The challenge: Market a book to an audience that doesn’t know you exist.
The solution: Create an integrated approach to building your market presence.
Imagine if you were a complete unknown to the very people who are a perfect fit for buying your book. Now imagine, within 12 months, you become incredibly well known to that same market—so much, in fact, that when you release your next book, it’s an instant bestseller on Amazon.
A Pipedream or a Reality?
Is this an unrealistic dream or a goal you can achieve? It could be either. It all depends on how focused, committed, and consistent you are about making yourself known to your target market.
If you do nothing, you will be like the vast majority of authors who write a book, get it published, and then wait … and wait… and wait.
On the flip side, you could be like a handful of successful authors who strategically build a community of potential buyers. You’re consistent. You’re focused. You’re committed to your success.
Choose Three … and Only Three
Now imagine you can use only three high-level ways to increase your visibility. Out of the countless ways to market, what would be your top three? If it were me, I would choose:
- A Book Blog Tour (aka Virtual Book Tour)
- Podcast Interviews
- YouTube Videos
The Virtual Book Tour
Fast forward to today. Nowadays, most authors are responsible for their own book tours. This means they have to plan, pay for, and promote their own tours. That’s why very few indie authors or traditionally published authors do in-person book store tours. The choice for most authors is the virtual tour.
A virtual book tour is a combination of online media including radio, podcast shows, teleseminars and webinars that air during a specific period combined with multiple blog posts during the same time period.
A rock-solid virtual tour will increase your visibility and credibility. Your writings will be viewed by potential book buyers, which is exactly what you want.
Along with a virtual book tour, podcast interviews allow you to reach far more people by appearing on shows for which the host has built a listenership.
Keep the following in mind when looking for shows to appear on.
- Using a targeted approach works much better than throwing mud on the wall and hoping something will stick.
- Be very clear about what you bring to the show. It’s not about how wonderful you are, but rather how much the listeners will benefit.
- Be prepared when you approach the host.
- The more shows you appear on, the more shows you appear on.
Your goal should be to find shows that have listeners you want to reach. Rather than merely going for ears, go for targeted ears.
If you are a nutrition expert, seek out shows specific to nutrition, health, fitness, and anything aligned with your message.
If you’re a dog trainer, look for shows that are specific to animal enthusiasts.
If relationships are your expertise, seek out shows that cover topics about relationships. This might seem obvious, but you’d be amazed at how often this critical point is ignored by an overzealous author who is only interested in being on a show…any show.
You will waste your time, and the show host’s time, if you try to get on shows that have nothing to do with your expertise. It’s worth the extra effort to be very narrow in your approach.
Research the Show
To make sure you are prepared for the show, it’s a good idea to listen to a couple of episodes before your interview. However, in many cases, you don’t need to listen to the entire episode. A sampling of the host’s style, the way the questions are asked, and the overall tone of the show will give you what you need for your research.
Keep it Evergreen (if possible)
In some cases, you’ll be talking about very time sensitive topics. However, most of the time, what you’re discussing can maintain value for years to come… when you keep the conversation relatively evergreen. What this simply means is that you avoid giving dates during your interview. That way, if someone hears you long after you did the interview, it will still be timely.
YouTube is a great resource to build market reach. You can appear on your own channel or seek opportunities to be a guest on someone else’s channel. For the purpose of market saturation, do both.
It’s important to have a clear focus on what you want to accomplish with your videos. Ultimately, you would be wise to focus on building your subscriber list. You can do this by having a clear CTA – Call to Action.
As the name implies, a CTA is designed to get viewers to take a specific action. You can have a CTA in the video and in the description.
Something as simple as “Remember to subscribe to this channel” can result in your viewers taking action.
In the case of being on someone else’s channel, the host is likely to be very open to you mentioning a giveaway, especially if it is set up as an affiliate opportunity for the host.
On your own channel, make sure that you fully utilize the video description area to offer a gift, post your social media links, highlight what the video is about, and remind people to subscribe to your channel.
The Integrated Approach
Rather than take a shotgun approach to your marketing, utilizing an integrated approach will get you more sales on release of your book.
Think in terms of how a book blog tour, podcast interviews and YouTube videos can compliment one another.
Also, keep in mind that your end goal is to sell books. As you create content for the book tour, podcast show, and videos, make sure they align with the message in your book.
For example, I am writing a book on plant-based eating. As I write the book, I am also building my market reach.
Here is a partial list of what I’m working on to build visibility in the plant-based market:
- Develop a giveaway to build my subscriber list
- Create an opt-in page for the giveaway
- Publish videos to a YouTube Channel
- Start a Facebook group
- Use Twitter
- Post on Instagram
- Publish blog posts (on my own blog)
- Find blogs I can be a guest blogger for
- Research podcast shows I can be interviewed on
By working on visibility WHILE I am writing the book, by the time the book is published, I will have a solid community of raving fans in the plant-based world. That’s how I ensure book sales upon release.
This is a 12-month plan. By working on my market growth every day for 12 months, by the time the book is published, it will likely hit #1 in several categories on Amazon. Additionally, it will open up speaking opportunities, consulting gigs, and much more.
As you plan out your book marketing, be consistent in your activities. This is the area in which most authors fall down. They want instant results for something that takes time, effort and commitment.
Vision what you want. Plan out the actions you must take. Take the actions…daily. That’s how you increase book sales before, during, and after your book launch.
How are you preparing for the launch of your next book? Tell me in a comment below.
About the Author
Kathleen Gage has been an online marketer for over 20 years and owned her current business since 1994. Specializing in working with businesses who believe a healthy workforce is a happy and productive workforce, Kathleen discovered the life-changing power of plant-based eating in her sixties. Seeing what it did for her energy, focus, creativity, and waistline, Kathleen loves working with those who are open to the possibility of what plant-based eating can do for them and their bottom-line (both the one they sit on and the one that reflects their revenues.