How To Market And Sell Your Book In Five Steps

1. Decide who will read your book – find your community.

There are some exceptions, but most authors think that everyone in the world will want to read their book. Get over that, and focus on who really will read your book. Segment that audience as specifically as you can. If your book is about careers after college, you might target college seniors. If your book is about the conflicts between Armenians and Turks, you might target the Diaspora in the US. But you’d probably have to target either side more particularly. If your book is about new trends in IT, you might target heads of IT departments at major corporations. And so on. The point is to figure out who actually will read your book.

2. Figure out what your community does – connect with those activities.

Next you want to see what those people do, where they do it, what they read, how they read it, what their biggest celebrations are, and so on. How can you connect with them? Do they meet at rallies, do they all wear a certain kind of shoe, or do they all drink Starbucks coffee? It’s time to get creative and figure out how you can hitch your book wagon to their particular star. The idea is to meet your community where it lives, and reads.

3. Talk it up, and talk it up some more – don’t be shy.

Once you’ve figured out how you’re going to connect to your community, then start getting the word out. There are two schools of thought on this activity. One is to send out a reasonable number of tweets, Facebook postings, LinkedIn updates, and whatever else you can stand to do. The other is to be relentless and essentially crush all the categories and send out messages 24/7. I’m resistant to this latter idea, because it seems like overkill and it feels intrusive, but the argument is that people are so information overloaded that the only way to stand out is to be the loudest and most frequent talker. Your call.

4. Create a sense of urgency – start a drive.

If you can get all your peeps to buy your book on Amazon, say, on a certain day and between a certain set of times, then you can perhaps drive your book to #1 and bragging rights. Or you might start a giveaway of print books for those who buy Kindle versions during a set time period. And so on. Scarcity and competition add urgency to book buying, and that can help you create some momentum around your book.

5. Keep the buzz going – find new reasons and angles to promote your book.

There’s a natural tendency for books to generate the most interest just before and at publication. Interest then wanes in a curve as the weeks and months tick by. You need to figure out ways to keep your book fresh. Last time I checked, Romeo and Juliet was still selling strongly, over 400 years later. That Shakespeare had a knack, didn’t he? How can you keep your book relevant and fresh in the eyes of your particular community?

Marketing and selling a book is a long-distance run, not a sprint. Don’t focus on the finish line of the publication date – that’s only the beginning of your journey to make your book count. Good luck. I hope your book finds the audience that it needs and deserves.

Original article can be found here.

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