Practical Ways to Make Your Book a Bestseller
How do you make your book a bestseller in a world where millions of new books are being published every year?
Great content is easily the most helpful way to achieve the highly sought after title of bestselling book or author. But as most authors and publishers will attest, it isn’t the easiest route to achieving praise from the likes of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today. Plus, with so many books on the market today, even if you do have stellar content, it can easily get lost in the crowd.
So apart from amazing content, how do you make your book stand out?
Focus on book publicity and a solid book marketing strategy.
These might seem like the same thing, but there are a few slight differences between a book publicity and book marketing campaign.
How to Get More Book Publicity
Book publicity is about getting the public—booksellers, readers, and the media—directly involved with you and your content.
- Make connections in the local bookselling community. Make yourself known to those smaller, independent retailers in your area. Come at book publicity with a “buy local” mindset first. This is a simple way to encourage local booksellers to buy your book.
Those in your immediate community are often more likely to give your book a shot, and are much easier to approach. You may also be able to score a book review from a local bookstore. Reviews are an excellent way to reach the tops of the bestseller list.
Once you have made some inroads with local booksellers, doors will open to even more book publicity opportunities in your community, like local author events.
- Attend author events. An author event can be a lot like networking for a job. You’re making important connections. Get out in the world and rub elbows with influencers, booksellers, readers, and local media outlets covering such events. These important target audiences can help introduce you to a much larger community of potential book fans. Offer to sit in for book signings and make sure you have plenty of free copies of your book to give away.
- Use forums. While making yourself well-known on book forums is an excellent book marketing idea, it is best to think of forums firstly as places to build important connections. Relationships formed through book forums can help create organic awareness. Look for places where readers, authors, and publishers come together to discuss books and participate in discussions. Goodreads is a great place to start.
How to Start Marketing Your Book
Publicity is essential to selling more books and definitely something you can start doing right away, but it is also part of a bigger book marketing campaign.
- Plan your book launch. When marketing your book, timing is key. While looking for publicity opportunities is pretty simple, it’s not something you should do haphazardly.
Everything done to promote your book should coincide with a larger marketing plan. Every public facing event should be accompanied with timely communications. Publishing dates should allow for enough time to properly market your book.
- Create buzz before publishing.Market your book before it’s ready, also called pre-pub marketing. Pretty straight forward, right? You don’t need to wait until the book is available for purchase before building hype. Do this right and you may be able to score additional media coverage and endorsements that can give a huge boost to your book promotion efforts.
- Communicate with your audience. In the competitive book market, a strong online presence is a must. Social media, an author website, a blog—these are all essential mediums for a successful book marketing campaign.
If you don’t have strong following that’s fine. Start with friends and family and grow from there.
- Use news and trending topics to your advantage. Be on the lookout for happenings that tie-in with your publicity and marketing plans. Exciting news in the publishing industry or a highly touted new movie with close connections to your subject matter are good examples of opportune moments. The key is timing and relevance.
There is no one pathway to the halls of bestseller greatness. It is full of twists and turns, barriers and detours. Shortcuts are in short order and it will definitely take a good bit of hard work. However, with good writing, a heavy dose of publicity, and some smart book marketing executions, you can set yourself up for long-term book sales success.