Looking for marketing tips from the experts? We have you covered. Check out some great advice from marketers, publicity experts, and best-selling authors featured on previous episodes of the Kobo Writing Life podcast and on our blog.
Grant Shepherd, Written Word Media – “For me, it really is all about mindset. I think, you know, there are little tips, like technical tips, right, about, you know, maybe if you can find a really well-known author that writes in a similar genre to you and targeting people that are fans of them. So, there’s stuff like that that has helped in individual campaigns. But, like you said, stuff like individual advertising changes constantly. And Facebook removes a targeting option, or Google changes their algorithm.
And so, for me, the most valuable, you know, advice that I keep getting from older marketers is when something changes or when something doesn’t work, don’t take it personally. It’s not you that messed up, right? Like, you are here to experiment and improve slowly over time. You’re not here to get everything right on the first try. And so once I stopped, you know, feeding myself up for, you know, just losing some money or running a campaign that was a complete dud, and changing the focus to learning and more of a growth mindset, that’s the best advice I’ve gotten as a marketer.”
Deandra Lalonde, Rakuten Kobo – “I think word of mouth with books is so important. You can see a book promoted and you can see a book in the news or a review of it, and that’s one thing, but to have your mom or your best friend say like, oh my God, I could not put this book down this weekend.
And I just want to share that with our customers, because I think that’s such a special thing that we have. And like I said, we’re just so passionate about it and you just want to talk about books all the time. So hopefully that’s the way the customers feel after visiting [our site].”
Nina Grindstead, Valentine PR – We’ve built a really good Instagram and bookstagrammer following. And a lot of times, one of the easiest things to do is like let’s just say you’re an author and you’re writing a book that you feel like…a comparable book might be, I don’t know, Christina Lauren’s “Unhoneymooners.”
One of the best ways to find new readers for that is maybe like go to Christina Lauren or any author that writes those books. Go to their tagged posts on Instagram and look at those bookstagrammers who were doing pretty pictures of the book or holding the book up or reading it or reviewing it. And then reach out to them and just say, “Oh…” Obviously, the most important thing is you need to know your audience. Look at the books that those bookstagrammers are reading. And if they are kind of whatever you’re promoting, then you definitely wanna reach out to them and just say, “Hey, I’m so and so and I have this book coming out. Would you like a digital copy? Would you like a paperback?”
Pamela Binnings Ewen, best-selling author – “I find that bookmarks are a great point-of-sale tool for marketing, and bookstores are usually happy to let you leave them on counters and tables. Coffee shops will usually allow this too. People seem to love them. Be sure to put your website address on the bookmarks.”
Zoe York, best-selling author – “Even for a brand new author, documenting a release plan like this can be a useful way to milestone your career. Compare marketing plans release to release to see growth in your social media platform and advertising reach—and if you’re not seeing any growth, figure out why.
Marketing Plan Must Haves:
- book and series information; I broke this into two sections
- promotional plan for pre-order and release week (blog tours, ad buys, social media plan)
- author platform numbers, including newsletter and social media reach
- author bio
- upcoming release schedule for future books in the same series, and all upcoming author titles, including collaborative projects”
Halima Khatun, PR consultant – “Think about your book as a product – it sometimes feels like new mobile phones are coming out every other month, but that doesn’t stop the big brands from bringing out new models regardless and getting bags of PR coverage for it. Launching your book is like a product launch. And a new launch is a story that the media would be interested in.”
How do you market your books? What works best for you when it comes to getting news of your books out there in the world? We hope that you have gained some helpful insight from this array of amazing experts. Happy marketing, writers!