Whether you are the author of a newly written a course in miracles or the person in charge of increasing its sales, book marketing can be a challenge. Online self-publishing platforms have encouraged lots of people to write and publish books by themselves on a variety of subjects, and the Internet public is spoilt for choice. But the Internet as well is a great platform to empower your book marketing campaign, and help you reach people who would never have heard of your book otherwise.
It’s better to start creating buzz about your new book even before you have it sent to the printers, as that will increase the chances of getting a good start with sales as soon as it’s published. Most writers release teasers and free chapters as they write them, encouraging people to sign up on their websites for a newsletter announcing the launch. This creates a good deal of expectation and your readers will be hooked even before your book is finished. Getting a large number of sales on the first few days is important because it can get you added exposure by getting your book on Amazon’s Best Sellers or Hot New Releases lists.
One of the best ways of getting exposure for a new book is by getting reviews from relevant people. It used to be newspapers, but nowadays you’ll find many bloggers have a lot of influence on their audience, specially for technical or knowledge oriented books as opposed to creative writing. Getting your book reviewed on a popular ezine or by a relevant blogger can increase your sales and traffic to your website, but if you want that review to appear close to your release date you’ll need to negotiate in advance, as both ezines and bloggers usually plan their writing well ahead of time, and have a limited amount of time to read books. While it’s always good to have an option for people to request a review copy (and you should encourage your readers to write their reviews on Amazon, B&N and anywhere else your book is being sold), if you are really interested in a particular magazine covering your launch get in touch with them as soon as you have a date and see if they can review your book on time.
One of the best ways of getting people to buy your book is by word of mouth. And you can use social media networks and user generated content to increase your sales, by encouraging people to write reviews about your book, post about it on Twitter and liking your author page on Facebook for exclusive goodies, such as sample chapters. If you have built buzz before the book launch and you interact regularly with your followers you can count on much better sales figures during the first weeks, as those people will be happy that finally the wait is over. If you are willing to manage them, creating a forum around your book where people can discuss plots and characters can also be a great way to create a community around your book, but it can be somehow hard for an author to read how some people don’t really like your favourite character or find a plot weak. If you aren’t sure about this point, get somebody else to manage the forums for you or stick to a Facebook page with less deep conversations.