|Posted by Kristen Hamilton on February 6, 2019 at 11:05 PM|
If you have spent any time following my Facebook page, you know that I talk about marketing. A lot. Well, here I am again with some more marketing information—because to me, there's nothing worse than an excellently written (and edited!) book that never sells. As I've said again and again, there are so many wonderful books I've edited, but that just don't get the attention they deserve because the authors don't market their work. The more you promote your book, the more people will know about your book, and the more people will buy your book.
Today we'll be talking about setting up a launch team, creating a book plate, Amazon keywords, and other effective marketing methods that make books SELL! I interviewed my longtime client Tanya SM Kennedy, who is taking an entirely different approach to marketing—including some marketing methods I admit I'd never heard of before.
1. Set up a Launch Team
My client Tanya SM Kennedy, who writes fantasy with strong female leads, recently told me that she was rebranding her books and taking an entirely different approach to marketing. One of those changes was starting a launch team, which Tanya defines as "a group of people you gather to help you gain excitement about your book."
Your launch team should include friends and readers (it's okay if you don't have a big following!) who agree to get on your newsletter (which should include news about your book launch).
"For my book launch team," Tanya says, "I have given information on the marketing techniques I’ll be trying out, writing tips, info on the book I am launching including a preview of the cover art before I release it to the general public. The idea is that you will have a group of people already ready for the book when you are ready to publish it." Tanya shares that she's already gotten some good feedback from her book launch newsletter—and, full disclosure, I'm on her newsletter too and love the information she's sharing.
2. Design a Book Plate
Another great idea to market your book is to set up a book plate. (I have to admit, I had no idea what this was and needed Tanya to clarify for me.) "The book plate is actually an idea I got from one of my favorite authors," Tanya said. "She offers a free signed book plate when you preorder her books. It is a copy of the coverart on cardstock, about 4 x 5 inches. This will just be something else I can use for promotion. I used it as the first physical giveaway for my launch team and will probably offer them as an addition to book orders in the future."
The book plate is a great marketing tool to pass out to readers at your next book fest or author signing event.
Tanya S.M. Kennedy sent me a signed book plate for her novel The Battle for Trimera.
3. Configure Amazon Keywords
If you're planning on selling your book on Amazon Kindle—which, let's be honest, of course you are—it's critical that you have keywords in place for readers to find your book if they want to read a story like yours. You'll be able to configure your book's keywords on your setup page from the Kindle Dashboard.
"It doesn’t matter if your book is listed in a certain search that a lot of people are searching if there are a million other options in there as well," Tanya told me. "So, I looked into using Google Keywords where you can actually see numbers as well as keywords. It offers you statistics of how many people are searching for exactly those keywords. It [also] gives you similar keywords searches with the same info. If you are searching 'sword and sorcery' it will give you similar keywords like 'aurthurian' that you may not have thought about. I got a couple of keywords from this."
Other Marketing Tactics
Tanya is no newbie to the self-publishing world, and despite her new list of marketing tactics, she's sticking with some tried-and-true methods that worked for her in the past.
I don't know about you guys, but I just love the concept of self-publishing your book, building your author business, and becoming a successful self-publishing author. Any good businessperson knows that it takes time and dedication to make your brand successful, and this is true for being an author in the digital age.
Tanya summed it up best when she said: "The beauty of independent publishing is I can make mistakes and make corrections too. So, if something doesn’t work, I have the freedom to change it until it does."
Want to learn more about how to build your author brand
and become a self-publishing pro?
Book editor Kristen Hamilton is the owner and sole employee of
Kristen Corrects, Inc., where she provides manuscript editing
services for traditionally and self-publishing authors. Several
authors whose books she has edited have won awards and have
Reading is Kristen's passion, so when the workday is over, she
can usually be found curled up with a good book alongside her
four cats. She loves watching cat videos and scary movies,
eating pizza, teaching herself French, and traveling, and she is
likely planning her next vacation. She lives outside of Boise, ID.