So you have written a book and had it published. Congratulations. Now you face the challenge of what to do next. Many authors think that marketing is a job for the publisher so they sit back and wait for the royalties to roll in. You might have a very long wait. The market for books is extremely crowded and most books do not sell well. However, there are a number of things that the author can do that will really help so make the move from writing to marketing and take these actions:
1. Send review copies to all the journals and magazines that review books in your genre. This is something that most publishers do for you but there is no harm in sharing lists and helping out. If you have self-published you will certainly have to focus on this. Don’t forget the many online sites that review books.
2. Get friends, colleagues, clients or anyone who likes your book to place reviews on Amazon and other online book stores. Amazon is highly influential and the reviews matter so encourage anyone who says they enjoyed your book to place a review.
3. Offer yourself for interview on radio stations. Most radio stations are looking for interesting interviews and the author of a newly published book has a good chance of getting on air. You need a publicity letter which says something interesting or controversial about the book and off you go. If you have the budget you can use a professional PR company to target radio and TV programs.
4. Create a web page for the book. Ideally you should have a separate website with an address that features the book title. Now you can exchange links and drive traffic to the site with comments, blogs, quotes and extracts. Be sure to show people how they can buy the book. Encourage user feedback, comments and reviews.
5. Offer sample chapters as free downloads. Take a couple of your best chapters and turn them into pdf files. Let people download them for free. Think of this as the equivalent of letting people browse through your book at a bookstore.
6. Use material from the book in your blog. Start a blog and quote from the book. Lift sections and acknowledge the book as the source. Build a community of interest around the topics in the book.
7. Review other books in this field. Become a reviewer on Amazon. Use your own name accompanied by ‘author of the book……’. Review other books and when people read your reviews some will click through to your book.
8. Start an email newsletter. Encourage people to subscribe on the website and then send out an occasional newsletter with interesting new material in this book’s field. But you cannot just plug your book – you have to add value with new information and comment.
9. Give away copies to the right people. Use the book as your calling card. Give copies to potential and existing clients. Encourage them to read it and pass it on.
10. Offer books as prizes. Local radio shows, magazines or societies will often be interested in running competitions and will give you valuable publicity if you give them a few books to give away as prizes.
Some authors do book signings in local bookstores but, unless you are very well-known, this activity is unlikely to produce worthwhile results. Finally, you could consider using the book as a platform for launching your speaking career. You will need a different set of skills to succeed here but the book can make an excellent starting point and every talk will help sell more books.