MF 250 : More on marketing your book (pre and post-launch)
Updated: Apr 14, 2021
On this episode, we dive more in the pre-launch and post-launch marketing of your book. More at www.bemovingforward.com.
Part 1: Canva update (an amendment to last week’s episode)
An addendum to last week:s episode.
Last week, I went through my process for creating a book cover on Canva. With respect to paperback, I noted a limitation back when I created the cover for Making Fake Star Trek in the spring. For the back cover, Canva didn:t have justify text which is essential for the back summary. At the time, the only options were shift left, right or center. So, I provided my work-around that involved hopping onto Word or Pages and then skipping back a forth between that and Canva.
Last week, I was working on the cover for my new upcoming book, Making More Fake Star Trek, I noticed that Canva now has a justify text option. This is in a word+ huge. You will save countless hours and hair pulling. You can now create your entire cover, plus copy on Canva.
Just as an FYI in case you:re not familiar, justify text simply aligns the margins on both sides of the text. Pick up any book, magazine or newspaper article, you:ll notice the paragraphs, columns and pages of text all look like rectangular blocks with smooth edges. That:s justified text. It:s what you need both inside your manuscript and on the back summary.
Bravo Canva, bravo!
Part 2: More on marketing your book (free and paid)
Before we get started, I refer you back to episode 247, in which I cover some of the starter points including grabbing a domain for your book and setting up your branded social media handles. Today, we’re going to dive back into marketing with a look at free and paid marketing strategies.
Publication wait and review times
Before we get into promoting your book, let’s take care of an important piece of housekeeping. Once you announce a publication date, build in some extra time between when you upload and hitting the publish button on KDP and the actual release of your book. KDP can take up to 72 hours to review and approve your book before it’s actually available for sale. For the coloring book, it went live within an hour but that was a short book and under the now-defunct Create Space platform. For Making Fake Star Trek, I published it on Wednesday, April 3rd with a target release of Friday, April 5th. The ebook went live the next day (Thursday the 6th), so it was up a little early. However, we weren’t sure when the paperback would go live and by early Friday evening, we were prepared to announce that it might be delayed by a day. Thankfully, the paperback went live a few hours later, just making it into the April 5th release date. Up until then, we were to the wire in last-minute details and if I had to do again, I would have submitted the files on Tuesday. Build-in that extra time. Keep in mind, Amazon may bounce back your book if there’s an issue so you may want to submit a week early to be on safe the side. The worse that will happen is that your book will go live early. But that’s better than missing your announced date.
Free or low-cost marketing
Website, social media handles
I cover this more on episode 247, so feel free to review that episode and write-up if you need more information.
MF 247 : Getting started on marketing your book
In addition to a branded website and social media handles, think about podcasts. For Making Fake Star Trek, we launched a podcast based on the book to build awareness and introduce us and our story to audiences. There are many ways you can launch a podcast including with the free Anchor app. I’ll cover podcasting in-depth in a future mini-series but if you’re interested in launching one, I cover it all here in this roadmap. You don’t have to do anything fancy or with frills, if you don’t have time. Our podcast is rather informal with us simply sharing stories for 12-15 minute episodes. Another strategy you should employ, regardless of whether you decide to launch a podcast, is to book yourself as a guest on existing podcasts. Do a keyword search on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. Find niche podcasts that tie into your topic and start pitching to them. I’ll talk more about this on next week’s episode.
Social media (the content)
When it comes to social media content, don’t simply say “buy my book” and leave it at that. Being too in your face or pushing for sales won’t convert effectively. Instead, focus on creating some engaging content. Content that’s funny, thoughtful, or provocative will go much farther than simply advertising you have a book. You can share photos or excerpts from your book for example. Your goal should be to engage and connect. Let people get to know you so they will want to learn more through your book.
Today, Video is key for good content that tracks and resonates. You can create a trailer for your book or something as simple as turning on the camera and reading a paragraph or passage (think audiobook snippet).
Amazon KDP sponsored ads
Amazon KDP has the option to create sponsored ads for your book. KDP gives you a short space for copywriting your ad so make it punchy, funny, or thoughtful (see example below).
As you can see from the example above, Amazon will use your book’s cover image to place ads to Amazon website visitors. Start and test the waters with the bare minimum: a $1 per day for a finite period and see how it does. You can cancel and create a new ad or increase the marketing funds if you see traction. An effective ad should at a minimum recoup your marketing costs in sales, if not, provide a healthy margin above that.
Paid Facebook ads
Facebook ads are also a powerful way to market your book. On episode 247, I briefly talked about setting up your social media accounts including a branded Facebook page for your book. Take advantage of this and use it to run ads for your book. If you’re not familiar with Facebook ads, I highly recommend you take some tutorials which Facebook offers for free in its “blueprint” program. These are 5-7 minute modules that cover everything from how to create a video ad or slideshows to how to target an audience and more. As with Amazon, I recommend that you start with the bare minimum: a dollar a day to start and see how your ad does.
LinkedIn is quickly becoming one of the most powerful platforms to use for marketing your goods and services. I used this for the coloring book with great success, landing several bulk sales during the 2017 Christmas season. You can create sponsored still and now, video ads.
Start rolling out your marketing plan. Lay out which social media platforms you want to focus on. Remember, pick a few and dig deep rather than spread yourself too thin on too many. I also recommend you take Facebook’s ads courses.
Part 3: What I’m reading / read
The Little Book That Still Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt (*****). This book was referenced in The Little Book of Market Wizards: Lessons from the Greatest Traders by Jack D. Schwager. Schwager’s book is more philosophical, providing a 10,000-foot view of investing in the stock. In contrast, Greenblatt’s book is more tactical and strategic, outlining a methodical way to approach pick and invest in the market. If you have any interest in building a portfolio, this is a great book that’s written in plain English with easy to digest examples.
Scrivener (available for Mac, Win, IOS) is a book writing program that auto formats for self-publishing on Amazon’s KDP and other platforms. It’s a great tool with rich features that allow co-writers to collaborate through Dropbox. Scrivener has a bit of a learning curve but I’ve been a fan since 2017 and have talked to many authors who use it as their go-to. If you’re interested in Scrivener, you can use the coupon code MOVINGFORWARD to get 20% off your purchase (for Mac or Win). It’s a one-time license fee and available for Mac, Win, IOS.
Note: this section contains affiliate links and coupon codes for which the author may receive some compensation.
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