Congratulations! You wrote your first book and are ready to sell it with the goal of developing a book business. Or perhaps you plan on writing a book and want to make sure you understand optimal marketing strategies before writing it to include the right marketing elements, like building backlinks to your author website, buying book reviews, buying expired domains, marketing on TikTok, Facebook, YouTube or LinkedIn. On the other hand, maybe you aren’t worried about selling the book and just want to get it out there and have people contact you or hire you.
You can leverage your first book to grow your business, no matter what type of business you want to grow. While there are some commonalities, there are some differences between marketing your first book to sell the book versus marketing the book to drive customers to your business, whether selling books or selling other goods and services.
Following are some suggestions to make the most of your first book to promote any type of business. As you read these, remember to maintain the perspective that your book is a marketing tool rather than simply a book.
Ask yourself if you wrote the book to start and grow a book business as an author or to increase sales in some other type of business, like consulting, speaker-for-hire or product/services seller. You may be a business consultant, a speaker for hire, a t-shirt seller, a tech startup, a blog writer for hire or any other type of business. The point is to remember the book promotion will be focused on growing your business and not just selling a book.
If you’re still finishing the book here is an article about self publishing with or without a formatting service.
Listing the book on Amazon or getting your book into Costco are excellent options for selling a book. However, remember that you are looking for ways to use the book as a marketing tool for a business. Wherever you market the book, there should be a link to your website and/or social media sites. Many people today are using Facebook Marketplace as their business page (when it makes sense and they do not have a website). Wherever you have decided to land your business is where you want to send people via links. In this case, you are linking your book to your business.
What if you are still writing the book? It is a great opportunity to add material that encourages people to visit your business where you can develop a customer relationship. For example, in an eBook, add links to videos and podcasts to entice people to learn more about a specific subject discussed, your industry or your business and offering. The videos and podcasts can offer a variety of information, interviews with relevant business guests and industry experts, presentations of innovative products or services and descriptions of workshops they can sign up for. Offering a link to a contest or a reward that is explained on your business is extremely popular.
If you are selling a print book, you obviously still include the various links in the print material.
The goal is to get people’s email addresses, so be sure to ask for the contact information before releasing too much information. For example, on your business website, offer a discount on your products or services, if the customer provides their email address. This is why you now see so many popups on websites offering a 20 percent discount on first-time purchases. Some authors are willing to exchange a free book in exchange for contact information.
When using your first book to grow your business, you need a call to action to encourage readers to visit your website. Do not be shy about adding a call to action at the beginning and end of the book. Some authors also have a whole marketing page inserted somewhere near the middle of the book to get readers thinking about what you can do for them. That is the real key to marketing: Convincing people you have something they need and want.
This call to action is best if it offers something different than what is provided. For example, let’s say you’re writing a book about marketing. Throughout the book you might mention several times how important copywriting is to marketing. For information on that, readers should visit your website where there is free or paid information on copywriting. It's not in the book because the book is about marketing, not copywriting. This is demand generation at its finest. For more on this read our article about Unique Ways To Attract Readers To Your Author Website.
You have to think beyond write-publish-sell the book. If you market the book with the bigger end goal of growing your business, the marketing options are greatly expanded. The book becomes a marketing tool that can lead to much bigger results than book sales. If successful, you get the bonus of recovering the cost of publishing and marketing the book. Turn your book into a business card, and watch your business grow.
One book that is the inspiration for the previous paragraph is Return On Courage. Author Ryan Berman is a speaker and inspiring leader who can be brought into a company like Apple to spark change and create motivation to be courageous. The book shares examples of what he means, there is a workbook component to it. He gives example after example of why courageous change is so important. Of course he includes examples of his own clients as well. This will have any CEO thinking about bringing Ryan in to share his thoughts for their company.
