As an author, you are all too familiar with what the process of writing a book is. It is not enough to have a creative spark and put pen to paper. Nowadays, especially, the promotion phase of authoring a book is just as important as all the others. You also need to have a firm grasp on how the timeline of optimized promotion is laid out.
After having exerted so much energy writing your book, you may feel that you do not have much else to give. If you do not know how to promote your book before it’s published, you run the risk of your sales and outreach reflecting that ignorance. If that is the case, you should certainly look into getting professional marketing agency help, at least to help shape and guide your marketing tactics.
Why should you promote your book before it’s published?
Before you design your strategy, get some answers, explore why this is important, and you will feel more confident figuring out and executing your book marketing plan.
It’s important to get the word out
Yes, this is obvious, but it stands to be mentioned. Before your book is published, there are only so many people that know about it, even if you are an established author. You may have interested readers but are they intrigued enough to remain loyal when you are between projects? Pre-launch promotion generates a buzz that something great is on the way and keeps people on the hook.
Opportunity for feedback
Constructive criticism, negative feedback, rave reviews, these are all things that come with the territory. A book marketing campaign that starts in advance of the book launch gives you time to receive, analyze, and act on feedback from both the professional and public sectors.
Getting this process going early means that you are also giving yourself a chance to correct any potential mistakes or help you be decisive in ways that are simply relying on your own perspective does not allow for.
You can market in a way that drives sales
Ultimately, you want the book to make you money. Of course, you want to create something that is well received and that generates positive book reviews, but you also want to make a living from your work. By implementing book marketing ideas early on, you are building your own reputation, and how much money the book earns you, can be directly linked back to this approach in many ways.
To fine-tune your target market
You have probably already identified your target market, maybe even before you began to write. Still, early promotions give you a chance to fine-tune that so that you can target the exact right demographics. Especially for an up-and-coming author, it is essential to have intention and precision with regard to your target market. Equally important is determining how wide to cast that net. Being too specific can limit you, while not being specific enough can result in no true target.
You establish and maintain a relationship with your readers
Just because you have spent days, months, years creating your next book does not mean that anyone else has done the same. To just out of nowhere, spring a finished book onto your audience might catch them too off guard to pack a punch. Instead, engage potential readers through early promotional strategies.
For new readers, you are giving them a chance to get to know you and your style before they dig into your work, and for your loyal reader base, you are giving them something to bridge the gap between your last project and your next one.
You get noticed by stores and publishers
People within the industry who have their finger on the pulse of what is new and trending will have no choice but to notice you and your work when the community starts making noise about it. This gives you an incredible opportunity to attract positive attention from both stores that you would hope to sell in as well as publishers that you would hope to work with. Book promotions that happen before the book launch also give these professionals a chance to jump on board early enough to capitalize on the positive buzz.
Credibility is established and endorsed
Some of the most impactful book marketing tips are geared towards establishing credibility for you as an author as well as for your book. You want to present as an established professional even if this is your first go-around.
The more your name is mentioned, and your work is discussed in already credible environments, the more you yourself will gain. This can only happen if people are aware of your existence and the details of your next project.
How to promote your book before it’s published: Practical Book Launch Ideas
There are so many different ways to get the word out before your book launch. The best part is there is no true road map, instead learn about all your options and see which ones make the most sense for you and your team and the ones that maintain your integrity as well as that of each specific piece of work.
If you want a high level of outreach in a short amount of time, social media is where it’s at. Here, you will be able to gain a following and interact with your followers throughout the process.
Creating social media accounts for yourself and each book you write is smart because then you can link them back to one another to increase your visibility. Some social media channels that have proven successful are Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram.
How to Promote a Book on Social Media
Here are some proven ways to promote a book on social media:
- Identify your target market. You can create a Facebook group or page that centers around your book’s theme. Once you have gathered a Facebook community with the same interest as the theme of your book, you can endorse your book to this audience.
- Decide which posts are most appropriate to your target audience. If your target market comprises young adults, it is best to veer away from posts that are not relevant to them.
- Post consistently. Your book will catch the attention of many more potential readers if it is endorsed consistently in different ways. Also, post content that is related to your book as well not just about your book. If you only post about your book, your audience may get weary of your posts and unfollow you.
- Spark casual conversations and engagement in your posts. It can be related to a character’s line in your book or any other elements of your manuscript. You can even ask dilemma-like questions to ignite intrigue or curiosity surrounding your book.
- Create suggestions that are closely related to the book. For instance, if your book is about teaching young students; you can recommend a movie related to the topic. This allows you to build your name and for people to see you as reliable source in this particular area.
- Produce shareable content and maximize the use of hashtags. This allows you to grow your audience and influence within your sphere.
- Use different platforms to promote your book. The more social media you use, the wider the audience you can reach.
- Engage with influencers. You may find social media personalities that can promote your book. Just make sure that the topics on their social media posts are aligned with your book’s theme.
Your own website
Think of yourself as a brand, and create a website dedicated to it. This will give people an opportunity to get to know who you are and your personality as an author, as well as keep up on what projects you have coming down the pipeline. You can also announce upcoming events that your audience can consider attending that have to do with your not yet available book.
