The publishing industry has seen a shift in marketing strategies now that successful self-promoting is becoming seemingly more common. One could attribute this primarily to social media. Online communities are perfect platforms for marketing and promotion. See my post on why YouTubers are becoming successful authors.
As a public relations student, I have learned the key strategies for influencing people’s opinions, like identifying your target audience, effective event planning, and using social media for your benefit. These same ideas can be applied to marketing tactics used to sell a concept, idea or product.
I have created the following infographic for using a public relations approach to marketing published work. These are some of the tips I would give, as a PR student, to someone who was looking to effectively promote their book.
Know your key audience
In order for your message or product to sell, you need to identify who your target audience is. The content of your book and the focus of your marketing strategy is centred around your target readers. You would want to have an understanding of both the demographics and psychographics of your audience.
Build a strong author platform and presence online
In this day and age, pretty much everyone is on the internet – it’s a practical tool that offers a huge variety of resources and information. Why not use it to gain a following and to promote your content?
Here’s what you could do:
- Start a blog. Blogging is made easy now, with websites like Tumblr and WordPress, where much of the html coding is done for you. Create a space where you can put out content related to your book and gain a certain amount of traction from followers. This way, by the time you have your book published, you already have readers who take interest in what you write.
- Write book reviews and contribute to online forums. Give yourself a voice in publishing-related online communities. There are many websites that allow you to share an opinion and participate in book discussions, like Goodreads, Omnivoracious and Booklikes. Sharing your thoughts and interacting with others from the same community could grant your profile more recognition.
- Keep your social networking profiles updated and professional. In order to gain networking or publication opportunities with others in the field, you want your online profiles to be relevant to the content of your book. You could mention your experience related to the topic of your work, or any success of previous publications. By creating a strong professional profile, you are opening more doors of opportunity for recognition and promotion.
Share your content and promote your work
Social media channels are really effective platforms for promotion. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Meetup… the list goes on. These all allow you to gain a following and either contribute to or create trends. You could launch a promotional campaign to reach your online network. Look into what time of day is best to post on social media and be consistent. Talk about your book and give your followers a reason to want to read it.
Consider your distribution options
Print is not the only way to publish your work now. Distribution options vary from e-books, audio books and paperback. Whichever ones you decide to use or not use can be easily sold via Online bookstores. Handy websites like Amazon.com, Abebooks, Barnes & Noble Online can help your book reach a wider range of readers, selling any version of those distribution methods.
Have a launch strategy
It’s not a PR approach without a party. Throwing yourself a launch event that you feel suits you and the theme of your book would help boost the buzz you’ve already created on social media. Whether that means reserving a room in a restaurant and serving champagne to your fabulous entourage, or hosting guests for tea and cake in your living room. A social gathering with members of both your publishing and online supporters is a fun way to celebrate your hard work while promoting it.
This approach to marketing your published work is by no means the only way to sell your book. These are simply tips from an aspiring public relations professional who thinks are worth considering when planning your book’s success.