Building Anticipation: 4 Ways to Market Your Book Before It’s Ready
Finishing a book is a big accomplishment. No matter the genre, style, or purpose, the time and effort it takes to transform a concept into reality is an achievement worthy of acclaim.
Completing your final draft may feel like the last push before the finish line, but in reality, there’s still plenty of road ahead. If you want to maximize sales, engage your target audience, and improve your public persona as a writer, building a buzz through marketing is a critically important part of post-publishing success. When handled properly, your early marketing efforts can propel you forward, making it more likely that readers will buy, read, and support your work.
Here’s what you can do to promote your upcoming book before the first copies hit the shelves.
1. Establish a Website
A great website is a must-have for any business, and that includes your personal brand. As a writer, presenting yourself professionally is a priority, and a website is a great way to do this. With a strong web presence, interested individuals can read about you, your background, and your history, giving your audience a way to truly connect with who you are. A well-built site also allows readers an opportunity to familiarize themselves with your characters and content. This way, when your book is finally released, there will be a comfortable sense of familiarity to which your customers can connect.
In addition, a website can build credibility, enhancing your public stature as an author. It doesn’t matter if you’re brand new to the field or a seasoned veteran with a wealth of published works; with a great website, you can immediately boost your reputation and legitimize your writing.
2. Preview Your Content
It’s easy to tell your audience your book is great, but seeing – or reading, as the case may be – is believing. Many readers will be interested in the idea of your book but without a way to verify its value, they may be unlikely to take a chance on a purchase. Providing sample chapters can be a great way to overcome this roadblock, getting readers excited while simultaneously reassuring your fan base that yes, the finished product will be worth it.
Releasing a chapter or two of your choosing can be handled in a few different ways. Some writers prefer to put the intro on their websites to track engagement, while others make previews available through an e-reader platform. Whatever you choose, be sure to focus on strong, high-quality content to ensure a positive response.
3. Engage Your Audience
Social media is a great tool, but it can also feel like a waste to a busy writer. The practice of reading through your feed, reviewing responses, crafting marketing messages, and replying to fans can seem like a time drain, but it’s actually a low-cost way to build up your presence and spread the word about what you have to offer. From announcing release dates to sharing purchase details and promotions, going social can help you communicate information in the easiest possible way.
Social media is extremely effective as a method of engagement, starting a conversation to keep your fans and followers active and interested. And, best of all, it works. According to a NM Incite study, 71% of those who had a positive social media interaction with a brand are likely to recommend it to others, while a Hootsuite study found that 41% feel that it’s important for a brand to have a social media presence. Furthermore, according to SelfStartr, 32% of users interact with brands on a regular basis. When you want to make your name known, social media is a great way to get the job done.
4. Focus on Your Target Market
It would be nice if everyone could buy and read your books but unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. Instead, you need to focus your energy where it matters most: your target audience. In order to use resources in the most efficient way possible, hone in on the markets most likely to buy, read, and enjoy your book.
How you choose to reach out to your audience will depend on content and context, but social media can be a great tool here, too. By targeting your marketing based on location, age, gender, and interests, it’s possible to make sure your brand and your book are front and center for your key demographic.
Success in literature isn’t always easy, but a strong approach to marketing can offer a better way to break into the market. By building a web presence, getting active on social media, and targeting your tactics, it’s possible to build up hype for your latest book well before the big release day.