So your book just came out. Congratulations. Now the hard work really begins. Here are my guaranteed-not-to-work book marketing strategies.
1. Log in to Facebook and Twitter once per day and post a link accompanied by “BUY MY BOOK” (in all caps, of course). On Facebook, post this on your wall and in every group you belong to, but be sure not to comment on anyone’s posts or like anything while you’re there. To vary it up a little, you could say “BUY MY BOOK NOW!!!!” or post some selfies with your book.
The key is to stop being a person and to become a marketing machine. After all, you are an author, and as such you need to make yourself inaccessible to the common folk. You are above all those images of people’s kids and whatever other crap people post. However, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take those photos of people’s kids and Photoshop your book into them. A photo of a newborn holding your book will lead to a lot of sales.
2. Never share anyone else’s work. All other authors are your competition. Writing is completely self-serving. If you share another book or mention another author, then people will buy that instead. Does Ford go around promoting Honda? I don’t think so. If you must talk about another book, you should be sure to mention that it isn’t as good as yours. Something like this would work: “I was reading this Stephen King book last night, but it was really boring and predictable, so I decided to read this instead [insert link to your book].”
3. Demand that people provide evidence that they bought your book. Inevitably, people will click “like” on “BUY MY BOOK” posts. You’ll occasionally get congratulatory messages, and you might even have a comment or two that indicates someone purchased or is planning to purchase your book. Don’t let them get off the hook. For every like and comment you receive, post a public message that says, “Dear So-and-So, thank you for your interest in my book. You won’t be disappointed. Please post a picture of yourself with my book as soon as you receive it. I would also like you to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords within the week. If you can think of other places to review it, that would also be good. I’d prefer you also write unique reviews in each place so it doesn’t look like spam.”
Check for their reviews daily. If there are no reviews after five days, then send out reminders. People are busy. You should constantly be in their heads.
4. Hi-jack every post that mentions any type of accomplishment. See examples below:
“That’s great that you just had a kid. You should read this book to her!”
“Wow, congrats on running the marathon. I’ll send you an autographed copy of my book as a reward. Please send $12 to my Paypal account.”
“I’m so impressed that you had a book published. Of course, it’s unfortunate that your publication occurred so close to mine. I’m afraid you won’t see many sales when this is available [post link to your book].”
Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to posts detailing accomplishments:
“You just got fired? Well, this book will cheer you up. You’ll be able to relate to it. Send me $8 via Paypal. That’s a $4 you-just-got-fired discount.”
“I’m sorry your grandma died. She would have loved my new book. I’ll send you a free copy. Just be sure to leave a few 5-star reviews.”
5. Launch 20 new social media accounts using every platform you’ve ever heard of. Post exactly the same thing on every single account. Keep your posts brief and to the point. No one wants to read about your book. They just want to know that your book is available for them to buy.
6. Email everyone you have ever had correspondence with (yes, you need to include the customer service guy from the weird website that messed up your order four years ago). Use this email to announce the release of your book. Be honest with people. It’s the best thing they’ll ever read. Start your email with “I’m sorry I haven’t been keeping in touch, but I’ve been working on this book and it finally came out. I know you’ll love it!”
In your email, you should also beg for 5-star reviews. Tell people you will send them a free PDF version if they promise to leave a 5-star review. 4-star reviewers need not apply. Keep track of who responds and send another email to those who don’t within three days.
When it comes to marketing your book, persistence is key. Just drill the book into everyone’s head, but don’t be personable about it. However, if these tips don’t mesh with your personality, then I do have one more that might work for you:
7. Do nothing. Your book is so damn good it will sell itself. There’s no need to promote at all. Let the publishers do the work. Maybe a single link on Facebook will be helpful, but it’s even better to wait until the New York Times bestseller list comes out. A picture of that with your name on top will look good on your wall.
Got it? Now go out an promote your book (or don’t).
By the way, I had a book come out recently. You should check it out.