When an author is putting together a marketing plan, a lot of consideration has to go into making sure that the money you’re spending gets some return on investment. Results like ‘exposure,’ ‘buzz,’ and even additional book sales can be tough to justify if they cost too much time, effort, and money to achieve.
There are also, of course, a couple of no-brainers: book marketing ideas that are cheap, straightforward, and always worth including in your launch plan. In this post, I’ll give you three of these easy-win tactics.
1. Optimize the first line of your Amazon book description
The description is the short piece of text at the top of your retail page on Amazon (or whatever platform you’re selling on). Along with your cover design and your choice of title, these words will make all the difference between someone buying your book and someone clicking ‘back’ on their browser.
As you might notice, only the first few lines of the description are displayed — before the user has to click ‘read more’ — so it’s important to get this right. Here are some tips:
Make the very first line bold. You can do this using HTML styles in the text editor.
Consider starting with a line from a review or an endorsement.
If the book or the author has won (or been shortlisted for) an award, consider including that (see above).
2. Include a link to join your mailing list at the end of your book
Take advantage of the fact that a lot of readers will be enjoying your work on an e-reader. Seeing as you’ve already set up a mailing list (if you haven’t, do that now), why not make sure you capture every reader who likes your book enough to finish it?
You can include a page at the end which encourages people to sign up for more news about upcoming books. Even better, give them a real reason to sign up by offering them some additional content. If you’re writing fiction, this added content might be a short story or a preview of your next books. Non-fiction authors will often get people to sign up to receive a spreadsheet or a pre-recorded webinar.
Engaged readers are like gold dust: when you find them, you should do everything in your power to never let them go.
3. Contact your local bookstore
Bookstores are always looking for anything that can get more people walking through the doors. It only takes a few minutes to draft an email to your local independent (or Big Box) bookseller to ask about hosting a reading. If they say ‘no,’ you’ve only wasted the 2 minutes you spent typing an email. If they say ‘yes,’ then you’re in!
Once you get to know the person who buys for that particular branch, it’s easier to convince them to stock your title. And who doesn’t like the idea of seeing their book on the shelves of their local bookstore?
So go ahead and try these ideas today. They’ll cost you nothing, so what do you have to lose?
Martin Cavannagh is a writer and a member of the team at Reedsy. The world’s largest marketplace of experienced publishing professionals, Reedsy has helped thousands of authors create great books work with the help of top editors, marketers, and even ghostwriters.