Digital marketing for authors and book publishers

Digital Marketing for Authors and Book Publishers

by GO2 Partners on January 8, 2024

If you want to succeed in the publishing industry or be a successful author, writing a book is only half the battle; you must also understand how to market your book.

Your goals for marketing a book should start with identifying its primary audience and why those people would enjoy the book, and then making sure there's an easy way to purchase it. Within those goals, you have a lot of room for creative marketing that digs deep into people's love for books. This article will discuss six great ideas for building excitement and anticipation for your book, how you can grow a fan base, and ultimately how to increase sales for your published work.

How to Increase Sales for Books

Like marketing any product or service, the key to successful book marketing is finding an audience who needs your work and then providing them with useful information to help them decide to purchase.

The approach and messaging for your marketing must adapt to different audiences and books. Still, the core concepts below can be used whether you are selling a romance novel or a historical novel about theoretical physics.

Create a Website

An author's website is an excellent avenue to market and showcase their work. It can be a central location to collect reviews, act as an ecommerce site to sell your books, and display blurbs and testimonials.

The website design doesn’t have to be upscale to be effective. More importantly, it should be well-designed and encourage the user to browse for as long as possible. It should optimized for search engines and have (at least) these four web pages:

  • Homepage: Since this is the first page visitors will see, the homepage needs to make a tremendous first impression. It should include an easy-to-navigate menu with links to additional pages to encourage visitors to explore the website.
  • About page: Whether the website visitor is a newcomer or a lifelong fan, tell your readers your story with an about page. This page is a great way to tell readers why you chose your specific genre, share what encouraged you to be a writer, and discuss any upcoming projects you’re working on. It’s a great way to connect with your audience on a personal level, so have fun with it!
  • Book page: Even if you don’t directly sell from your website, you should include a page highlighting all your work, book reviews, synopses and release dates. This is useful for readers to research your work and decide on their next book purchase.
  • Contact page: Many readers want to interact with their favorite authors. A contact page makes it easy for them to interact with you and shows that you care about the audience. You can even include an email sign-up box to encourage fans to join your email list.

Market on social media

There are many fun and creative ways to use social media to generate buzz for your book, even when you’re still working on it.

For example, you can use Instagram stories to give a behind-the-scenes peek of your writing space, share excerpts from your latest novel, display your latest book cover and offer writing advice. Use X/Twitter polls to gather feedback or ask the audience which content they want next. Share delicious food images, cooking tips and recipes through social media platforms like Pinterest.

Use email marketing

Email marketing works great for published authors. Think of it as a tool for building relationships with readers, as an ongoing marketing channel that can turn readers into fans.

Email marketing is one of the few marketing avenues where you can include as much content as you want. You can include something as simple as a one-page letter welcoming subscribers or as much as a multi-page chapter from your book. Moreover, you can send newsletters, promotions, updates and surveys.

Furthermore, email automation is great for scaling up your marketing when you don’t have a lot of time. You can create a welcome sequence of pre-written emails and automate them to be sent to new subscribers. An automated series can include an email greeting to subscribers, valuable content or a book teaser.

Connect with influencers

Look for book influencers in your niche on social media and Google. Specifically, TikTok and Instagram have many book communities and influencers. But you may be wondering how to find them.

On Google, search for terms such as “book bloggers” and “book blogs.” Alternatively, on Instagram, you can look up hashtag terms like #bookblogger(s), #bookgram, #bookstagram, #bookgrammers, #bookreview(s), #bookreviewer and #currentlyreading to see which accounts are associated with them.

Once you find a reviewer, author or publisher you like, you can connect with them on social media. Or, send them an email asking for a review or another way you would like to work with them. If you focus not just on how the influencer can help you, but on how you can help them, they are more likely to work with you.

Join online book clubs

Join book clubs and engage with fellow authors and book enthusiasts. Participating in these clubs is beneficial for creative purposes and is a great way to get your book in front of new audiences. While these spaces work well for fiction writers, they can also be very beneficial for authors in the memoir and self-help niche.

Not sure where to find these book clubs? Goodreads has various book club groups. If you haven’t already, make a Goodreads account and add to your author profile that you are available to visit book clubs. In addition, you can create a social media post, add a page to your books, and create a webpage letting you know about any book clubs you can join.

However, when participating in a book club, you should keep a few things in mind. Your goal shouldn’t be to just get others to read your book, you should also be an active member.

To be a good book club member you should maintain regular attendance, read the book, prepare for the discussion, be open to reading books outside of your niche, be willing to host, and engage in real conversations about the book.

Advertise with Direct Mail Marketing

By sending something tangible through direct mail marketing, you can stand out and grab the attention of the audience. If you are sure about your audience and have a mailing list, this can be a powerful way to drive sales. With the right mailing information and relevant messaging, your direct mail marketing campaign can encourage action.

Direct mail for book publishers can be used to suggest book titles the recipient may enjoy, alert them of price promotions, send postcards to invite people to a book club and more. Depending on the audience and the mailer, this could be a marketing investment that leads to ongoing ROI.

Set Your Book Up for Marketing Success

Face it, creating a website, building a strong social media presence, taking advantage of email marketing, reaching out to influencers, joining book clubs and advertising with direct mail takes a lot of work. But if you want to see book success, it’s work that needs to be done.

That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a marketing professional. They can provide support and help you manage your marketing strategy. Even if you’re a publisher without a huge marketing budget, an agency can work with you on simple ideas or ready-to-use strategies like website templates or marketing platforms like HubSpot that can give you a massive marketing advantage for a smaller investment.

Don’t leave your marketing up to chance. Contact GO2 Partners today to discuss your digital marketing options.

Topics: Digital Marketing and Business, promotional marketing