4 Creative Ways to Market Your Book – For Authors

You’ve spent days and days, months and months, or even a number of years writing your book. You’ve finally hit go on publishing the final draft and you now have your masterpiece in-hand. Now comes the great challenge of how you are going to market your book to an audience. It would be nice if you could just make a quick Facebook post about your new title and have sales just flow in from there. But unfortunately, that’s not realistic. Having worked with hundreds of authors through their process of self-publishing, we have gathered some insight into the unique ways that some authors choose to market their book to lock down sales. Here are 4 creative ways to market your book:

Giveaways or Contests

High engagement on social media means that the algorithm is triggered to show your post to more people. Social media platforms are set up to both encourage and reward quality content and it is celebrated by expanding your reach. Therefore, giveaways/contests are a great way to produce high engagement on a post and grow an audience. The only cost to you is whatever product you are giving away.

Post a (high quality!) photo of the prize (your book, your series, bookmarks, etc.) and then write out a caption instructing followers to “tag 2 friends in the comments” to be entered to win. You will announce the contest closing date as well, and on that date, you can use one of the many free websites to enter all of the entrees into a jumble to select a random winner.

Not only is this a fantastic technique to grant you high exposure on a post, but it also introduces new people to your page. The friends that are tagged in the comments section may not follow you, so they are drawn to check out your profile when their friend tags them in the contest. You also need to be sure to include the caveat that giveaway winners “must be following you” in order to win. This means that everyone interested in the prize will now be following you and it’s a great way to build your follower list.

Influencer Partnerships

Influencer marketing is growing in popularity. Why? Because people tend to trust their “peers” more than companies or celebrity endorsements. When an influencer posts about, or offers a review on a product, their audience tends to trust their opinion because they have built up that trust through branding themselves and connecting with their audience over time. Reaching out to micro-influencers especially (less than 100,000 followers) can be very effective as they tend to specialize in a niche and have built amazing rapport within that community.

So, for example, if your book is a fantasy book, you might consider reaching out to a local cosplayer and have them post about your book. Obviously, nothing is free, so you usually need to incentivize them to post, in the form of free product, money, or exchange of services.

Ads

There are many places that you can purchase ad space for your book, and choose the audience you’d like to target. A few options include; Google Search Engine ads, Facebook or Instagram ads, and ads on sites such as Written Word Media or EReader News Today. You are in control of how much money you spend, as it depends on your goals. Ads can be fairly inexpensive if you do them right. Do some research into creating an effective ad.

Book Clubs

A good idea to get your book out there is to petition book clubs to feature your book. You can reach out to a member of the book club or donate a copy. A lot of times, the book club members will post about books they liked, or you could request a review online such as a Google review. Sometimes, this can transfer into word of mouth recommendations as well, which are always powerful and effective.

Takaways

Your book could feature a highly attractive cover, a well-written story, and quality printed pages, but if you don’t have an audience, you’re not going to make any sales or get a return on all your hard work. Remember, as an author, you are your own brand. (Please check out our post on building an author brand here.) It’s a good idea to take some or all of these ways to market your book into consideration so that you have the success you deserve.


How to Build Your Author Brand

As an author, your brand includes your image, who you are, and what you say. It’s not just your logo. Of course, this brand can circulate around your pen name, but anytime you converse online or in person, you are representing your brand.

Being likable and interesting may entice people to want to read your book, or at least learn more about it. I would argue that your brand is equally, if not more important than the cover of your book. Think of a trade show for example; You probably have your book cover on display, but it’s you as a person that draws in people to visit your booth.

Here are a few tips for your author brand:

  • Have a strong, visually appealing, organized website with an option to purchase directly from the site
  • Ensure your tone on social media reflects your brand. Streamline this across all platforms
  • Use a professional headshot on your book, website, and social media

Establishing a Brand:

One way to develop a personal brand as an author is to ask friends, family, and coworkers to describe you in adjectives. Better yet, if you feel comfortable, I would recommend asking a few strangers for a first impression following a brief interaction with you. There is no preexisting relationship, therefore, this interaction is likely to mirror an interaction at a trade show more closely in terms of how you are received by strangers.

What genre would you categorize your book under? If you’re a children’s author, you probably want to write lighthearted posts that appeal to parents and grandparents and be pretty personable with children. If you’re a romance author, it would play in your favor to be charismatic so people are drawn to you and your books.

Brand Guidelines:

Keep in mind, your brand does include guidelines for materials such as your logo, colors, fonts, and images as well. You want your brand to be recognizable and suiting to what you are trying to portray. Plus, putting together brand guidelines makes it easy to plug and play when creating business cards, bookmarks, brochures, etc.

Next Steps:

Once you’ve established your brand and you are ready to print, request a quote, and then begin getting your book out there!


