Writing a book is an AH-MAZING accomplishment. Many people say they would love to, but for one reason or another, they never manage to write that manuscript.
Believe it or not, any author will tell you that writing your book is the easy part of the entire publishing process. I know, I know. You survived off coffee and donuts many nights just to get that massive manuscript completed. However, writing a manuscript is half the battle. Now, you must work on polishing, publishing, and marketing. You didn’t do all that work just to leave it on your hard drive, right?
So, if your goal is to self-publish your masterpiece, you need to know how to move beyond the manuscript and get your work into the hands of your readers. This means you need to start with a marketing strategy. Without a marketing strategy, you cannot be sure you will reach your intended audience and meet the needs of those who need to hear your story.
When creating a marketing strategy, you need to ask yourself:
What is my monthly monetary goal?
How will I achieve this goal?
Your monetary goal can be as low or as high as you want.
Pro tip: Do not feel the need to make lofty goals because of anyone else in the industry.
Let’s say your goal is to make $500 per month from your book sales. Great! Now, what? How are you going to meet your goal? Honestly, there are several routes you can take to earn $500 per month in book sales.
Email marketing is a popular method authors use to generate book sales. You can do this by planning a funnel (a series of steps you take your potential buyer through to hopefully make her purchase your book). The key is to refrain from being extra salesy. Listen, I’m not saying you shouldn’t ask for the sale. I’m just saying you need to show your email subscribers the benefits of reading your book. Think about what problem your book will solve for your reader. Emphasize this, and it will be a no brainer decision for your targeted reader to purchase your labor of love!
Social media marketing is also a quite popular method for authors who want to promote their book. I will preface this by saying it is unlikely that thousands of people will flock to your book if you have not done your homework by priming your audience. If you’ve never once shared behind-the-scenes photos, excerpts, or heck, even mentioned any details about writing a book, don’t expect to have high conversions from social media.
I’ve heard on many occasions that it generally takes someone seven times to see or interact with your brand or product before they will feel good about handing over their hard earned Hamiltons to you. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to spam every social media account you have, but you should certainly consider having social proof.
What do I mean? Form a book launch team that is willing to sing your praises on their social media accounts. It means a lot more to see others talking about how awesome your book is. Just make sure your team has information about where your book can be purchased in their social media posts. You can also have your book launch team market offline, too. Get creative!
Now, email marketing and social media are great ways to help generate your monthly financial goal. However, I need to be honest with you, friend. Speaking engagements are the way to generate some serious book sales. If you can be a part of a panel or serve as a keynote speaker for an event, ask if you can also have a vendor table to sell your book. People love supporting indie authors they feel are credible. What better way to showcase your expertise than by speaking?
When you speak, your audience can connect with you and determine if your book really aligns with a need in their life. If you cannot secure as many speaking engagements as you’d like, don’t forget about creating video content for your social media platforms. Facebook offers live streaming, as does YouTube, Instagram, Periscope, and Snapchat. Depending on your content, you could also conduct a webinar, like the one Angela J. Ford and I did here about writing, publishing, and marketing your book from scratch.