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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Top Five Book Marketing Strategies for Authors, plus Bonus Report

Eclipse Bookstore by brewbooks, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  brewbooks

Today I'm pleased to bring you a guest post from Dana Lynn Smith, better known to many of you as The Savvy Book Marketer.

Dana is an expert on how writers can market their books (and themselves) better. In this article she sets out her five top recommendations for promoting books.

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Have you ever wondered why some books sell better than others? One of the most important keys to success is good planning. Successful authors and publishers think strategically throughout the process of writing, publishing and promoting their books. Here are five top book marketing strategies to help you sell more books.

1. Begin your book marketing journey as early as possible.

One of the biggest mistakes authors make is waiting until their book is published (or about to be published) to think about marketing. Ideally, the marketing process should begin before the book is written. Understand exactly who you are writing to so that you can tailor the book to meet their needs and wants.

It's also critical to begin the process of building your expert reputation, social networks, blog followers, and connections with influencers as early as possible. But no matter where you are in the process of writing, publishing or promoting your book, NOW is the time to think strategically about book marketing.

2. Understand your target markets.

For a book to sell, there must be a viable market of people (and organizations) who are willing to pay money for it. It's important to understand who those potential customers are, why they buy books such as yours, and how to reach them. Many books have several potential markets, but no book is for "everyone."

3. Develop a written book marketing plan.
Some authors jump from one book promotion activity to another. They read articles or hear what other authors are doing and try some different things, but they don't have a real strategy for reaching their target markets and persuading them to buy.

You'll find lots of book marketing advice online, but you need to pull it all together into a strategic plan of action to get results. And it's really important that the plan be in writing so you will have a blueprint to follow.

To learn more, download my free report, What Authors Need to Know About Book Marketing, and check out the Ultimate Book Marketing Plan Workshop for an in-depth look at marketing plan development.

4. Tailor your marketing plan to your niche.

While some promotional tactics (such as social marketing) work for all types of books, there are differences in what works best for different genres. When you're learning about book promotion, consider how well each tactic fits with your book and your audience and prioritize accordingly. And also consider your own strengths, preferences and time constraints when choosing book promotion tactics.

5. Get in front of established audiences.

While it's important to develop your own tribe of social network contacts, blog readers, and newsletter subscribers, it takes time to build up a sizable following.

In the meantime, one of the best ways to reach potential customers is to figure out how to get in front of the audiences of other people and organizations who are already reaching your target markets. Some possibilities include submitting articles to relevant blogs and publications, getting book reviews, doing virtual book tours, speaking at conferences, and doing interviews.

Remember, there are lots of ways to promote books, but you can't do everything. The key to success is to develop a customized marketing plan and to take action every day or week to promote your book.

About the Author: Dana Lynn Smith (pictured right), the Savvy Book Marketer, teaches authors how to sell more books through her blog, newsletter, guidebooks, training programs and private coaching.

Get Dana's book marketing tips at and download her free report, What Authors Need to Know About Book Marketing.

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Thank you to Dana for her wise words of advice. Don't forget to download her free, in-depth report as well!

If you have any comments on the article or questions for Dana (or me), please do post them below.

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Anonymous Dana Lynn Smith said...

Nick, I think it's so important for authors to have a written book marketing plan, and I appreciate you sharing this article and my report with your readers.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

No problem, Dana. Thank you for your valued contribution to my blog.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Jasmine said...

Great advice, Nick. There are also some marketing tools that may be helpful. For example, there is Facebook marketing app specifically for authors. It may be especially helpful for those struggling to connect with their audience on social media.

You can find the app here,

4:47 PM  
Blogger Alana Woods said...

Pretty impressed by the caliber of intelligence on the webpage. There are a bunch of great resources here. I know I will check out this place often.

Book Marketing

11:40 AM  

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