By Mehak Kukreja
Promotions, Branding, Marketing and distribution sound almost similar but in terms of book publishing and sales they are all different. In today’s world, everything is a brand and everything revolves around how we promote and market the brand. When we talk about marketing a book there is no doubt that it involves a lot of input and hard work. Marketing is a form of promoting a product for better sales of the product. If the product sells, and makes profit, it is then that it is a success. In order to make a success of a book, a lot of effort has to be put into building a hype around it. If there is excitement about a book, there will be more readers and this naturally will keep the sales high.
There are many aspects of marketing a book. From pre launch and post launch marketing to online and offline marketing. Marketing by self published authors and marketing by the publishing house. Focusing on the book is the most important aspect for the author, but once the book has been completed , the most important aspect is how to achieve the means of the book being read.
Marketing a book comes at two stages of the book. One is pre launch and one is post launch of the book.
Pre launch marketing happens before the book launch itself. Creating a buzz around the book before it is launched is the first step towards marketing a book. It is very important to keep in mind the target audience of your book. Focusing on target audience works better to market a book. The target audience will be more likely to take interest in the book .
Post launch marketing happens after the book has been launched. One cannot decide which part of marketing is more important, before the release or after the release of the book. The key is to keep promoting the book.
Offline marketing is the old school marketing which is targeted to build audience into readers. Building an audience and converting them into readers is not an easy task. Convincing people to read a book is hard. People often have questions as to why they should read a book, why should they invest time and money in a book.
Some ways to market a book offline are
- Reviews – being reviewed and written about is one way a book can gain popularity.
- Attractive title and cover – choosing an attractive title or cover is in itself a very strong approach to market a book.
- Book clubs- joining a book club is very beneficial. Live audience is available for an author to present a book.
- Readings – author readings are a direct method of being in touch with readers.
- Book tour – reading and signing books for readers also helps in gaining momentum to promote the book. Book readings increase fan base.
- Distribute books – distribute free copies so some influential people. Their feedback is always valuable.
Online marketing is relatively new age but it has more power than offline marketing. Online marketing comes in various forms. There are different forms of social media platforms where an author can market his or her book. There are innumerable ways in promoting a book online. But the right way is to do it yourself.
Having a personal touch with readers is one feature an author should keep in mind. Releasing information about the book on different social media portals and in different ways is what should be considered. Here are some ways in which online marketing can make a difference.
- Videos – releasing videos about the book or videos which have messages from the author is a smart way of attracting readers. Readers find it interesting when the author personally speaks about their work. Videos have a visual appeal as well.
- Website – building a website and providing information about the book is the best way to keep readers informed about the book.
- Podcasts – a relatively new means of communication, podcasts definitely have a high level of garnering attention and enthusiasm. With more people being home and tuning into podcasts, this trend is gaining popularity.
- Social media – one of the most powerful tool available for the means of marketing almost anything. Social Media is used to connect directly with people. In this way reaching out to the audience becomes very easy.
- Magazine – being reviewed by a magazine is a sure shot way to increase readers. Magazines have a widespread readership. Connecting to book lovers by being reviewed or mentioned in a magazine is a strong marketing tool.
- Promotions – paid online promotions on Facebook and Instagram help in reaching target audience. It generates leads as to followers as well.
- Giveaways – giveaways on social media platforms can attract more
- Blog – daily blogging helps in creating a database of followers.
Now with online and offline marketing one has to keep in mind about marketing during the pandemic. Due to the lockdown and curfew like situation in many countries, it is difficult to promote books offline. Social Distancing is the new normal and being around too many people is taboo. Therefore, online book marketing is suggested as compared to offline marketing.
- Live sessions – as social media is the most enticing platform for marketing a book, having live sessions is highly suggested.
- Hosting a launch online – major proportion of the population today is online, and there is not better place than to launch a book online. It is one of the biggest marketing tools used in recent times. Online launches are far more successful than offline launches as the reach online is more than personal launch.
- Audiobook – converting a book into an audio book, the latest format of books, is the best way to market a book. An audiobook is the audible version of the book either narrated by the author or a third person. A book which can be read on the go while during chores is so welcoming.
- Webinar – hosting a webinar for the target audience or a specific book club I order to give insights or a sneak peak about the book is a strong approach of marketing. It is an indirect sales promotion.
In order to make a book noticed, it is important to take the correct steps to glamourize it. There is so much that goes behind the final product for readers that it is often forgotten that the real hard work lies to be completed after the product is created. Once the book comes in form, promoting it becomes necessary in order for it to succeed and become a bestseller. Without marketing, advertising and promoting a book, it may just lay on a shelf. In today’s competitive world, everything is a brand which is built by the means on marketing.