8th November, 2023
4 min read
My Book Marketing Strategy by Jude Hayland
Take any group of indie authors, eavesdrop for a minute or two, and without doubt, the topic dominating their discussion will be their book marketing strategy.
It’s what I am always asked when talking to prospective or fledgling Troubador authors. But what do you do to sell your books, to make people aware of their existence? What do you advise as a book marketing strategy?
So What Book Marketing Really Works?
There is a wealth of information available on this subject – I have read numerous articles, listened to countless talks, attended endless seminars over the years and still feel that coming up with a book marketing strategy is the most perplexing and difficult aspect of producing a book. No one can give a definitive answer on what works – simply offer examples, hearsay, and perspectives.
Find Your Personal Book Marketing Strategy
And if I have learned anything from my experiences, it is that no one solution fits all. In other words, every author has to find what best suits and plays not only to their personal strengths and marketing budget – if they are fortunate enough to have one -but to the genre of their books.
Social Media – Does It Work?
Social media is, naturally, a favourite way of reaching out to potential readers because it is free – unless the route of paid advertising is taken. (I have tried this and personally found little success and no notable increase in sales. Others, no doubt,
will reflect different results.) I try to keep a social media presence but restrict myself to the channels where my potential readership is likely to wander. No point in trying to attract attention on a platform that is populated with teens and 20s if your books are aimed at an older market. I use Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn and have a moderate following although how that translates into sales is harder to equate. But it certainly plays a part in my book marketing strategy.
Talking My Way To A Personal Book Marketing Strategy
However, my preferred means of marketing is, in fact, in person. I give talks on all aspects of writing – from the process itself to my career. I am invited by groups and organisations – book groups, general interest and social groups, University of the 3rd age (U3A), senior schools, book and arts festivals - and find that I enjoy addressing audiences and talking about what I love doing. This takes me from small village meeting rooms to large assembly halls, to groups of ten, audiences of 200 and much in between. There is always a vibrant and lively interest with lots of questions and I find the whole experience uplifting and stimulating.
I am aware that this indirect method of marketing does not suit all. After a lifetime as a teacher, I am a confident speaker and no audience can hold for me the trepidation that a troublesome, truculent class at the end of a Friday afternoon could do!
Crafty Craft Fair Selling and Book Marketing
Selling my books at craft fairs is another book marketing strategy that I find rewarding and an additional way or reaching out for those readers. Even if I don’t sell a stellar number of copies I have the chance to talk to people, make contacts, hand out marketing materials as well as make some sales.
Why Talking To An Audience Works For Me
Writers are known to be introverts. I am no different. The thought of approaching a bookshop and asking for my novels to be stocked is terrifying as if I am setting myself up for rejection. Other authors are not nearly as squeamish as me and
happily approach numerous outlets to gain a presence on the shelves. I admire them yet perversely find it much easier to talk to a captive audience who has willingly chosen to attend and brings a ready enthusiasm to the occasion.
Podcasts – Another Strand To My Book Marketing Strategy
Podcasts seem to proliferate daily and this is another marketing outlet personally that I have begun to use. In the hands of a good podcast host, it is possible to reach out again for that readership that all writers are perpetually searching for and I have
thoroughly enjoyed the handful of podcasts where I have been a guest. What can be better than to be given free rein to talk about life as an author?
The Success Of My Book Marketing Strategy?
Has my particular choice of personal marketing methods made me affluent and highly successful? No. But it does help to sell my books, projects my name as an author and provides an enjoyable marketing strategy that suits me and my next-to-zero budget. And I get to meet people with a passion for reading who make me feel that this writing and publishing business is certainly worth all the effort – and what can be better than spending time simply talking books?
Jude is the author of Counting the Ways, The Legacy of Mr Jarvis, Miller Street SW22 and The Odyssey of Lily Page, which can all be viewed here. Learn more about Jude and her writing
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