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Market Book - How to Reach Your Readers

Image: There is no secret recipe for universal book success, but there are some important rules that can help with marketing books. Copyright: Fotolia

Over 90,000 publications hit the book market every year. Including a handful of bestsellers and many debut works by unknown authors. On the one hand, this means a variety of titles, but above all an almost unmanageable competition for the individual authors. In addition to unique content, professional editing and attractive packaging, targeted book advertising and targeted marketing for your own book is an indispensable measure of your own success. You are therefore certainly right to ask yourself: How do I actually market my book correctly? tredition shows you how to proceed in a targeted and effective manner in marketing and how to create a promising marketing plan.

In this guide you will learn how to market your book in a targeted manner in order to attract the greatest possible attention from the reader and ultimately earn more money with your book.

 

More and more authors compete for readers' approval every year. At the same time, the Foundation for Future Issues regularly measures the leisure behavior of Germans - and in doing so brings ever more frightening results to light. Because even in the most recent evaluation from 2015, reading does not even appear among the 20 most popular leisure activities. At the top of the ranking are television, listening to the radio, telephoning ... Reading a book? Nothing. Not to mention e-books, which rank as the second most unpopular leisure activity under also ran. An indie author is therefore faced with the enormous challenge of differentiating their own book from this mass of new publications. Discoverability has become the central buzzword of the hour. Because a book that is not found by booksellers and the reading public, that does not draw attention to itself, is virtually non-existent. In general, only book-specific marketing measures that are carried out as widely as possible on many channels and that tell exciting stories attract the attention of booksellers and readers. If these campaigns are well planned and make a book “visible”, then with an extra bit of luck, the book will also be successful.

 

1 The alpha and omega of successful book advertising: the marketing plan

Don't start too late to think about how to best promote your book. Before or as you write, you should create a "battle plan" for future marketing efforts. This “marketing plan” should record, step by step, when and how you plan to advertise your book. Not all marketing measures are suitable for your book publication. A non-fiction book requires different marketing measures than a volume of poetry, etc. You should therefore think in advance about which measures make sense for your book and define these in your individual marketing plan with precise guidelines and dates for implementation. At the same time, it makes sense to seek contact with the press and bloggers as well as readers during this time, so that once you have finished writing your book, you can then directly address the right and ready-to-receive audience for your measures. If you built up a fan base early on, when your work finally hits the market, you can spread a book announcement, reading sample, etc. directly to the appropriate target group.

 

2 Before you start: Know your target group

Image: Knowing the readership is the be-all and end-all of targeted book advertising. Copyright: Fotolia

Before you jump into advertising for your book, it is important to narrow down and get to know the target group for your publication in advance. Look at your book again with a critical reader's eye. Which genre and which title have you chosen and which readers are suitable for this publication? Who does the style and presentation of the book appeal to? You may have already developed a reader avatar while writing, i.e. an imaginary persona that represents your ideal reader. You should analyze this avatar or an entire avatar group again and find out which channels your target group is in. Only when this question has been answered does it make sense to target this audience with marketing measures. A conservative reader might prefer to look around in the daily newspaper or on television for suitable reading recommendations. Tech-savvy readers are more likely to cavort in social networks, on blogs or in book communities. A cookbook lover may want to find and post pictures on Pinterest. Don't waste your marketing ammunition with actions that your target audience may not even reach!

 

3 Continuity: Perseverance pays off in book advertising

After the often lengthy path has been completed and your own manuscript is available, it has gone through editing and typesetting in the second step and has finally seen the light of day, authors are often happy when the book is finally on the book market. At this point in time, it is unfortunately often neglected how important the now imperative next step to success is: the marketing work. Certainly the new release of a new Harry Potter volume by Joanne K. Rowling is already advertising enough. Rowling's fans quickly ensure a high circulation. Unfortunately, however, these are individual cases in the industry that can be counted on one hand. A book only becomes a long-seller if authors continuously work on their book success and repeatedly draw attention to their own work by igniting new marketing fireworks.

 

4 Book advertising means: telling stories on all channels

Image: Use your storytelling talent to promote your book as well. Copyright: Pixabay

When you have started your marketing plan and found out about your target group, you should think about the channels on which you want to best distribute your measures. Here it is important to be present in words, pictures and sound on all channels that make sense for your book. Use cross-media marketing campaigns, i.e. communication with your readers via several linked channels. This should entertain and inform readers and ideally at the same time lead them to your book again and again and trigger buying incentives. Offer your readers added value with exciting content about you and your publication. For example, if you have written and sent a crisp press release about your book, you can use the text of the press release for other purposes. An interesting author interview with you should not only go to waste on your homepage, but you should spread it in all other suitable channels, from social media channels to book forums, etc. Not only do you become a narrator as the author of your story, but also use your storytelling talent to market your book. Interesting questions for the reader could be: What challenges and experiences did I have while writing, what story or novelty do I announce in my book? What innovations and advantages does my book have in store for the reader? The fine art of cross-media marketing is to distribute information and articles across all channels in order to achieve the greatest possible reach for your book advertising.

