For many entrepreneurs, business owners and would-be business owners, writing a book can be a great way to put yourself, your brand or your business out there. But, thinking that “if you write it, they will come” will ensure that your book ends up with the countless heaps of others that are written and then purchased solely by the author’s mom, never to see the light of day again. So, since marketing and selling your book can be one of the most challenging business situations that you can endeavor (this was definitely true for me when I wrote “The Entrepreneur Equation”), here are a few tips to help make it a little easier:
(1) Build Your Army in Advance
Long before your book comes to market, while you are still writing it (or even before you start writing it, if possible!), start building up your network of advocates, alliance partners, friends, fans and influencers. Social media is one of the best tools that you can use to do this, through sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. During this time, focus on finding ways that you can be genuinely helpful to others, without expecting anything in return. Do anything from liking or re-tweeting on behalf of others to sending a heartfelt support message when they achieve something great or suffer a loss to even connecting them with someone else in your network that would be mutually beneficial. This will keep you top of mind and come back to you tenfold when you need help, as others are much more inclined to help someone that has extended a helping hand to them in the past.
(2) Use the Buddy System
Pairing up with like-minded businesses, organizations and individuals can be one of the best ways to multiply your marketing and sales efforts exponentially. Think of areas that reach a lot of people at once to further magnify your sales and marketing efforts- are there college classes where the students would benefit from your book? Or are there businesses or organizations with a large staff that would benefit from your book? You could even offer to do a free speaking engagement for colleges, businesses or organizations that purchase a certain number or your books, which will definitely ramp up your sales. Are there other companies, bloggers, organizations, charities or individuals that offer complementary products or services that would benefit from cross-promoting or incentives for selling your book? This is where that network that you’ve built up can really come in handy, as once you’ve proved yourself to be supportive and helpful to others, they will come out in droves to support and help you. Reach out to your network with specific ways that they can be helpful and you will be amazed to see what transpires.
(3) Scream From All Rooftops
It seems like everyone (and their mother, brother, sister, cousin and uncle!) has a book out there nowadays. And with such a crowded marketplace filled with so much competition, it can be very challenging to get attention for your own book. So, wherever you are, from the local Starbucks or grocery store to networking events or speaking engagements, talk about your book! And utilizing media, like TV appearances, radio commentary, internet blogs or print articles can be a great megaphone for shedding light on your book. The key to landing these is to tie your book message into current hot topics or news events that the media is already talking about (*hint: nobody wants to talk specifically about your book unless you are a celebrity or CEO of a huge company). They are always looking for experts to opine on hot topics, so this can be a great way to raise your profile as an expert and garner much needed attention for books and improve your sales.
What other tips do you have for improving book marketing and sales efforts? Please share them below.
Thanks to Angel Tucker of Personality Profiles LLC, Kellie Auld of Simply Communicating, Shel Horowitz of Book Marketing Consultant/Copywriter, and Leslie Truex of Work At Home Success for the inspiration behind some of these ideas.