This year is a perfect opportunity for launching or reinvigorating a personal marketing campaign for your books and your author brand. Midnight Publishing has been collaborating with authors and entrepreneurs for almost 10 years. We provide professional editing, ghostwriting, and consulting services to help them navigate their publishing journey. Below are 20 of Midnight Publishing staff’s top tips for affordable ways to market your books this year. None of the options below cost more than a few hundred dollars at the most.
Note: While several of the tips below are tailored toward self-published authors, many still apply for traditionally published authors. Many publishers expect their authors to have and maintain a robust platform and author brand on their own.
Pick one or two social media platforms and stick to them.
2. Understand Platforms and Their Audiences and Choose Accordingly
Generally speaking, Instagram and YouTube are great for millennials, Twitter for Generation X, Snapchat and TikTok for Generation Z, Facebook for Baby Boomers, and LinkedIn for nonfiction/professional and academic writing.
3. Maintain a Website and Keep its Content Updated
Regularly add new writing content, updates on book signings and WIPs, and specials/giveaways—and if you don’t have one, build one (or hire someone to).
4. Write Blog Posts
We recommend doing it at least once a week, however, once every two weeks works too.This maintains your site’s organic SEO and shows readers that you’re present and relevant. You could also take the help of a couple of Translation Services Singapore so that your blogs appeal to a wider range of audience.
Research fiction and/or nonfiction publications to submit work to get published in. This widens your audience net and builds your credibility and backlist as a writer.
6. Create a Sales Funnel on Your Website
Give away a free e-book/PDF to every person who signs up for your newsletter, before encouraging them to purchase your paid work.
7. Publish Relevant Newsletters Monthly
Ideas for useful content include upcoming events you’ll be attending, helpful outbound links about book-related news for the month (or any news that’s part of your brand), and heartful anecdotes that give readers insight to your personal life.
8. Build and Maintain a Clear Brand that Relates to Your Writing and Personality
Align your website’s headings, social media platforms, and posts/newsletters so that everything looks similar/uniform. Choose a tone and content that reflects your brand. If it’s writing, coffee, and cats, then regularly post material that relates to those three things.
9. Create Attractive, Uniformed Logos and Platform Headers
Canva is a free option for dozens of graphics, headers, and logos (or $1 for premium content).
10. Have a Tagline and Include Your Contact Information
Have one-sentence taglines for your book(s), for yourself, and your brand. Use them on your Twitter and Instagram descriptions, and for guest blog posts, etc. Ensure your tagline always includes your website/active social media platforms where you can be reached.
11. Get Involved with Local Bookstores’ Events and/or Book Clubs
Join local book clubs and meet avid readers who might provide connections to other authors and/or opportunities for events and book signings.
12. Reach Out to Organizers of Local Conventions to Attend as an Author on Their Roster
Go online and search for local events in your book’s genre. Reach out to organizers and offer to attend as an author on their roster. These are usually unpaid events, but great for selling books and meeting potential readers.
13. Offer Craft Workshops in Person or Online with Teaching Platforms like Kajabi, Thinkific, or Others
Consider offering an online course teaching specific craft advice. If you have a specialty for worldbuilding, creating complex characters, and/or tips for how to schedule writing for maximum production (among many other ideas). This is not only an additional revenue stream, but a way to meet potential readers.
14. Have professional Headshots Taken and Update Them Every Five Years
Find a local photographer and have them take headshots in a pretty location. Dress for your brand and choose a photo(s) with a facial expression and body language that represents your book’s genre/your author brand.
15. Offer Signed Special Editions of Your Book(s) as Giveaway Items
Do the giveaway on your social media platforms and/or others’ platforms, and designate whether they’re U.S.-based only or international (you’ll have to pay for shipping and need to consider costs/budget).
16. Market “Special Edition” Volumes of Your Book(s) with Unique Features for Purchase
Choose unique features like a limited-edition cover, interior artwork/maps, hardcover/dust jacket details, and more, with a user-friendly, print-on-demand company for self-publishers like IngramSpark.
17. Pursue Professional Reviews from Renowned Sources like Kirkus Reviews and Others
These can be posted on your website and Amazon page, etc., and legitimize your work.
18. Submit to Contests for Indie Authors
Consider contests tailored to self-published authors like The BookLife Prize, which opens April 1, 2020 for fiction submissions.
19. Write Your Next Book
At the end of the day, the best way to market yourself is to have more books to sell!
Midnight Publishing is an editing, writing, and publishing consulting company. We have been serving authors and entrepreneurs for nearly a decade. Contact us today to see if we can provide the right professional assistance, collaboration, and insight for you to reach your publication goals in 2020.
Lauren has been a professional writer and editor for more than 10 years. After graduating from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, she focused on magazine and book editing, and continues to write for publications on a range of topics, including travel, music, food and wind. Her obsessions include vinyl records, the ocean, scotch-tastings, a mean guitar solo, and the feeling of a physical book in her hands – ironic, since she has 400 on her bookshelves and is allergic to paper.