 

5 Book marketing online or offline? Online is king

As a sales channel for books, the Internet has by no means outstripped the retail book trade - but purchasing decisions are now increasingly being made online in the traditional book world as well. This means that you should definitely take advantage of the opportunities offered by digital platforms, blogs, etc. to make your book stand out from the crowd. From social media advertising to blog marketing to online readings or book trailers, the possibilities here are almost endless - and what is even better, can be implemented quickly and effectively with few resources. Your acquaintances, friends and family, but also your readers, can pass on and disseminate the articles about you and your book. And even better: the measures can then also be better evaluated. Take a close look at your book. Which genre, which topic are you dealing with and which measures fit in with it? And it doesn't always have to be the usual advertising measures. The more original, the higher the reader's attention and the more likely it is to spread to your target audience.

 

Use 6 multipliers: press & blog marketing

 

Press

Image: Use the power of multipliers for your advertising! Copyright: Pixabay

Even if online media are increasingly outstripping traditional media, journalists from newspapers, magazines, radio stations or television channels still ensure high circulation and are good starting points for placing articles on your book. Press reviews also result in additional reviews. Journalists often ask about authors from articles or contributions that have already been published or first become aware of books and authors through colleagues.

How do you do it? First of all, you need to find your target group and set up a suitable press distribution list for them. Because depending on the genre, topic and readership, only certain media are suitable for a book project. Good preparation is essential here. Research suitable media, news portals and magazines or special interest magazines in a targeted manner. Prepare email letters for your book with the enclosed press kit for your book. This press kit includes: a brief announcement about the book, the press release as a PDF file, a meaningful picture of the author and a high-resolution cover picture for the book. In the best case scenario, this cover letter should arouse curiosity about your book and entice journalists to report on your book. However, do not send this out unfiltered. Attention: It doesn't have to be the Frankfurter Allgemeine, DIE ZEIT or the Süddeutsche here. The feature section or the review area for books in these media is very limited and well-known authors have a hard time posting a review here. Journalists are overwhelmed with hundreds of letters and books every day. Start by reaching out to regional media and presenting yourself as a “local author”. Be confident in your appearance, but don't rush the press. Offer them additional material such as review copies, author interviews or book copies for competitions.

Blog marketing

Blogs have become the most important mouthpiece for readers on the web. Authors have a multitude of opportunities to present their own book to a large number of readers and to attract attention for their book. Get creative: Announce the book publication with a press kit to bloggers who are thematically related to your book. Offer review copies to important literary blogs in return for book reviews, reading samples, author interviews, competitions and collaborations - or go on a blog tour. During a blog tour, different topic-related blogs present your book in various forms within a certain period of time: book review, author interview, reading sample, competition and much more ... For this it is important to find the right contact person in advance and to win them over for your own book, with the advertising material in good time and advertise them on other channels before and during the blog tour. It is very important to develop a relationship with bloggers early on. Bloggers hate nothing more than being randomly poured in material. If you want to enter into an exchange with a blogger and place something about your own book there, you should inform yourself precisely about the blogs and their target group and build a relationship based on mutual respect.

 

7 Approach the target group: Advertising on social media and in book communities

Image: Social media platforms like Facebook offer many marketing opportunities for authors! Copyright: Pixabay

Social media channels offer authors numerous opportunities to stir the drum, exchange ideas and network with other authors and establish contact with readers. As you write - your marketing plan is drawn - you should work on building a solid fan base or readership for your book so that they are just waiting for your book to finally go on sale.

 

Facebook

Set up your own profile on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Co. and, if necessary, your own author page on which you can communicate with your readership. Authors also have the opportunity to present their own book publication through their own fan page for the book. This is how you ensure that your book title can be found on Facebook and on social media. You yourself should regularly offer new “food”, reading samples, book covers, etc., in order to create reading incentives once your book is published. Fans can frolic on your book page, ask questions and contact you. So you can “anteaser” your own book publication there, that is, announce in advance how you know it from series that arouse curiosity about months before it is broadcast with trailers. Facebook also offers the option of publishing advertisements or so-called sponsored posts, i.e. sponsored messages about your page, in order to address a specific target group or simply to increase the reach of your page or your posts. The site also offers many groups of authors who may be of interest for your own book advertising. Become part of a group and exchange ideas with other authors and readers. Get helpful tips there and talk about your publication!

