The self-help book industry is thriving! Sales of self-help books have increased by a whopping 11% since 2013, accomplishing 18.6 million in sales in 2019. This paves the way for writers and publishers looking to strike gold.
With this exponential increase in popularity, the self-help book category has become crowded. This mandates the need for effective book marketing services that make your book stand out.
For most authors, the hard work ends with writing the book. You’ve penned your thoughts, shared your experiences, proofread, and edited the text over and over again, but is it enough to be the sole driving factor behind your sales? While professional e-book writing is important, in today’s landscape, what is equally, or arguably more vital, especially, is the value book marketing provides.
Why Do You Need Book Marketing?
Whether you self-publish a book or use the traditional route, the intent is the same: for people to read your work. Even if your book is well-written, a prospective reader won’t know what’s inside the book at first glance. In such cases, the book cover creates the first impression, but having a brilliant book marketing plan is key to getting your niche to notice your work.
Otherwise, you may have a great book, but who will read it?
90% of self-published books sell fewer than 100 copies yearly, which is a grim statistic. You may still choose to self-publish due to lower barriers to entry, faster turnaround, and more creative freedom. More importantly, 1600 self-published authors earned more than $25,000/year in the last ten years compared to 1200 traditionally published authors, so there is hope.
A lot of it.
To sell your book, you need to capture the audience’s attention, so much so that each potential reader turns into a buying customer. It all comes down to reaching out to your target market and convincing them why they need your book and how (and where) they can get it. When handled correctly, a book marketing strategy can easily make your book a best seller.
How to Create a Book Marketing Plan?
The promotion of nonfiction books, especially self-help books that teach readers to solve a specific problem, comes down to two main questions:
- What will the reader gain from reading your book?
- Why should the reader listen to you, in particular?
Adequately answering these questions will be the difference between a book that merely sells and a best seller. Once you line up the answers, the book marketing strategy will practically write itself.
The first question will position your book in the industry and determines a niche. We cannot stress enough that readers won’t buy a book unless it solves a problem for them, especially self-help books. The second question creates your brand, informing the reader why you are the right person to seek advice from.
Now, let’s get down to the actual book promotion. Here are some actionable tips from experts that will make your self-help book a best seller.
1. Research Your Niche
A rookie mistake authors make is thinking e-book marketing is the last step in the book creation and selling process. Marketing needs to be an integral part of the book right from its conception. Without due research, you’re writing a book that doesn’t appeal to any niche, making it a book that no one needs.
Here, we’d like to mention that when choosing a topic for or writing your book, you should steer clear of the ‘jack of all trades’ mantra. The truth is, you cannot possibly accommodate everyone, and neither should you aim to do that.
Instead, focus on targeted content for a niche that is most likely to enjoy the book. When readers feel their needs and situation is taken into consideration, they are likelier to respond by buying the book. Moreover, it is easier to build a book marketing strategy around a specific niche.
To begin, imagine and create a reader profile by considering the following:
- What are the common issues this group faces?
- How do they consume content, via e-books or paperbacks?
- Who are your competitors? Where else do they get this information?
Keeping your niche as the focal point of your book will automatically translate to your marketing efforts. Selling a self-help book for a targeted group like working moms or college-going students is more likely to provide relevant information to benefit them, paving the way for word-of-mouth marketing.
Don’t have the time to research and write in a way that sells? Evade the stress and relinquish the task to an expert book marketing service. Content Development Pros have the experience and expertise in creating and implementing book marketing strategies for self-published books, ensuring they enrapture the right audience.
2. Flaunt the Author – You!
Book promotion isn’t just about the book, but the author too. This holds especially true for self-help books where the validity of the author’s experiences comes into play. If you write a self-help book, the reader should assume you’re an authority on the subject.
Consider this. Would you read a self-help book on ‘how to lose weight’ from a fitness expert or a random person with no relation to fitness, wellness, or health? The first option definitely has a greater appeal.
When you plan to write a self-help book, ensure it is somehow related to your profession, passion, or educational background, so the potential reader holds your opinion or advice in high regard. One way to establish your credibility is through author branding.
An author brand dictates your readers’ and potential readers' perceptions based on your experiences and expertise. Promoting your brand can be as easy as adding an about the author section in your book, or you can go all out by crafting an online presence to reach your target audience. Remember, the author’s exposure is directly proportionate to the book’s impending success, so an effective author branding strategy can do wonders.
3. Work on an Eye-Catching Cover
We cannot underestimate the power of visuals. In today’s rapidly changing digital age, the average person’s attention span has deteriorated to 8 seconds. For authors, this means less time to make an impact on the reader. Humans process visual images 60,000 times faster than text, making book covers an excellent opportunity to make an impression.
