Doing marketing for your book can be overwhelming. These tools help simplify the process.
IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
Amazon offers advertising for the books category through Amazon Marketing Services (AMS). You can feature your titles next to similar books and authors, feature new releases to drive sales as soon as they publish, and target readers by keyword, product, or interest, including related genres, titles, and authors.
Login to your KDP account at http://kdp.amazon.com/dashboard. To get started, click ‘Promote and Advertise’ next to the KDP title you want to promote. From here you can enroll in KDP Select and run a price promotion. (This makes your book exclusive to Amazon for 90 days.)
Ad campaigns on Amazon work much like those on Facebook. You set the budget, targeting, and timing of your campaign, and you pay only when customers click your ads. There are two campaign types to choose from:
Sponsored Products Ads deliver relevant ads in search results based on customer keyword searches. When clicked, ads send shoppers to your book’s detail page. Ads appear below search results and below the fold on product detail pages.
Product Display Ads deliver interest or product-targeted ads to customers on detail pages and Kindle e-readers where eligible. When clicked, the ad redirects shoppers directly to your book’s detail page. Ads appear on related product detail pages and on Kindle e-reader screensaver and home screens.
Author Marketing Club
The Author Marketing Club assists authors with marketing help, providing tools and resources and online learning and training to authors so they can have a successful book marketing campaign and launch. An author member can submit their books for promotional opportunities, as well as access free online training and resources related to book marketing. Plus much more, register to have a look around, it’s free! A reader member will get notified about new and discounted books and can discover new authors.
The premium membership offers tools that help you locate high-quality book reviewers to review your books, create compelling and beautiful book descriptions, promote your books to new readers with exclusive promotions, and instantly display your books on your website with zero web design skills needed.
Premium members also get access to a large video learning library with courses like “How to upload a book to Amazon” to “How to sell your first 100 copies” to “Building your author platform.” There are mastermind groups, pre-made book covers, case studies, promotion blasts, and more. This is a great way to jumpstart your book marketing efforts and climb your way up the learning curve. $149/annual fee.
BookBub is a free service for readers that helps them discover books the editorial staff thinks they’ll love through unbeatable deals, handpicked recommendations, and updates from their favorite authors.
Authors and publishers find BookBub incredibly effective but they are incredibly picky about the books that they feature. You can submit your books to be featured (Featured Deals) for a fee from under $100 to above $500 depending on genre and the deal ($0-$3+) you’re offering. See their chart.
Many self-published authors are rejected for reasons ranging from poorly produced books with inappropriate covers and unprofessional interior layout to not enough reviews. So make sure your book is produced to professional standards (see IBPA’s checklist) and get those reviews!
Your book will need to be available on retailers like Amazon’s Kindle store, Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, Apple’s iBooks, and others. Readers choose the types they’d like to get notified about — with categories ranging from mysteries to romance to cookbooks — and BookBub sends them great deals in those genres so you are sure to hit your target market.
BookFunnel delivers your books to your readers without the hassle of having to sign up for a service. Readers choose their device and then they can download the file or email the book to themselves. Arguably the easiest way to deliver ARCs and review copies of your book as well as books for marketing giveaways. Starts at $20/annually. $100/year gets you email addresses of reviewers and $250/annually gets you integration with your email list. They also offer plans for publishing companies.
Debbie Drum’s ARC delivery solution competing with BookFunnel. Pricing at $10, $27, and $47/annually. Features in the advanced plan ($47) include:
Automatic Follow Up With Reviewers – After you distribute your book, they will gently remind the person to leave a review and provide a link to where to leave the review. This cuts down on your follow up time.
Description Pages – You can have different book description pages as you might want to provide different book descriptions for different audiences.
Collect Email Addresses – Depending on what plan you have, you can download reviewer email addresses.
Bublish describes itself as a “publishing technology company that offers cloud-based tools, metrics and resources to equip today’s business-savvy authors for success. An innovative, award-winning platform, Bublish empowers authorpreneurs by providing a complete social marketing and digital publishing solution.”
Here’s how it works. Join (for free). Create a bio and upload your photo. Upload your ebook in EPUB format and add a synopsis, a link to your website, and at least one link to an online retailer where readers can purchase the book.
Now you create a Book Bubble, or excerpt of your book along with an “author insight” to personalize what you shared, to share on social media, and track how many people looked at it.
Bublish is $9/mo or $99/year.
Independent Book Publishers Association
IBPA members can sign up for the Books for Review catalog mailed quarterly to about 3000 reviewers, journalists, and bloggers across the United States.
Other bookstore and library mailings ($200-$400 est) will get your book in front of booksellers, libraries, and university bookstores. See this article for details.
Read more about IBPA in the Organizations chapter.
Lots of authors use Facebook Ads with varying degrees of success. I think it’s a great way to do market research for you book as well. You’ve probably seen a lot of expensive marketing trainings around using Facebook Ads and wondered if they are worth it. Probably not, unless you’re ready to throw yourself wholeheartedly into it. But it is a cheap, easy (and dare I say, fun), way to experiment with creating ads that have the ability to target a very narrow audience. One thing I like about Facebook ads is the “Lookalike” audiences. You really need to know your marketplace to do these ads well.
Reddit is a huge, active and interactive forum where people gather to discuss many topics. There are forums for fantasy, horror, science fiction, self-publishing, and all kinds of business topics. Plug in your genre or interest and see who wants to read your stories or connect with other authors. Also look for forums in your area of expertise or genre. There are so many forums I encourage you to Google “forum <your topic>.”
Prolific Works (Instafreebie)
Connect with new readers and fans by setting up sneak peeks, advance previews, special giveaways, and/or group giveaways of your free ebook to readers. Instafreebie shares your work to more readers too. Use group giveaways to partner with other authors in your genre and expand your audience.
Your readers can get your books on their e-reader app instantly with easy “sideloading” of books for readers through email or the Instafreebie app.
Prolific Works includes a double opt-in process for your readers.
- Unlimited giveaways and distribution at no cost.
- 1 pen name and 1 author page with author bio, book descriptions, and giveaways.
- $20/mo to add MailChimp integration, customizable giveaways, and tracking.
- $50/mo to add personalized giveaway branding and up to 5 pen names and author pages.
Find virtual assistants by searching for “author assistants,” or check out The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide or, better yet, get a recommendation from other authors.