Cameron Publicity & Marketing

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If you want your book to fly you need to become a pilot.

If you are new to the self-publishing world and you don’t know much about book marketing, publicity or promotion, you are in the right place. Here are the very basics that self-published authors need to know to get their book into the hands of readers. This is book pilot school 101!

The fact is, self-publishing a book can be relatively easy, but finding readers for your book takes an awful lot of work. But, if you lean into that work, take the time to learn how the publishing industry works and get to know your fellow authors and publishing colleagues it can be an immensely rewarding process.

But, at this point you probably don’t even know what you don’t know.

Here is a brief overview of the best book marketing strategies that you have at your disposal. Each of these topics is a world of its own – so think of this as your index to the book marketing basics.

Author Platform

Your author platform is how you present yourself to the world. This can include your website, social media accounts, group memberships, written articles and more. Think of it as an extended online CV, made up of your expertise, writing, video clips, links to relevant media and your own personal interests and outlook. Don’t be shy about discussing your accomplishments and what you have to offer.

Author Website

An author website really is a must for any author. It doesn’t have to be fancy or extensive (particularly if you are just starting out), but it does need to be a repository of information about you and your books – a place where readers and journalists are able to find out everything that they need to know. Your website can also offer a mailing list sign-up so that you are able to interact with you readers, give them special offers and more.

Social Media

It’s important for authors to connect with readers in the long term and social media is a way to do that which is convenient and largely free. While it can be time consuming and difficult to attract followers, personal, direct interaction can really give readers a sense of who you are.

Author Biography

An important part of your image as an author, your biography is needed on your Amazon profile, website, book information, press releases and elsewhere. Your biography isn’t a full resume of everything that you have done – it should be a concise and readable summary of your background, interests and accomplishments.

Publicity

Publicity is about spreading the word about your book via the media – and it can be and immensely powerful form of promotion. Reviews, interviews, news and features create bestselling books and are a vital part of your book marketing process. If you are comfortable talking about your book (and yourself) you can do publicity yourself, but keep in mind that it is a very time-consuming process to find the right people to talk to (let alone get to know them). Alternatively you can hire a publicity company to do it all for you. You can find out more about what to expect  from a book publicity campaign here: https://cameronpm.co.uk/2023/06/26/book-publicity-isnt-only-about-book-sales-its-about-opportunity/

Reader Interaction

There is no substitute for direct contact with authors. Use these opportunities to build excitement and to find out what readers like, want and need.

Events

Events, including speaking engagements, book festivals and launch parties, can build your profile and credibility as an author. They also provide photo and video opportunities that you can share on social media, your website and other places.

Mailing Lists and Newsletters

Build a mailing list through your website and social media accounts and send your audience regular updates or newsletters. Newsletters and mailing lists also give you the opportunity to offer competitions, additional content, special offers and incentives to those who follow you. Over time you can build an enthusiastic fanbase.

Social Media (Again)

The one part of your author platform that relies on interaction with readers (and potential readers). Take advantage of the chance to find out what your audience is after and learn from your fellow authors.

Push marketing

How you show the world what you have to offer.

Book Cover

Your book cover absolutely is a marketing tool. Never think of it as anything other than a marketing tool, as tempting as it may be to bring your own personal aesthetic opinion to it. The three elements of your book cover are title, design and description blub. The title and design (including any imagery) exist to capture the attention of the reader and encourage them to read the description (on the back cover or website sales page). The description exists to entice the reader to buy the book.

Book Advertising

For the vast majority of self-published authors, print, outdoor and broadcast advertising are too expensive to make a profit on. Books are relatively inexpensive products, and sales need to be extremely high in order to recoup the cost. As always there are exceptions for specialist content (a psychology book advertised in a psychology magazine – maybe?) but it certainly is not a route you are likely to go down for a novel or a general-interest book.

What can work, under the right circumstances, is book advertising on Amazon, Facebook and other online platforms. Even here, though, it is easy to waste money and the margins can be small. Online advertising tends to work best for books where there is a clear segmented audience or for a series (so potential buyers may end up purchasing more than one book). Do your research before you spend!

Book Promotion

Don’t be afraid to play with the price of your book. You (and your publisher if you have one) need to ensure that the book is not sold at a loss, but sometime a little discount here and there can go a long way – such as at live events or launches.

There are also opportunities to offer your eBook at a large discount (or even for free) that can make sense as a way to build sales and reviews. BookBub it a popular eBook promotion vehicle but there are others out there as well.

So if you want to be a high-flyer there are plenty of ways that you can find your readers. Get stuck in, enjoy the journey and remember that you need the best book marketing ideas to give your book wings.