What is Book Promotion?

Authors sometimes jump into book promotion and marketing without knowing much about it

In this post we will discuss what Book Promotion is, and the key things that authors should know about book promotion

First, let’s understand what ‘promotion’ is, as pertains to marketing and promotion

What is Promotion?

  1. Promotion is marketing used to make customers aware that a product exists
  2. Promotion also creates interest in the product, shows the value of the product, influences customers, and gets them to purchase the product
  3. Promotion also entails creating loyalty and turning one time customers into loyal, repeat customers
  4. Promotion is an absolutely essential and critical activity. Without marketing and promotion no product can be successful
  5. Promotion and marketing are just as important as the quality of the product. Regardless of how good a product is, it cannot succeed without good promotion

You can read more about promotion at Wikipedia

Next, let’s look at book promotion

What is Book Promotion?

Book Promotion is Promotion of a Book. It includes

  1. Making readers aware that a book exists
  2. Creating interest in the book
  3. Matching the book with the correct readers
  4. Showing that the book will match what the reader is looking for, and will satisfy their reading desires
    1. Please Note: It is important to make sure that your book actually delivers on the promise, and does satisfy the reader
  5. Showing what other benefits the book will provide
  6. Creating loyalty to the author and the book (or book series)
  7. Getting the reader to actually make the purchase

Basically, book promotion is

  1. Finding the right readers for your book
  2. Getting your book in front of them
  3. Showing these ‘right’ readers that your book will meet their needs
  4. Getting these ‘right’ readers to buy the book
  5. Creating brand loyalty so that these readers will become repeat, loyal customers

It is exceedingly important to think of it in the most direct and simple terms

Book Promotion and the 3 Core Skills

Firstly, there are 3 Core Skills that every author must master

  1. Knowing What to Write
  2. Writing Very Well
  3. Marketing Very Well

Promotion covers a little bit of ‘Knowing What to Write’ i.e.

  1. You have to know what to write and who you are writing for
  2. Your Book Promotion MUST be targeted at the exact readers you have written the book for
  3. If you do promotion to readers who are not a good fit for your book, you are wasting money. What is worse, it might lead to bad reviews

Promotion covers all of ‘Marketing Very Well’ i.e.

  1. Promotion covers every aspect of marketing your book very well

Book Promotion is what takes you from having a very good product TO selling that product very well

Key Things Authors should know about Book Promotion

  1. Very good Promotion & Marketing is just as important as having a very good product
    1. Authors tend to think their part (writing a very good book) is important, and marketing is not that important
    2. Promotion & Marketing is JUST AS IMPORTANT as having a very good product
  2. It does not matter how brilliant your book is. If you do not promote and market it, no one will even know it exists
  3. It is a myth that ‘if you write it, people will magically find your book’. You have to find readers for your book via book promotion and marketing. They do not fall into your lap magically
  4. It is a myth that ‘the book store will find you readers’. There are half a million new books published each year. Even if the bookstores wanted, they could never get new books adequate book promotion and publicity
  5. There are 5 to 15 main book promotion and marketing channels that work. There are also a few hundred marketing channels that do not work
    1. To make things complicated, what promotion methods and channels work for an author, are often different for different authors. What works can also be different for different books from the same author
    2. There is not really any marketing channel that works for all authors and all books
  6. When marketing you have to look at ‘Return on Investment’
    1. How much money do you make for every $100 you spend on book promotion and marketing?
    2. How much profits do you make for every $100 you spend on book promotion and marketing
    3. What is the long term impact?
      1. You cannot say ‘I will look at only the 3 days of promotion’ and ‘I will look only at the book I promoted’
      2. You have to look at what happens in the next few weeks, and whether or not your remaining books sell
      3. You have to understand and embrace concepts such as Customer Lifetime Value
        1. If it costs you $1 to acquire a customer
        2. AND If that customer ends up buying $5 worth of books from you over their lifetime (from that one piece of promotion and marketing)
        3. THEN That customer’s lifetime value is $5
  7.  The more books you have, the easier book promotion and marketing is
    1. The corollary is that – The fewer books you have, the tougher book promotion is
  8. Book Promotion is much more effective when you promote specifically to the readers your book is a good fit for
    1. The corollary is – Book Promotion is rather ineffective when you promote without focusing on your ‘best fit’ readers
  9. You have to focus completely on ‘what works for you’

Book Promotion and Marketing is a complete skill set in itself. There is a lot to learn and you will have to be patient and persistent

Every Book and Every Author has their ideal Book Promotion channels

Perhaps the toughest thing for authors to grasp is that

  1. The best marketing channels are different for every author
  2. Even for the same author, the best marketing channels vary by book category, and even by individual book
  3. You have to test and figure out what marketing channels work for you

The biggest mistake that authors make, and their biggest source of making themselves miserable, is thinking that some strategy and some promotion method that worked for another author, will also work for them

Every author has to figure out their unique book promotion and marketing blueprint


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