You have a few options here to mold this suggestion into whatever makes the most sense for you. Perhaps you create a blog post that is posted on another blog in a guest capacity that includes links bringing the reader back to your website. Or maybe you want to have a blog section within your own website where you create your own content and publish on a sensical timeline.
Since these journal entries can be written in advance or in real-time and posted at rates you control, you have pretty much full control over what you talk about with your audience and when you share it with them.
Podcasts are gaining in popularity at an alarming rate. Creating your own is relatively simple and can be done inside your own home. Additionally, you can get set up to be a guest on more established podcasts so that you can talk about your book and gain the benefit of that shows an established network of subscribers.
This will allow the community to actually hear your voice and experience the promotions of your book from your perspective. Specifically, suppose you participate in a question and answer type podcast episode. In that case, you get a chance to put information out there that comes directly from your target market and pertains to exactly what they are hoping to find out.
You’ll get a chance to be linked to other authors
If you are already working with a professional team, it is not uncommon for them to link authors together as a sort of ‘what’s coming next from our team.’ This strategy is yet another one that increases your outreach because now you have been added to a conversation with people from other niches and demographics. So, your name gets splashed in front of readers that might not have ever heard of you otherwise.
You can study the competition
Since early promotions are so beneficial, it is fair to assume that your competition is doing the same thing regarding their strategy. Here you have a chance to examine the competition and bend your plans around their book marketing agendas when necessary.
There are times when it is smart to align your launch with that of a competitor and times when that is anything but a smart strategy, your professional team will help you determine this, but either way, you get to put your eyes on what the other side is working on.
You can take advantage of Amazon
Being able to do most of your early marketing from your laptop is something that we basically have only Amazon to thank for. You can use metadata to get your book and your name in front of as many potential readers as possible. Amazon allows you to do most, if not all, of this for free, and you will also now have created a platform for reviews once you launch, which are the heart and soul of your brand development as far as consumerism is concerned.
The content that you include is essentially what a book cover would say, just virtual so that people do not have to leave their homes to browse your works and learn about you as an author. You can also post book cover images so that people become familiar with them and will remember that they are already interested in your book when they walk past it on a bookstore shelf.
Benefits of promoting your book before it is published
Now that you have been introduced to some book marketing tips, here are some of the benefits you can expect from taking advantage of them:
- Brand loyalty: Creating a pool of people who are loyal to you will create sustainability within your business.
- Control over sales: Early efforts mean that you can control the sales of your book by controlling the timeline on which you go live.
- Networking: If not for no other reason, you should be doing this to increase your network. The more readers, professionals, and colleagues you can associate with and create a relationship with, the better.
Mistakes to avoid
While it is true that there is no specific plan of action to use, there are some mistakes to avoid.
Not having a niche
It is important that you stake out your niche early on, in some cases even before you begin the writing process. This will create a theme for who you are as an author and help streamline your efforts.
Not using an editor
You cannot expect to do everything yourself and have it miraculously work out. If you want to create a scenario that sets you up for success as much as possible, use an editor. Be sure that you decide to work with someone who you work well with, though. According to the American Psychological Association, having the skills to manage your boss is critical for success and job satisfaction. While you as the author will technically be the boss, your editor will hold you accountable, and a good working relationship will be very important.
Not having any artwork
The front of your book and any images associated with your book is one of the first, if not the first, things that potential readers are going to see. Invest in images that you love and that are within the parameters that make sense for your niche and target market.
Using social media incorrectly
Unfortunately, the dark side of social media is that you can misuse it. If you are not familiar with how to create content, time your posts, and interact with your followers in a way that supports a positive image of yourself and your book, consider hiring a social media manager.
Executing the wrong timeline
One of the only mistakes you can make with the timing of early marketing efforts is not prioritizing them. Plan out what you are going to share and when and hit your marks. This will also help keep you on track with your writing goals and hopefully block any potential for laziness.
Book Announcement Examples
The book announcements work so well when sent via email due to accessibility, convenience, and cost-effectiveness. You may be on the mailing list of some authors, or you subscribed to their updates, and you might have previously seen examples of book announcements.
To give you a comprehensive overview, below is a sample of a book announcement:
I hope you are having a great day!
I am in the process of launching a book titled How to Beat Social Pressure. It has 12 chapters focusing on championing how to be yourself and how to live your life without social pressure intervening. Nowadays, it is easy to get caught up with our daily demands and forget what matters most in life.
This book will enlighten you to the fact that social validation should not be a top priority. It will motivate you to care for yourself, and allow you to become more involved in self-reflection. The book also provides exercises and questionnaires that allow you to understand who you really are.
This book will be available for purchase at all New York bookstores on July 7. It will also be available for pre-order.
If you know colleagues that would also be interested in this book, I ask you to share this email with them.
Thank you, I look forward to sharing this journey with you.
Author, How to Beat Social Pressure
Early promotions are essential for optimizing your overall strategy. By expanding the timeline that you work off of, you are giving yourself the best chance at outreach. The upcoming release of your book should feel exciting and not like a chore. By giving yourself extra time on the front end, you are allowing for additional time to correct mistakes, enjoy the process, and increase eventual sales.