Three Under-Used Book Marketing Techniques

The book 1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer lists that many ways to market a book. There really are thousands of ways to market a book.

Not every marketing technique can or should be used for every book. However, there are a few marketing techniques that work well no matter the theme or genre of a book.

Under-Used Book Marketing Techniques

I have found that many independent authors fail to implement some easy techniques for marketing their books. The following three are just a sample of a larger list, but I think they are a good starting point.

1.  Inviting Readers to Connect with You in Your Book

Inviting readers to connect with you is an effective way to build a loyal following of readers and fans. Don’t make it hard for your readers to find you. Give them information on how they can connect with you.

A quick perusal of the last 10 title nominated for the 2021 Christian Indie Awards—a good random sample—revealed the following:

  • Only 5 out of these 10 books even listed the author website either on the back cover or in the “About the Author” section in the back of the book.
  • Only one out of these 10 titles included an invitation for readers to connect with the author in the book. This author listed his social media profiles (Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram).

If you are not inviting readers to connect with you in your book, you are missing out on connecting with your audience and building a loyal following for repeat sales. A study by Goodreads found the following:

  • 82% of authors that included an invitation to sign up for their newsletter or mailing list in their books see an increase in subscribers.
  • 73% of authors who invite readers to follow them on social media see an increase of followers.

Don’t forget to invite readers to connect with you in your books. You can invite them to send feedback to your email address, you can invite them to sign up for your newsletter to hear about future books, and you can invite them to read your blog or follow you on social media. Be sure to include all the necessary URLs and links to make it easy for your readers.

2.  Asking for Reviews in Your Book

Of those 10 nominated books, only one sported a request in the back of the book for readers to write a review of the book. This request was titled:

“If you’ve enjoyed this book, please tell others…”

Then it listed six ways that readers could do this including writing a review of the book on Amazon, sharing about the book on social media, and recommending the book to others via word-of-mouth.

Reviews help sell books. Many readers don’t think about writing a book review. Asking for a review is a great way to lead people to do what you want them to do.

The Goodreads study found that 84% of authors who ask in the back pages of their book for a review see an increase in reviews. So, ask for reviews in your book.

Collaboration

3.  Collaborating with Other Authors

For the most part writing is a solitary activity. However, publishing a book and marketing a book are not. It takes a team to publish a book—editors, cover designers, book designers, printers, etc.

Marketing—while it can be done in solitude—is much more effective when done in collaborative efforts with others. Joining together with other authors with the same target audience reaps more exposure and sales. When authors piggy-back on each other’s audiences, the reach is augmented.

On rare occasions, I stumble across Christian indie authors engaging in collaboration and doing it well. Yet, your marketing reach is greatly enhanced when you collaborate with other authors in creative ways like:

  • Creating boxed sets (a set of ebooks all sporting the same genre or theme)
  • Conducting a newsletter swaps (promoting each other’s books to your respective email lists)
  • Hosting combined author events (like a multi-author book signing)

If you are not using these three book marketing techniques, I encourage you to do so. In addition to helping you grow your audience, they won’t cost you a cent to implement.

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Effective Marketing Techniques

If you engage in email marketing, you will find the results of a new study by BuzzStream and Fractl very informative. These two companies teamed up and interviewed 1,001 people to find out which online marketing strategies work best.

A survey of one thousand people is really a small sample size. However, these researchers believe that this sample represents the larger population.

If you are an author with a website that employs a marketing technique—like a pop-up prompting your website visitors to subscribe to your newsletter—then you should pay attention to the results of this survey.

BuzzStream’s goal was to find out which marketing tactics Americans are happy to participate in—and which ones they avoid.

When it comes to giving out an email address and reading newsletters, here is what this survey found:

The Email Inbox

If you hold contests on your website, you will be interested in these findings from the survey:

Marketing Tactics American Participate In

The results from this survey have some good news for authors. I found the following two statistics very encouraging:

  • 85.5% of people will give their email in exchange for a freebie.
  • 57.1% of people will share something on social media in exchange for entry into a contest.

Which results did you find helpful or encouraging?

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Authors: Start Local

At the grocery store the other day, I was reminded that there are opportunities everywhere for authors to promote their books.

As I entered my local Harris Teeter, the rack standing next to the door caught my eye. I usually enter this store from the opposite side, so I don’t often walk by this shelf. The rack was filled with free local magazines for anyone to take.

I have seen many racks like this that mostly contain magazines for people looking for a place to rent or a car to buy. However, this rack had all sorts of interesting local magazines including a local happenings magazine, a parenting magazine, a woman’s magazine, a natural living magazine, and a luxury living magazine. In total, there were 13 different types of magazines on this rack.

I realized that each of these local magazines offered opportunities for authors to promote their books. Local magazines love to tell stories of local people and highlight local events. As an author, you can pick up these free magazines at your local store and find ones that match your target audience. Then you can approach these magazines about either highlighting your story, running an article you have written, or advertising.

Start local. Every large movement began locally. Jesus began his ministry in his hometown region and then, after his death and resurrection, Christianity spread worldwide. The #MeToo movement was actually started in 2006 in Alabama with an organization called Just Be Inc. that teaches young women and helps them develop a sense of self-worth. The #MeToo movement did not go viral until 2017.

There are local marketing opportunities all around you. In addition to local magazines, consider the following venues in your neighborhood, city, or town where you can receive publicity, speak at, or host an event to promote your books:

  • Bookstores
  • Libraries
  • Churches
  • Schools
  • Community Centers
  • Senior Centers
  • Newspapers
  • Radio and TV Stations

Musician Josh Wilson has a song titled “Dream Small”. In the song, he encourages Christians to start serving God right where they are. The chorus of the song says:

So dream small
Don’t bother like you’ve gotta do it all
Just let Jesus use you where you are
One day at a time

You can start promoting your book right where you are, one day at a time, allowing Jesus to use your efforts for his glory—and more book sales!

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Photo courtesy of Christian Stahl.