Thanks to the internet, you can offer free eBooks for download to the people most likely to be interested in the content or who can help you build an audience because of their name recognition or industry expertise. This is the least expensive strategy. You can also mail hard copies of the book or send download links to an eBook to people who can help you market your book. Either way, you want to ask the people to whom you send free books to to please promote your book on their social media, via their distribution list or wherever it makes sense.
Consider giving free books to:
To spark more ideas of how to do this creatively try reading the book Contagious.
It should first be pointed out that you can do your own marketing, or you can hire a marketing specialist. At minimum you’ll need to buy book reviews and here is an article about why. We assume in this discussion that you are personally leveraging your book as well. Thanks to social media, it is not too difficult to learn how to take advantage of the marketing opportunities on the many social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, What to post on LinkedIn, How To Make YouTube videos and others. You should have a website or some type of business online site where people can read more about your experience and business and increase their knowledge by listening to podcasts, reading your blog, joining a webinar or watching a video of you explaining something.
Not sure where to start with launching a personal brand try this article.
Endorsements are important. It is great if the endorsers are generally well-known by different demographics (generations, cultures, genders), but any person of influence is a good choice. Amazon posts book reviews written by people who have name recognition or proven success in a particular industry or business. You can get endorsements from:
If you can work it out, ask anyone who agrees to endorse your book if he or she can help you promote it. Offer to do an interview that can be posted on their website, blog or social media site. Or you could offer to interview the person and use the mention of your book or how the person inspired you as a marketing tactic. Then you could post the interview anywhere that makes sense. This is an excellent way to attract a broader audience – people interested in your book and in what the endorser has to say.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you have to match the book genre and content to the best marketing options. For example, if it is a fiction book, you can market it in a way that promotes your book business and you as an author, or you can market it to inform your customers about your diversity of talents. You might be a business consultant who wrote a science fiction book, so the idea is that you market the book to demonstrate your creativity and well-rounded lifestyle. People like that today! For example, a brilliant scientist with a technology company writes a book about artificial intelligence’s influence on art (yes, it is a true example). The book captures the interest of innovators who go to the author’s website to find out how to attend a lecture or hire her as a speaker or purchase tech-driven art. A book that may help with finding clarity on this is Mind Your Business.
When you look at LinkedIn or other social media profiles or Twitter posts, people often add their hobbies, non-business-related skills and interests because it humanizes them and demonstrates creativity. Successful people often have multiple talents. There are people who write fiction books, and people who write a book to share their specialized knowledge on a topic. Some people will write a book about their business – where the idea came from, the trials and tribulations of business startup, growth strategies implemented, and general sharing of knowledge of the subject matter.
We live in a world of analytics today, and they make excellent marketing tools. Google’s Analytics Academy offers free courses on Skillshop that teach how to collect data, understand analytics and leverage analyses to track and improve business performance. If you sell your book on Amazon, there are free programs you can use to promote your book. Remember, this discussion is not about increasing book sales, though more sales is a good event. It is about leveraging book marketing to grow your business. You combine book marketing with business growth.
Amazon KDP, accessed through Amazon Author Central, is for eBook marketing. Amazon enables you to gift your eBooks for free, promote your book on your website through Author Central and on social media, and lend books for Kindle which encourages people to review the book (think endorsements!). Amazon has an analytics tool called Amazon Brand Analytics through Amazon Seller Central (for print books) that is available to sellers who have a brand. If you do not have a brand (yet), then you can use third-party Amazon analytics and tracking tools, like Helium 10, Pacvue and AMZ Tracker, to name a few of the dozens available.
The goal is to use the analytics to more efficiently gain prospects and gain insights into the type of customers interested in your book who are then most likely to visit your online business site and be interested in the products or services you are selling. Marketing your first book is focused on making it a lead magnet to bring in new clients and contacts and utilizing marketing dollars to realize the best ROI for your business and not just the book. Your first book can give you entry into speaking gigs and consulting work, increase business sales and begin the process of making you an influencer or thought leader in your own right through brand building.
Comments will be approved before showing up.