Expert Round-Up Topic: How do you carve out time for book marketing?
As a nonfiction author, one of the major challenges I grapple with is finding ample time for book marketing amidst a flurry of other duties.
From personal experience, I truly believe in taking a two-pronged approach for maximum effectiveness and time management. First, I invest time in creating a free book funnel. The idea is to offer readers a taste of your work for free, creating familiarity with your writing and prompting them to explore more of your work.
With the free book funnel set up, I invest time promoting it through podcast interviews and running Facebook ads. Podcasts are powerful platforms for connecting with interested audiences on a personal level. It’s effective in building credibility while promoting the free book offer.
Simultaneously, responsive Facebook ads target a wider range of potential readers and drive them to the free book offer.
Through this organized system, I’ve continued consistent book sales in just 30 minutes per week, even three years after the book launch.
As a first-time author, I naively assumed my publisher would handle the marketing. Not so, and here are my two key insights:
If you are not an experienced author, work with a specialist. My publisher referred me to a book marketing agency that has adeptly guided me. They have taught me how to promote my book, from developing my branding strategy and author platform as an ambassador of hope and perseverance to my Media Kit, pitching the media, book reviewers, book clubs, and booksellers, and creating a social media strategy. Their guidance has been instrumental in the book becoming the #1 best seller in the autism genre on Amazon, as well as winning the Mom’s Choice Award®.
Be prepared that marketing will take as much, if not more, time than writing. Of course they go hand in hand, but unless you are willing to commit to the time needed to promote your book, you are not optimizing your sales potential. So whether it’s evenings, weekends, or vacation days from work, commit to it!
CEO and founder of Jotform
My secret to getting stuff done and carving out time for what matters to me, like marketing my new book, is automation. Before automation, I was drowning in busy work. I had so much on my plate that I got bogged down in repetitive tasks that weren’t advancing my business or my writing. With automation, I’m able to free myself of mundane tasks and give me back time
in the day to do things like market my book. Automation is a game changer.
WSJ bestselling author of Automate Your Busywork
I’m a two-time self-published author of non-fiction books. To make time for book marketing, we need first to see it as a priority. Book marketing is a long game. And looking at your book on the day it’s released, it’s a baby. Like children, we want our babies to grow sustainably and hit appropriate milestones. We want our books to grow up and mature and eventually not need
Will it take 18 years? Maybe. But that’s the joy of writing. When I’m nearing the final stages of book completion, I shift my sights to marketing. I make the time because if I write a book that no one reads, what good is it?
I see book marketing as my job to getting my book in the hands and hearts of more people who need it.
Appreciating that book marketing is a priority—it’s easier to make the time for it. And it’s just that—making the time.
During the first few months of book marketing, it was the first task I work on every single day when I sit down at my desk. Not other client work, as I run a copywriting and coaching business, but my marketing. By dedicating 30 minutes to an hour a day for a few weeks, and then just a few minutes a day or a larger chunk of time once a week, we can be planting the seeds for our
books to keep extending their reach.
For solopreneurs, writing the book is only half the battle. How will you get it in the hands of people? I wish that I realized this when I first started out as an author. I put most of my efforts into writing the book. Because my book serves as a product in my business, I integrate it in various ways. Here are 3 powerful ways to market a self-published book.
- Live speaking engagements: Whenever I go to speak, I incorporate my book. I use it when introducing myself, and I even find creative ways to give one away.
- Podcasts: I put the name of my book within my introduction and I have a talk that I created from the book, and I will reference the book and provide the website to the podcast host.
- Reviews: I am always asking readers to give me a review of my book and to share it on social media and tag me so that I can share their post.
Depending on the purpose of the book, there are ways to incorporate marketing the book within what you already do as an entrepreneur.
In late May I self-published my first book titled Regenerative Business, a book about shifting your business mindset to be one not of exploitation, but regeneration. With my team’s help, we’ve created a marketing strategy distributed between 3 people that not only highlights my book’s principles but also ties them seamlessly into Dirty Alchemy’s mission of promoting
sustainable and regenerative practices. With consistency and diligence, we have managed to grow the reach of Regenerative Business to reach the hands of over 4,300 people.
My assistants’ knack for crafting engaging content and staying on top of outreach is truly commendable. They take the book’s key insights and weave them into our narrative, creating posts, reels and pitches that resonate with our 7.3k followers. I play a key role in this process, leveraging the relationships I’ve built with other online creators and clients to cross-promote the book. This collaborative approach has not only amplified the book’s reach but also strengthened our community’s commitment to sustainable business practices. The success of Regenerative Business on our platform is a testament to the power of effective social media marketing in driving change towards a more sustainable future.
I’m the author of 7 project management books. I tend to build in marketing time during the writing process. I’m always looking out for sections of the book that could be easily edited for guest articles, extracts. Very short phrases or sections I’m particularly proud of can be turned into social media quotes or LinkedIn posts. I also try to keep readers informed along the way by sharing things like cover mockups or graphics or concepts that are going into the book so I can build anticipation during the journey.
Like the fourth trimester in pregnancy, books have a post-publication period that we can’t ignore. When I wrote my first non-fiction book, I was surprised at how much effort I needed to put in post-publication, but now I’ve written more, I plan for the work required, whether that’s working with a PR agency or outreach I do to my own industry contacts. For my most recent
book, I planned what I wanted to do for the launch including a webinar for my mailing list, guest posts on industry blogs, and I reached out to podcasts too, with a timetable for each item. I think it’s just about being aware of the time commitment and being mentally ready to plan the marketing effort.
If you can manage your time to complete the writing and publishing work, you can manage your time to spend 3-6 months on promo after.
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