

The cost for these sites can range from tens of dollars up to hundreds. But the good news is, there is something to suit most budgets, and you can start small and see the return on your investment to determine if you want to do it again or try a different site. Some great book promotion sites include: GoodKindles, Book Rebel, My Book Cave, Love Kissed Book Bargains, BookBub, and Robin Reads, but this is by no means a conclusive list.

Paid Ads

If you have a bigger budget to market your book, then you should consider running some paid ads, such as through Amazon or Facebook. These ads differ from the book promotion sites above because you are in control the whole advertising process—the images, the copywriting, the targeted audience, the amount of money you wish to spend per day, how long you want to run the ad, and the keywords.

Sound like a lot of work? It is.
The pros: you are in total control.
The cons: you are in total control.

This option is definitely not one for the marketing newbie. If you decide to try this route or you've done the book promos mentioned above and want to take the reins, I highly recommend reading up first. There's a lot to master if you want to produce effective ads, such as audience targeting, keyword usage, and copywriting. Luckily, there's a plethora of information available from those who've learned and mastered the tricks of the trade. And the benefit is that you can stop, start, or adjust an ad anytime you want. Periodical reviews of an ad's performance is critical to leveraging success, so always make sure you're checking keywords and copy on a regular basis.

Book Marketer/Publicist

Have the budget, but not the time or the desire to market your book? Or, have limited time that you'd rather spend writing instead of marketing? Then hiring a book marketing firm might be option for you. For a fee (this varies depending on the firm), a professional will handle any marketing facet of your book business you wish—website maintenance, newsletters, social media, or creating the ads themselves. Or, all of the above! Marketing can often feel like a full-time job, so if you decide to go this route, be prepared to pay a steep fee to the professional you work with.

Let's face it: marketing is tough, and when it's all said and done, it's out of your control. You can do as much as you can to ensure you have good copy, the right target audience, a great cover, and an intriguing blurb, but at the end of the day, it comes down to reader interest. However, these are options you can pursue to maximize your success and potential and get a feel for the market to see where you can find your next die hard fan!

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