Hundreds of thousands of books are published each year in the United States alone. Even if you hire an experienced publicist, it’s likely going to take lots of work to create a buzz around your books. In large part, this is due to the simple fact that your books have got lots of company on store shelves (brick and mortar as well as digital stores). If you plan on succeeding as a writer, you’re going to have to find ways to get your books to stand out.
Ways to Make Your Books Stand Out
Work you do before your non-fiction or fiction books are published has a definite impact on your books’ success. To grow book sales there are also key steps you need to take after your books are published. To start:
Write entertaining or informative books – All the marketing and promotion in the world might not save poorly written books. Focus on creating major and minor characters, plots and dialogue that readers will care about. For non-fiction books, provide lots of educational, motivational, inspirational and/or instructional information. If you’re covering old topics, present them in new ways.
Partner with experienced book editors – You’ve done too much work crafting and finalizing your non-fiction or fiction books to leave them to chance. Hire experienced and professional book editors to perform line and/or structural editing on your books. Structural editing lets you know if your characters, plots, scenes, dialogue, etc. work. Line editing reviews and improves your grammar and sentence structure.
Choose attention grabbing book titles – It’s done at newspapers, magazines, blogs and creative business websites all the time. Many of these entities hire experienced copywriters to create product names, descriptions, reviews and catchy, attention-grabbing headlines. Do the same with your books. Choose book titles that will grab readers’ attention from across the room.
Design professional, appealing book covers – It’s been said that simple is best when it comes to designing book covers. If you’re publishing e-books, you definitely need to keep the cover simple as technical requirements for e-books are different than they are for print books. Try different colors and tones; measure how different book covers make you feel. Work with an experienced designer to create covers for your books.
Build a sticky website – Include reader testimonials, book reviews, news clippings, press releases, your author’s bio, etc. at your website. Also include covers, excerpts and an engaging synopsis for each of your books.
More Ways to Make Your Books Successes
Now that those items are out of the way, roll up your sleeves, because the real work is just beginning. It’s time to market and promote your books. To get started, open accounts at major social networks your books’ target audience frequents. For example, you can open accounts at Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Posterous, MySpace, StumbleUpon, Google Plus, Digg, Reddit and Pinterest. Tools you can use that make it easy to add updates to your accounts include HootSuite, Buffer and Constant Contact.
You can conduct Twitter chats using tools like Tweet Chat. Also craft and send press releases to the media, conduct radio and television interviews, distribute print or digital postcards designed your books on the cover, schedule and attend book signings (especially at large book and cultural events) and tell everyone about your books. Print your website URL on everything (e.g. checks, memos, letterhead, press releases, newsletters, email signature line). You can also blog to generate more interest in your books. Regardless of what you do (or if you do all of the above and more), be consistent. In other words, ask questions, make comments, congratulate other members, etc. at social networks several times a week.
The fact that millions of people are on a single social network does not guarantee that your non-fiction or fiction books will hit the bestsellers list. It’s not even a guarantee that you’ll sell hundreds of copies of your books. However, if you complete several action steps each day you can create an audience for your books. Engage and keep in touch with these people and you can increase your book sales substantially, this without having to log miles on your vehicle, catch a single plane or pay for costly hotel rooms.
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