Happy April writers! Exciting news: Our March marketing blogging series will be extended into April. There's so much to share and learn that we felt a month wasn't enough. This month we will be covering tips that apply to your book launch, socials, gaining reviewers for your book, etc. so check back every Tuesday at 8 am to read each installment.
If you missed our former marketing posts in this series, here they are:
Now on to the good stuff!
Publishing can be a little overwhelming. There's lots to take care of to get your book published, let alone all that should be done to help market your book before, during, and after. Hopefully you're not tackling everything alone, but if you are here are 5 practical tips to keep in mind. These are geared towards some savvy things you should do before you publish on the marketing front.
1. Write An Elevator Pitch
The moment has come. You're publishing and the inevitable question on everyone's mind is: What is your story about? The worst case scenario is that your mind blanks and you stumble over some sort of vague explanation. But why set yourself up to fail if instead there's a way to prepare? By taking the time to write a short paragraph summarizing your book and memorizing it, you'll not only be able to share what your story is about but you'll be able to entice new readers into giving it a read.
Don't mistake your book's blurb on the back cover for your elevator pitch. True there's overlapping information, but if you're only sharing what would-be readers have already read for themselves, you won't be giving them a reason to make the purchase. Your elevator pitch needs to achieve two things: 1) It must tell us what your story is about and 2) It must provide a reason why whoever you're pitching to can't live without your book.
Check out this awesome article by BookBub explaining how to craft a killer elevator pitch to get started: 5 Steps to Writing a Killer Elevator Pitch for Your Book.
2. Poll Your Readers To Verify If Your Copy Works
If you're new to book marketing you may not be aware that there are services out there that can help you decide whether your marketing copy, book descriptions, book cover design, and pretty much anything else you could use target audience feedback on, exists. This can be incredibly helpful in the early launch stages (or re-launch, as the case may be). It can help give you much needed insight into the minds of your prospective audience and whether your marketing materials will be effective enough to tempt these readers to buy your book.
PickFu is a paid online service that allows you to poll your target audience and get real opinions on whether your materials have the intended impact or not. Starting at an affordable $50, you're able to create polls with specific target audience variables of your choosing. This means whatever question you're asking will be answered only by people who fit your requirements, unlike say when you poll your readership on social media where anyone can respond.
Polling your target audience will give you definitive yes or no answers on whether your marketing campaign will bring desired results. It will give you insight into the mindset of those who will buy your book, and help you narrow down what to use to effectively market your book.
3. Subject Your Marketing Copy To An A/B Test
While polling gives you the emotional side of marketing, A/B Tests gives you the facts. It determines quantitative data like the number of clicks, and the highest click-through rate. You can also use ad platforms like BookBub and Facebook to run the same A/B test on your copy.
It sounds more complicated than it actually is, but basically A/B testing allows you to compare the tiny elements of an ad or email and submit them for comparison. For instance, you can compare titles, subject lines, length, word order, content, visuals, personalization, images (or lack thereof), style, tone, call to action, and more.
Campaign Monitor can help. They make it easy with their basic, unlimited, and premier tiers, where you can choose the features you need to make your email campaign a success. From tons of design options, to built-in features that notify you when your links need to be updated, to analytics and subscriber options, this all encompassing service can help you build your readership through email relationships.
Looking to run A/B tests on BookBub or Facebook? Use the links below to learn how:
4. Get Blurbs From Other Authors
Reputable blurbs from other authors can be an invaluable resource. Familiarity is an author's best friend. This is why we compare our novels to others that already have a following, target the audiences of other successful writers in our genre when we try to grow our mailing list, and ask for other writers to read and review our work.
If you pick up any published book on a bookstore shelf, you'll find quotes from other notable authors saying a few positive words about said book. This not only attracts attention, but it helps make the sale. When a reader knows and likes the author being quoted, they are more likely to buy the recommended novel. Online, studies hosted by BookBub showed that "books with blurbs had 22.6% higher click-through rates than those without blurbs".
Unsure about how to gain blurbs for your novel? Check out this guide below:
5. Create A Visual Campaign
Visuals are a powerful way to spread the word about your book launch and novel in general. The great news is that you can create these images with minimal cost and effort thanks to creative outlets like Canva. Canva is a design platform that allows you to create almost anything you can think of, from social media, presentations, flyers, posters, website visuals, and more. Use them to share teasers from your novel, your book cover, characters, important updates, and teaser quotes. You can even animate them for an extra visual "oomph".
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