Tips to Manage Your Time As an Author

I think it’s safe to say we are all guilty of some degree of procrastination. You set a goal and the deadline tends to get pushed back again and again because you just run into roadblocks along the way. Sometimes the roadblocks are in the form of writer’s block, or other priorities simply get in the way. As an author, you do have to be a little flexible with yourself. So for example, if you have an event that you would like to present your finished book at, maybe allow yourself 2 months longer than you think you really need to complete your book. Give yourself some wiggle room so that your quality of work doesn’t suffer from feeling pressure to finish writing. Here are a few tips to manage your time as an author:

Productivity Timing

Everyone has a time of day that they tend to be most productive. For some people, such as myself, they can wake up, have a coffee, scan the news, and then sit down to work by 8:00 am. It’s the afternoon where productivity begins to decline as distractions arise and the mind begins to wonder. For others, however, the evening might be the time when they are most productive. Maybe this person feels a creative spark after dinner, when their day is calm and there are no competing tasks to eat away at their time. Either way, figure out your best time of day to be productive and creative and schedule your days around that.

Calendars

Once you have figured out your prime time of day to write, plug it into a calendar. I personally like Google Calendars because they sync to all of my devices and are user friendly. So if I’m sitting on my laptop I can pull up the calendar and update it, and then it will automatically update on my phone as well.

I color code my calendar based on the activity. So I use pink for hours working, blue for appointments, green for reading/downtime, red for dinners and time with friends, and yellow for volunteer work. This makes it easy to read and set up my days. As an author, I would suggest blocking out time for writing first, and scheduling the rest of the day around that. You have to prioritize based on what is most important for you. Writing shouldn’t feel like a chore, so you don’t want to squeeze in a session among everything else you have going on in a day.

To-Do Lists

A good idea would be to attach a to-do list to your calendar. It feels great to cross things off as you complete them. If you want to take it a step further, you can use a number system of 1-5 to determine the level of priority or urgency of a task. this way you can organize your tasks and not feel overwhelmed.

Reward Yourself

Humans tend to respond well to being rewarded for their work in some way. Something that I used to do when I was in school would be to set a goal such as a textbook chapter I want to complete and then decide that when I accomplish the task, I will reward myself with something such as a nice relaxing bath, or a piece of cake, etc. Not only does this system subconsciously train you to willingly accomplish your tasks, but it also gives you enjoyment so you feel like writing is less of a chore.

Conclusion

Writing a book is an exciting and rewarding endeavor, but it requires strong commitment and determination. Using some of the suggested tips to manage your time as an author and will help you feel in control of your book and all-around more organized.

We have plenty of resources available for authors throughout our website https://blitzprint.com/author-self-publishing-support/. Additionally, feel free to contact us at books@blitzprint.com for any questions about self-publishing.


A Hint of Spice; East African Indian Fusion Recipes

Featured Book: A Hint of Spice; East African Indian Fusion Recipes

This book was created by Zed and Karima, two local Calgary authors. Karima used to own a canteen in a furniture factory in Calgary, and Zed has a lot of experience cooking for parties. Both absolutely love to cook and live very social lives. After continuously being asked for the recipe for many of their delicious meals, they decided to put together a cook book featuring their very best East African Indian Fusion recipes.

Left to right: Colin (Book Division Manager), Zed, Karima, Kevin (Blitzprint President & CEO)

The inspiration for this book came from each of their mother’s cooking and their family and friends. The book contains recipes that have been passed down multiple generations within their families. Zed and Karima wanted to create something to share with their children and pass along to many more future generations.

Recipes in the book include Butter Chicken, Fried Kebabs, and Beef Cutlets, to name a few. When creating the book, Zed and Karima worked to simplify recipes to make them easy to follow for anyone. A Hint of Spice is available for $20 on their Facebook page: A Hint of Spice, or through email at hintofspicezedkarima@gmail.com

* Please contact alisha@blitzprint.com to inquire about having your book featured on the Blitzprint Blog.


Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing

There are a number of key things one might want to factor in when deciding whether or not self-publishing is a good route to go for your book. Naturally, there are benefits of either route, so it comes down to personal preference. We have made a shortlist of pros and cons to reference when making your decision.

Pros of Self-Publishing:

  • You own the rights to your book. With companies such as Blitzprint, we do not assume any ownership over a book. We simply print it. It’s completely owned by you.
  • When you self-publish a book, you have full creative control. Meaning you don’t have to answer to a publishing company’s preferences on the cover photo or paper stock.
  • You can set your own deadlines. If you are working on your book as a side project, you can work on your own schedule, without any external deadlines eating away at you.
  • It’s often easier to make changes on a reprint. It’s good to get feedback and apply constructive criticism to future prints of your book. Listen to what worked well, and what didn’t, and use your creative control to make minor adjustments to your next run of the book.
  • Potential for a shorter publishing process (resulting in quicker access to the market).

Cons:

  • It can be a lot of work. Writing a story is a lot of work, and on top of that, marketing your book is a complex and time-consuming process. You have to be ready to apply your passion in selling your title.
  • It is potentially more difficult to access an audience. When marketing your book, you must use a combination of outlets and resources to attempt to reach a target audience. Your network can be vital.
  • You have limited marketing resources (Often times you will have to do your own marketing and sales). There are plenty of guides online to aid you in marketing, but there is an abundance of information, sometimes with conflicting recommendations. Marketing can be overwhelming, but there are contractors or companies to hire for this exact purpose.

All of these points are important to take into consideration when choosing which route to go for publishing your book as they will influence everything from your design process to the way you market your book, to the revenue you earn on sales of the book.

Check out our Self Publishing Guide for more information.