Writing and publishing a book often feels easier than facing the challenge of getting it into the hands of as many readers as possible. But this challenge doesn’t have to stop you from achieving success as a thought leader and expert.
Many publishing companies only do minimal book marketing, which is why they asked you how you would plan to market the book yourself before they agreed to publish it. But be sure to work with them to use whatever marketing ideas, promotional tools, and advertising avenues they are willing to employ for your benefit.
Your publishing company may help with marketing and advertising your book. However, you should also connect with people in your network. Doing so can help to boost readership and encourage sharing.
Leveraging the power of relationships is a key factor for successful book promotion campaigns. With the right strategies and techniques, it’s possible to use the power of your network to promote your book effectively.
Let's look at how you can build on the positive relationships you have developed over time to promote your book effectively.
Identify your current network
It's important to identify the people you already know who are likely to be interested in what you have written and/or who may be willing to help promote it.
Make a list of potential network contacts and think about how best to approach each one. The following are some ideas to consider:
- Family and friends: Although they may not be your target audience, close family and friends might be willing to share and promote your book just because they care about you. You can start by calling them personally, or by sending an email or private message to let them know about your book and ask if they would be willing to help spread the word.
- Professional networks and contacts: Reach out to colleagues, vendors, customers, clients, people in your networking groups, and anyone else in your industry who can help promote your book. Consider offering a book review copy or inviting them to an event related to the launch.
- Industry organizations: Consider which organizations, groups or institutions with which you are already affiliated may be potential partners for your book. Some of your connections within those organizations may also be willing to share your book.
- Social media contacts: Reach out to your followers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites. Ask them to spread the word about your book and its launch. Freely share a pdf version of a chapter or two to get them interested in and excited about the topic.
- Online forums: Forums usually have rules forbidding self-promotion. But if you are a regular contributor and commenter, helping others as much as time allows, people will notice the change in your profile photo and description. You can also subtly throw in, "As I wrote about in my upcoming book..." (don't mention the title unless someone asks for it).
Leverage the power of your current network to expand your reach and get more eyes on your book.
Engage with influencers
Influencers are people who have a large following and influence over their audience. Identify influencers within your field of expertise and connect with them on social media. Begin by offering something valuable to them before you ask for a favor. Engage with their content to build a relationship.
If you know an influencer is traveling to a city near you, offer to send them a list of best restaurants. You could also offer to send them a list of local insights regarding the best venues for speaking, and what people in that community care about (for possibly including in their speech or presentation). Offer to sponsor them during their visit (or online, anytime) in some way.
Begin making connections months before your book is ready to be promoted and focus on relationship-building first. Eventually, if it seems worth asking, you can offer to send an advance copy of the book. When you send it, suggest that if they find it useful, perhaps they might want to share it occasionally. Or ask for a review, if they have time.
Create unique partnerships
Look for unique opportunities for collaboration and partnership. Connect with other authors who write about related topics and offer to do a joint promotion campaign where both books are promoted at the same time.
You can also partner with companies and organizations that share similar values or have a target market like yours. Consider what types of promotions or discounts you can offer in exchange for their help in spreading the word about your book.
Build an email list BEFORE your book is published
Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with people who have expressed an interest in your book and keep them informed about its progress. Send out occasional newsletters, updates or promotional emails to subscribers on your mailing list and make sure you offer them something of value (such as content or exclusive discounts) to keep them engaged.
Use this email list for pre-orders, and for sending out a press release or blog posts about the book once it is released. You can also send regular newsletters to people on the list, as well as keep them updated on your events, speaking engagements, courses, and other projects.
Ask people in your network to sign up for more information about the book and be sure to keep them updated throughout the process to foster excitement and anticipation of its release.
Create a website or a page on your current site with "COMING SOON" as the headline. Include an image of your book cover and offer to send an excerpt in exchange for their email address.
Before publishing, ensure you include giveaways in the text related to the topics you discuss in the book. This is the single best way to develop a list of readers who are already interested in you and in your topic.
Share thought leadership content with a larger audience
As a part of your overall thought leadership strategy, write thought leadership content that speaks to the topics in your book. This is a great way to build an audience and establish yourself as an authority on the subject with your potential readers.
Look for opportunities to write guest posts on blogs or websites related to your topic, such as Newsweek Expert Forum. Collaborating with a strong network like this will help create more visibility for your book and your personal brand, increase your book sales, and establish you as an expert.
Actively search out podcasts and webinars where you can be a guest expert. If you have any contacts in radio or TV stations, reach out to them to see if they'd be interested in featuring you as a published author.
Schedule and attend in-person events
In-person events - like book signings, author talks, and speaking at conferences and workshops related to the topic of your book - are golden opportunities to connect with new audiences at a deeper and more personal level.
Meeting in person is also a great way to get people talking about your work. Make sure the event is well advertised and that you have plenty of copies of your book on hand for sale.
Holding your own celebratory book launch party is a powerful in-person event (or ask a colleague to host it for you). Invite people in your network to your book launch who can help spread the word about your new book and even be willing to offer reviews once it’s published.
Use Social Media
Social media is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to book promotion. Use relevant hashtags, post excerpts from your book, share photos and videos related to your book, host Q&A sessions with readers and engage with influencers’ content whenever you can. Leverage features like geotagging or live video streaming to broaden your reach even more.
Create book trailers and other shareable assets about your book that can be easily shared on social media platforms. Post behind-the-scenes images and videos leading up to the book launch and create a hashtag that you can use in all of your posts.
Leverage the power of your current network while expanding your future network to promote your book most effectively and reach more readers. This will increase the visibility for your work and expand your influence in the long run.
Nurture, create, and sustain strategic partnerships with influencers, industry connections, and other organizations that might have an interest in your book topic. With the right planning and an emphasis on serving both the people who would read your book and the people who might promote it, you can ensure your book reaches its intended audience and gets the attention it deserves. Building meaningful relationships is key to success.