 

Use other social media channels: Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest ...

Facebook is certainly the most popular social network. But the golden rule also applies when it comes to social media: Don't stay where you like it privately, but where your readers are. So you have nothing to do with Twitter, for example, but your target group analysis has shown that your readers mainly exchange information via Twitter? Then it's time to jump into the deep end. Find out more about this social network and the opportunities that are available here for you to stir the drum for your book. On Twitter, for example, it is important to write regular tweets to the target audience. With Pinterest and the Instagram photo app, the focus is not so much on targeted textual communication, but rather on pictures and beautiful content. Here it is important to place content with the right keywords or to point out advertising campaigns, etc. Use the very different opportunities for book advertising that are available on the individual networks or in groups for your work.

 

Establish a community in advance

There are a number of portals, forums, groups of authors and so-called book communities on the Internet. These allow writers to network with other writers, talk about your book, chat with readers, and seek advice. Use these groups as an opportunity to introduce yourself and your book. Some of the most famous communities are Lovelybooks, aNobii or Goodreads. These are characterized by different focuses. Each of these communities is a nice meeting place for bookworms. New publications are posted, rated, commented on and recommended here. Authors should know these communities well, create bookshelves for their own books there, hold reading rounds, write recommendations and be active in book groups and exchange recommendations with friends. Due to the large number of users of the pages, the communities achieve a wide range of individual topics or book recommendations.

 

8 Book Stores & Events

Even if large online retailers like Amazon are shaking up the business model of brick-and-mortar booksellers, brick-and-mortar bookshops are still the most important sales channel for books in Germany. Authors should know this - and take advantage of the opportunities that the book trade offers an author. Establish contact with booksellers and arrange for your books to be displayed in a suitable bookstore. First of all, it is necessary to research topic-specifically which special bookstores are suitable for your own book. Once these bookstores have been identified, authors should plan carefully how they will approach the bookseller. Booksellers prefer regional titles. So as an unknown author, first of all stick to the bookstores in your personal environment, where you can present yourself as a “regional author”. Unusuality and peculiarities of your book topic provide plus points. Highlight these in the conversation. Fiction works are still popular with authors, but they are losing sales in the book trade. Non-fiction and specialist books will therefore find it easier to find their way to a display in specialist bookshops.In addition to an appealing, professionally presented book with a convincing cover, the focus here is on your persuasiveness as an author. Get in personal contact with your bookseller, take your book, possibly also an existing press kit, with you and present your book to the bookseller. Organizing an author reading or book presentation together is a good opportunity to establish long-term contact with the book trade. Offer booksellers your own copies in order to arouse initial interest and refer to the order channels for which your book can be ordered (book wholesale, publisher delivery).

 

The author reading

An author reading is a great moment to get in touch with your readers personally. But a successful reading needs to be organized carefully in advance. You should think carefully about which bookstore might be an option for a reading. Once you have found a suitable bookstore and discussed everything necessary with the local dealer, put together the program for the evening. Think carefully about how the evening should go. When is which event point? Presentation of the authors, reading of which text passages, should music be included? A great way to create loyalty and sell your own book is to have a book signing after the reading. It is also important to make the event known to your reading audience in advance and to ensure that there is a sufficient audience. You can also attract attention through readings in unusual locations. Be creative and see if there could be other venues for your book as well.

 

Online reading

The internet offers many opportunities for marketing work. Online readings are a completely new option. You can now organize a reading in the comfort of your own home and broadcast it online via camera on YouTube, Google Hangouts or the Periscope apps or the YouNow streaming service, which primarily attracts younger users. These online platforms or apps make it easier and easier for authors to organize, finance and hold a reading. At the same time, it is still possible to achieve enormous ranges. In addition, a rather smaller, tech-savvy audience has been cavorting here so far. The great mass has not yet discovered these instruments for themselves. As a result, individual outstanding campaigns can currently cause a lot of marketing buzz, that is to say, attention.

 

9 Use publishing expertise - build on publishing marketing

Image: Build your marketing measures on the marketing of your publisher!

Get your publisher on board when it comes to marketing your book. Inquire there what marketing measures are being carried out for your book - and ideally build on these measures.

Our marketing includes, among other things, press work (a press release for every book, sending free review copies), social media marketing, blog marketing, publication of your book in book communities, book marketing especially for non-fiction and specialist books and the ability to be found in search engines. In the tredition blog, we also regularly distribute detailed articles on marketing topics, author interviews or reports on authors in the book trade, which can provide you with a lot of advice and tips for preparing your own marketing plan. Benefit from our publishing expertise here!

 

We hope you enjoy implementing our tips and good luck with your book!