Although many authors simply write for the love of books, being able to find clients is a key determinant of whether or not you’ll be able to finally be able to quit your day job and focus on writing books. For many authors, the idea of networking and marketing a book can feel daunting. It seems wrong to have to market a book that you deeply love. Authors don’t always understand why other people don’t love their book, but it’s often because they haven’t reached the right audience. Your books can sell, and here are some tips to help you know how to find people willing to buy them.
Support Other Authors
While this may seem counterintuitive at first, consider sharing posts and information about other books by other authors when you can. The truth is that the success of other books does not reduce the success of your own because most serious readers purchase hundreds of books in their lifetimes. Be willing to help other authors along in the hope that they will return the favor eventually. At least, your audience will know that you’re serious about books and reading.
Create a Stunning Cover
Although the age-old mantra, “don’t judge a book by its cover” is sound life advice, most people do judge books by covers. This is especially true in an age where most media places emphasis on the visual. If your cover looks outdated, very few people will buy it. Ask for multiple opinions from different age groups in order to determine if your cover is both modern and aesthetically appealing. Make sure that your cover has features that catch the eye.
Make Your Book Available in Multiple Formats
Many readers no longer purchase hardcover copies of books. If they do, they usually purchase hardcover copies of their favorite books or books with higher levels of aesthetic appeal. For example, clothbound books or vintage reproductions are often collected. If your books are how-to novels or academic novels, consider making them available through apps such as Kindle. In many cases, there will be a higher return for authors through digital versions because there is no additional cost for printing.
Attend events where readers spend their time. Consider handing out visually appealing flyers consistent with your cover art or speak on a panel of authors and express ideas from your book that are relevant and engaging. Pique interest in your book by presenting it well to other authors and avid readers.
Find a (Willing) Audience
After you gain a general understanding of how everyone feels about your books, determine which demographics like your books the most. Consider using survey software, Facebook polls, interviews, or whatever direct communication you prefer to identify your ideal audience. While you may have already chosen an audience while writing the book, try and find out who really enjoys the finished product. After you’ve determined who they are, focus on customer retention and continue to write for that audience.
Establish an Online Presence
Not only should you continue to network face-to-face, but you should also establish an online presence. Make sure you have an author account on platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn. Book releases, event announcements, or upcoming panel participation will be available to your entire preferred audience in no time with little cost to yourself. Just posting is not enough, however. You should find books similar to yours and collaborate with other authors. You can share each other’s books on your accounts, open up discussions in the comments, or hold events together to increase interest in your writing.
If your books aren’t selling, but you feel like they’re high-quality, consider using these tips to explore new avenues. Connecting with clients can be inexpensive and fast, it just requires a certain amount of ingenuity. Getting your books out there requires a great deal of focus, but the emotional and financial payoff is priceless.
Devin is a book enthusiast who enjoys a successful career in marketing. He loves helping others and sharing his experiences with others by writing in his free time when he’s not working, traveling, or spending time with his young family.