I always advise authors to get involved in marketing their book. It’s never too early to begin promoting it with enthusiasm. Here are my top seven tips for promoting your book:
1. It is extremely important that you devote much of your time and energy over the next two years to developing a market for your book. If your book develops a large enough market response, it could become a stable bookstore book and continue to sell year after year. The publisher who is marketing your book will do their job and provide it to distributors, retailers, and special contacts they have developed. Publisher marketing is rarely the primary key that opens the market to great book sales. They are more of a support system. Thus, you are the major key to your book’s success.
2. You want to effectively seed the marketplace in every opportunity available to you. Always carry a copy of your book, so people can see it and ask you about it. Introduce your book to everybody, every time, and everywhere you have opportunity. Your sincere enthusiasm for your book will inspire them to get their own copy and additional copies for people they know. The key to your book’s success is to get it into the hands of people who will read it, so an effective “word of mouth” campaign can introduce your book to others.
3. If you have not already done so, develop several “book-bytes” that will effectively stir your listener’s desire to buy your book. Book-bytes are short messages for people in different situations and in different kinds of audiences, written to excite them about your book. Book-bytes are not book overviews or book reports. They are emotional snippets—stirring views into what your listener will experience in your book, helping them conclude they want more of what they’ve just heard. Develop several book-bytes that are one or two sentences, two to five minute snippets, and ten to thirty minute messages. You will be able to quickly and efficiently deliver them when an opportunity arises to speak to a person, a group, or add a mention in another message. This exercise will help you hone short presentations into effective book sales.
4. Once your book is off press, you should always remember to include two elements in all written and verbal mentions of your book: a) Always refer to your book as being “published by…” never “printed by.” Your book has the credibility of a reputable Publisher behind it. b) Always include the statement “you can order my book at any bookstore,” not “find at,” “buy at,” or “is available at.” People need to ask for your book. This activity will help generate interest and help stir bookstore interest in stocking your book. Your published book may not be on the shelf but it probablt can be ordered at any bookstore, Christian or secular.
5. People will buy the copy you have on hand but they need to know it can be conveniently ordered at bookstores when you are not available. Remember the extended market. You never know where your book may go and spark additional interest and sales. People will tell others about your book and they can go to a bookstore or online to order it. Don’t hesitate to suggest your book makes a great gift for family and friends.
6. It can be appropriate to tell people about your book before it is printed, and give them opportunity to pre-purchase it. People are never more interested in your book than when they see and hear you speak. Here is a time saving, simplified method of handling these sales, and can be good for the times you are caught without books: a) Offer to autograph books that are pre-purchased, adding value to buying now. b) Add a shipping and handling fee of $2-$3, but do not lump the amounts as one figure. c) Get their name, address, email, and check. d) Offer deals, like for a $10 retail book price: offer 3 books for $25; or purchase 5 and get one free.
7. The extended market in your area is the easiest market expansion to develop. Local bookstores will buy and stock a book from a local author, while stores outside your area may hesitate. Local radio and television stations are usually looking to interview people who are experiencing success in the area. These interviews can prepare you for larger national interviews. Newspapers are anxious to print book releases and write articles about people in the area who become published authors. These media will help reach additional people who want your book.
Do these seven things and you’ll jumpstart your book sales.