Chances are, you wrote your story for a reason. Perhaps there was a gap you saw in children’s literature or there was a book you wish would have existed when you were a child. But the honest truth is that you and your book can’t make a difference if people don’t even know to look for it.
We often hear from our clients that they are afraid to put themselves out there. Whether they don’t like to toot their own horn or are afraid of failure, this mindset often cripples them from moving forward with their author journey.
Lots of authors don’t realize that the average shelf life of a book is 3-6 months before it becomes “old news,” meaning, you can’t just sit back and wait for sales to come. Marketing is probably the most difficult part of the publication process, but it is also the most
natural and necessary way to extend the shelf life of your book and prevent it from falling by the wayside.
Authors who actively market their books may see:
Increased book sales
Higher book rankings
Established marketplace presence
More brand awareness
A new fanbase
While it can be scary to get out there, there are some low interaction techniques we recommend that can have high payoff:
A common misconception with social media is that people think they should be oversharing stories and photos of themselves. In the author world, social media can be an opportunity to give fans a peek behind the curtain, sharing the ins and outs of the book. Don’t focus on you as the author – focus on your book, the message, the characters, a glowing review you got, or even a note a reader wrote you. Pick one or two social media platforms, and become comfortable with them. Social media is also a wonderful way to connect with target audiences without the added pressure of meeting IRL.
Virtual Book Tours
Virtual book tours have been around forever, but grew in popularity during the pandemic, when in person events were halted. In a virtual book tour, authors have the opportunity to visit different bookish blogs virtually. These blogs are well read by genre specific consumers, librarians, teachers and book lovers. With virtual book tours, authors have the added bonus of doing digital interviews without having to worry about preparing for actual one-on-one interviews.
Authors aren’t just experts on writing, every author is an expert on their own subject matter. If you have a book about bullying, for example, consider writing a first person essay about how bullying has impacted your life. This essay can be turned into a blog post (or several of them) and pitched to blog sites that cover bullying. The blog would have a contributor bio which would link to their website. In content marketing, an author does not explicitly promote their book in the article, but rather, stimulates interest in their book through their personal story, while also building a fanbase.
Satellite Media Tours
Satellite Media Tours are real, anchor driven interviews with a lifestyle expert who is showcasing multiple products under a certain theme (e.g. fall finds, best gifts for the holiday season, top products for Earth Day). These lifestyle experts have built a long resume of credibility for finding the latest and greatest products, and when it comes to showcasing a book, authors can provide key messages they want to be delivered. While many authors love doing these segments in their own state, lifestyle experts cover virtually all markets, including the big ones like LA, Chicago and New York! The best part is that once the segment airs, it can be put on an author’s website or used in social media.
Outsourcing We always encourage authors to lean into their strengths. But if marketing is not one of them, outsourcing to a publicity firm may be the way to go. At Foreword Publicity, our strategies get you in front of people who are looking for books like yours. People who resonate with you and your message! We take the guesswork out of marketing and customize a plan to meet your needs and goals. So if marketing isn’t your forte, rest assured that it’s ours. If you want us to do it for you, you know where to find us.