Even if we’re talking about self-help books, we’re all attracted to certain color combinations and images. The first impression created by the e-book cover design is vital to the book marketing strategy as it sets the visual tone. Unless you’re a writer and artist, you should outsource the job to a professional e-book design service.
Book covers should reflect the content and genre the book falls under. The cover design can set reader expectations, and it can benefit from using design standards such as color theory to set reader expectations.
For example, a bright and vibrant color like yellow can invoke feelings of happiness and joy, while a muted color like blue creates a sense of calmness and trustworthiness.
The cover's visual appeal can determine whether readers click the purchase button or leave the book in the cart and move on.
4. Create an Online Presence
In today’s competitive digital world, even the best books don’t sell themselves, as it all comes down to how you promote them. Where is the best place to do that? The internet! With over five billion internet users, it is safe to say that book marketing online has unmatched potential. No matter your niche, odds are you can find a potential pool of readers interested in your book.
When your book is in a pre-launch state, create a buzz around it to titillate the audience’s attention well in advance. Fortunately, there are many ways to create an online presence that will serve as the foundation for your book marketing plan.
For self-help books, we suggest creating an author website with an approachable picture and convincing bio. This gives the audience a chance to get to know you, the person sharing their wisdom with the readers. The author bio will answer the important question we mentioned earlier: why should the readers listen to you?
Engage and Interact
Take this one step further and interact with your potential readers on social media handles. Make your account public so people can follow you. Post regular updates about your book and let readers engage with you through comments and Instagram story replies.
Create Extra Content
Lastly, whip out extra content that will give readers a glimpse of what is to come and, more importantly, establish you as a writer for those who didn’t know. Byline articles are a crucial part of self-published book marketing, bringing your book one step closer to becoming a best seller.
These 800-1200 word articles need to be well-written, so the best media outlets accept and display this quality content that offers readers valuable information. Your promotion comes at the end of the article with a short bio, so readers associate worthy content with your name.
The new-age reader won’t be convinced by in-your-face advertising. They want to form a connection with the author, the book, and its characters or experiences, and your online presence is the only way to make that possible.
5. Write a Compelling Book Description
In today’s fast-paced world, people don’t have time to waste. When they stumble upon a self-help book, they want to know that it won’t waste their time and money, making a book description a great way to set expectations.
A book description doesn’t actually describe or summarize the contents of the book. Instead, it shows the readers what they will achieve by reading your book.
Whether you’re marketing a book or a product, it is important to remember that people don’t buy products, they buy solutions. And that’s precisely what you’re going to highlight in the book description.
The format should look something like this:
- Underline a problem
- Describe how this book offers a solution
- Mention why you, the author, is qualified to do that
6. Contact Bloggers and Influencers
When we talk about e-book marketing in 2022, you must leverage the power of influencer marketing. To hype up your book, get the right people talking about it. These people don’t necessarily need to be famous, but they should be known to your niche.
Approach an influencer or blogger whose personality, content, or life experiences are in line with your book. For example, if you’re writing a book on how to deal with addiction, you might want to engage a blogger who has had experience with addiction.
A relatable topic would provide influencers with the confidence to promote or talk about your book. The results can lead to your book being marketed to warm traffic, i.e., people following your chosen influencer for a purpose, such as having an interest in the content they promote.
7. Market Through the Right Channels
Instead of using run-of-the-mill marketing channels that everyone uses, select the most effective ones that would reach your target audience. If you don’t choose platforms where your readers are, your book marketing strategy will be futile.
Given the number of online platforms, we suggest you stick to channels where you can be consistent, as that is vital for effective and sustainable book marketing.
The power of social media cannot be underestimated, as shares, likes, and follows play a major part in marketing your work. For self-help books, promoting through your accounts and online self-help or support groups can be an effective strategy to attract a reader base.
Even if the first interaction with your book does not result in a purchase, using solo ads or building your own email lists will attempt to bring back people who might have left the sales funnel. You can also use more innovative methods, such as podcasts or audiobooks, to promote your book and reach an untapped market.
The placement of these marketing channels before, during, and after your launch plays an undeniable role in ensuring your book becomes a best seller.
Choose a Book Marketing Service
Book marketing requires immense planning, exposure, and strategic decision-making. If you have invested time, money, and energy in creating a great self-help book, you should ensure it reaches its full potential by choosing to work with a professional book marketing service.
At Content Development Pros, our experts have market knowledge and experience to create a winning book marketing strategy to promote your book, no matter its genre. Whether you’re an aspiring or seasoned author, we have the ability to publicize your book to your target audience.