Your Must-Do Book Marketing Checklist

There’s no shortage of ways for non-fiction authors to promote and market their book. In fact, there are so many possibilities it can all become a bit mind boggling, raising more questions than answers and making it really tricky to know where to start or what to prioritise.

So, here are our top book marketing must-dos.

If you don’t do anything else, do these!

Before launch:

It’s time to get organised and start laying the foundations that will build into an effective marketing strategy.

  • Start early

The sooner you start the more successful you will be. Research the competition and your target audience, think about what makes your book different and consider how your book will be positioned to make it stand out.

  • Get your book right

Spend time on this - it's vital! It'll make all your marketing easier if your book is professionally edited and typeset, has the right title, a brilliant jacket design, a persuasive blurb and includes a strong author biography alongside appropriate links to your website and business.

  • Know your routes to market

You won’t be able to sell your book if your target audience can’t buy it. So make sure you’re crystal clear on how, when and from where your readers will buy your book.

  • Set up your website

Even if you already have a business or author site, it’s still worth having a website for your book. It makes it easier for you and your book to be found online.

  • Review your platform and network

Understand how far your sphere of influence reaches, who you already know that can help you promote your book, and start making connections with the influencers, bloggers, groups and forums in your category.

READ: HOW TO BUILD AN AUTHOR PLATFORM FROM SCRATCH

  • Sort out your social media, blog and newsletter

Get active on the social media channels where your target audience is, and do some research on the people, pages, hashtags and influencers you need to be following. Make sure your social profiles highlight your book and author status. Start talking regularly about your author journey and book in your social, blog and newsletter posts.

  • Build a street team

Recruit a loyal band of colleagues, subscribers, friends, fans and followers who are willing to help endorse, promote, review and give your book a massive push when it’s launched.

  • Optimise Amazon

Perfect and polish up your Amazon book page and claim and complete your author page. Pay particular attention to your book title and subtitle, categorisation, book description and author biography.

  • Think about PR

Will PR help you reach your audience and sell more books? If you want a publicist to help you promote your book, now is the time to start briefing one.

READ: BECOME A JOURNALIST’S DREAM COME TRUE

  • Run a pre-awareness campaign

Keep your network and followers updated, tell them when your book will be published, push them to register their interest on your website and give them an early-bird incentive to pre-order.

  • Get ready for launch

Start preparing for the launch of your book. What date will it be? Will you have a launch party? What’s your launch plan? How many review copies do you need? What marketing materials do you need to make sure your launch really takes off?

During launch:

Your book is out - congratulations! But there’s still work to do. Prioritise these activities and you’ll be doing a great job of leveraging the all-important launch period.

  • Save the date

Make launch day special. Take time out from your day job, clear your diary, plan some publicity, set up some events and engage and activate your street team. You’ve worked hard on your book and today’s the day to make some noise, create a buzz and enjoy being a published author.

  • Send out review copies

Get your book in front of the influential people that will recommend it, give you reviews, buy it in bulk and bring you business.

  • Social media, blogging and podcasts

Line up some guest blogs, podcasts or a blog tour to extend your reach and attract new followers. Keep your audience interested and engaged with book-specific blogs, entertaining social posts, book-related content and compelling calls to action. Reward your loyal followers with exclusive giveaways, competitions, discounts and treats.

  • Launch a short, sharp flash sale

Plan a one-day, deep-discount flash sale for your book a few weeks after it’s published and promote it heavily across your platform. It’ll give you something new to shout about, drive traffic to your website, make some extra sales and give those latent customers the extra nudge they need.

 After launch:

The job of marketing your book never really ends. Keep on doing what’s been working from the launch section above, but also think about adding the following.

  • Cross promotion

Reach out and team up with other authors in your category for newsletter swaps, guest blogs, book bundles and other contra-promotional activities.

  • Price promotions

Plan flash-sale price promotions for your book to keep driving interest, sales and word of mouth. Give your biggest and best corporate and bulk-buy customers loyalty and referral discounts to keep them coming back and recommending you and your book.

  • Reader magnets

Come up with some clever ways to attract people to your book, business and website. For example, you could give away a free digital copy of your entire book for a period, build an online course around your book or create some digital spin-offs or videos that expand on some of the concepts in your book.

  • Advertising

You don’t have to spend a fortune to advertise your book. Social media marketing is flexible, controllable and can be very cost-effective, allowing you to spend as little or as much as you like on targeting very relevant audiences. 

  • Get into a routine

Now your book has been available for a little while and you’ve tested some activities and ideas, start establishing a routine. Schedule a couple of promotional activities per month, plan and automate your social media and newsletter activity, organise your blogging calendar, and forward-plan your ads.

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