Establish a book marketing foundation
The most challenging aspect of self-publishing is promoting and selling your book. There are many different ways to market a mind, body, and spirit book and marketing is an ongoing expense that you, as a self-published author will be responsible for.
Many authors are not marketing experts and don’t know where to start. The short of it is, book marketing depends on exposure, reviews, purchases, and referrals. It is best to make book marketing something you can afford and maintain over time.
Focus on developing five key platforms: Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook (…Instagram or Threads), your author’s website/blog, and events. Include giveaways, advertisements, book and author pages, graphics, and more.
- Begin your book marketing strategy 3-6 months before the book’s release date
- If you have come to book marketing later, that’s OK – better late than never
- If you don’t have a website, consider getting one
- Be sure to have a Facebook Author Page (Fan Page)
- And preferably, publish both a print & ebook version of your book
Amazon Author Central
Set yourself up on Amazon Author Central with an Amazon Author Page. This will make it easy for Amazon customers to locate your book online.
Amazon is the biggest online bookseller in the world, so it’s a place you want to be seen. The Amazon Author Page will display all your author and book details.
There are options for uploading photos, videos and connecting your blog feed. It will further enable you access to valuable sales data and more.
*Please Note – The Amazon Giveaway program is no longer available.
Setup on the best social media platform for book lovers…Goodreads. Its owned by Amazon and generates book discovery, reviews, sales, and discussion – connecting readers and authors. It has more than 125 million members. If you’re seeking an audience, you’ll find it on Goodreads!
Your Goodreads setup should include a Goodreads Book Page, Author Page, three Listopia lists, a print book giveaway, and an advertisement. The book page will include your book image, description, and metadata; the author page will include your biography, and website link and offer further insight into you, the author – your book likes, favourite quotes, blog topics, and more.
Run a Goodreads giveaway for a month as a way of promoting your book before (and after) publication – to gain reviews, sales, and referrals. Choose how many books you would like to gift – see Goodreads giveaway guidelines here.
Facebook is the most popular social media site in the world. There are a staggering 2.98 billion monthly users on Facebook worldwide (2023). Therefore, Facebook is a huge market for your book. Setup on Facebook with a personal page and author page.
The best way to present yourself and your title on Facebook is to create an Author Page (Facebook Fan Page). A Facebook Author Page is a lot of fun, with heaps of options for branding and engagement. You can also quite easily lead people from Facebook to your author’s website.
*Please note – Be active on Facebook well before your book release date.
There are many marketing strategies you can apply to your Facebook Author Page and one of the most effective is advertising.
Start a Facebook advertising campaign for your book at the pre-order stage, then follow through with more advertising at the book release, and continue for as long as you want to be selling your book.
Specially tailor the advertisements to your target audience – taking into consideration the age, gender, location, and interests of your ideal readership.
The first advertisement (pre-order) can be set up through your Author Page. Create an “audience type” that you will be able to use again for future Facebook advertising campaigns.
Design 4 Facebook advertising graphics through a graphics program like Canva. Choose 2 to run at the beginning of your campaign. See which performs better and then withdraw the lesser.
A picture representing the theme or emotion of your book with a short caption can sometimes perform better than a book image.
Create 2 call-to-action marketing prompts (using Canva) to use frequently within your blog posts:
- Order Now – branded book promotional banner
- Subscribe to my Newsletter – branded mailing list promotional banner
These may also be used on other website pages, for instance, your book page.
If you don’t have a website or blog these promotional prompts can be made as social media graphics of your choosing. Size them accordingly.
However, to succeed long-term as a mind, body, and spirit author/publisher you need a dedicated and professional online presence. When people like your book on Amazon, Goodreads, and Facebook, they will look for your website to find out more about you and your book.
How does a website/blog differ from other platforms like social media? Significantly. With a website or blog, you own it, or should. You control it, or should.
With social media, you don’t own it. A company owns it. A company controls it. If that company goes down, you will lose your social media material and audience – unless you’ve been able to convert them into your website and newsletter audience.
As a website/blog owner, you are free to develop and manage your online identity, community, and business as you like. You are the captain of your ship – and that’s what an independent author/publisher likes to be.
If you do have a website/blog, you can submit your website to search engines to increase traffic to your site. Most importantly, continually work on your site’s SEO
The most cost-effective marketing strategy you can have is an email list for direct contact with your customers. Book marketing success depends on you being able to identify, reach and keep your target audience. The real power of owning a website or blog is it enables you to collect your readers’ emails.
It’s a priority your website/blog has email signups and calls to action on multiple pages encouraging visitors to your site to join your email list. In exchange for their email address, offer subscribers a signup gift like a free chapter of your book and a regular newsletter that is filled with value.
By joining your email list, subscribers are saying they want more of what you have to offer. Keep them up-to-date with your latest book news, author inspiration, and special offerings. There are many good email marketing services available for small businesses, like Mailchimp and ConvertKit.
Ask your email audience to write a book review and testimonial, and to refer your book and emails to friends – make the most of your network. Use positive blurbs on your website/blog, social media, and promotional materials. Your subscribers will like getting involved in your book’s success.
Consider running book giveaways. Everybody loves a freebie. Book giveaways can create buzz, reviews, sales, and referrals. It would be an especially beneficial exposure for your title leading up to its release – but also following its release.
For instance, create instant win giveaways, sweepstakes, first-come-first-served, and more. There are giveaway tools you can use like RafflePress (WordPress plugin).
Choose the giveaway date and how many books you would like to offer – also, whether you will gift winners with print or digital books. Entry actions could require people to sign up for your newsletter, follow you on social media, visit your book page, and more.
- Regularly publish content on your blog
- Build backlinks
- Keep your website up-to-date
- Work on SEO
- Give visitors a good website experience
- Get book reviews to showcase
- Create regular email campaigns
- Create ad campaigns (Facebook & Google)
- Make social media & your website work together
Whether it’s your book launch party or an author reading – in-person or online events are a great way to connect with readers in your community.
Bookstores, libraries, and book clubs are popular options, but you should also think outside the box and consider other venues that might want to feature your book.
If you wrote a spiritual book, perhaps there are meditation or yoga centres from where you can sell your book. Team up with a local psychic medium, astrologer, or healer for even greater reach.
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