Once they finish writing they'll need to get their book formatted (or learn how to do it themselves), have a cover designed, and market, market, market.
But for the uninitiated, learning how to market a book is hard. And most authors would much rather be writing.
Derek Halpern of Social Triggers tells bloggers again and again that the 80-20 rule applies to blogging—80% of time should be spent promoting the content produced during the remaining 20% of the time. The same thing is true for authors—writing a book is the easy part.
Still, just like when writing a book, authors have to start somewhere. And it's easiest to start small.
So today I thought I'd share three tips on how to market a book in 3 minutes or less.
Each of these tips should take you almost no time to do — yet can have potentially powerful results.
TIP 1: Update Your Email Signature
Does every person you email with know about your book? While you probably don't want to "spam" them or "bother" them with regular emails about when it's coming out, a nice subtle way to remind them regularly is to add your book info to your email signature.
While study results vary, most people send an average of 10-30 emails a day. That adds up quick. Let's pretend your toward the low end of that range: at 10 emails a day, in a week you send 70 emails. In a 30-day month that becomes 300. That's a ton of extra outreach!
Most email programs allow you to set up a standard signature that is automatically added to the end of every email you send out. Including in that signature, "Author of BOOK NAME, coming out Feb. 2013" with a link to your website is a great way to raise awareness and make sure friends have your website address handy in case they come across someone who might like your book.
TIP 2: Leave a Comment On A Blog
Almost every blog comment system today has a field for you to input your website—which is a great way to gain a link back to your site from someone else's. In fact, that's exactly why blog spammers tend to leave nonsense messages on blogs; they're trying to gain a public link back to a site they are trying to promote.
You don't want to be a spammer, however, so be sure that your comment adds some sort of value to the post you're commenting on. Need a how to on leaving an awesome comment? Marian Schembari has you covered.
Ideally, you should also choose blogs or blog posts that are in some way related to your book. Four places you might want to consider:
- Blogs about self publishing (we support our own!)
- Another author's blog—someone who writes in your niche whose books you loved (if you leave them a good comment they're likely to check you out)
- A book review blog (note: keep these fair and/or positive or the author may decide to leave you a not-nice comment of their own)
- A blog about the main subject covered by your book or your genre
TIP 3: Sign up for HARO
HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out—it's a website that helps match journalists with sources.
Once you sign up you'll get regular emails (how many and how often is up to you) with stories reporters are working on where they need a source. Ideally, you'll want to respond to pitches that are on the same topic as your book or on publishing in general, but even an unrelated pitch might get you mentioned in an article and get your name and your book's name some press.
Signing up only takes a moment—and then each day it only takes another minute or two to scan the email HARO will send you to see if there's anything where you'd be a good fit.
And that's it!
Each of these tips should take you less than 3 minutes and should help get your book before a few more eyeballs—and the more people who know your book exists, the more people who are likely to buy it!
Do you have any quick marketing techniques you've used? Or maybe one of these tips has worked for you? Let me know in the comments!