You are not going to like me for saying this, but the easy part of writing a book, is the actual writing of it. I’ll say that again, the easy part of writing a book is the actual writing of it. I’m often asked the question when talking with new business book writers ‘when should I start marketing my book?’ Therefore, in this blog post I will answer the question ‘when should I start marketing my book?’
The marketing of the book so that it flies off the book shelf is another level of toughness and endurance. If the writing of the book is the equivalent of running a marathon, the marketing of a book is the equivalent of running a marathon every month.
If the writing of the book is the equivalent of running a marathon, the marketing of a book is the equivalent of running a marathon every month.
If you are sitting there smugly and thinking, but I am going to be published so, my publisher will do all the heavy-lifting on the marketing, you have a very rude shock waiting for you. Most publisher’s marketing departments are spread woefully thin and if you assume that you will get no marketing support then you wouldn’t be disappointed. If you are lucky your publisher *may* give you a PR budget for your book, *may* do a promotion of it on Amazon, and *may* pitch it for listing in Waterstones and WHSmith.
If you assume your publisher will provide no marketing support you wouldn’t be disappointed
Therefore, the marketing is left up to you the author. In fact Pearsons (them of the FT fame) and Kogan Page will generally only commission you as an author if you can show to them that you will be able to shift 2000 copies of the book by your own methods. 2000 is a lot of books, particularly when you consider that a self-published book that sells over 700 copies is considered to be a best-seller.
The author is always responsible for the marketing of their business book
For each of my books I’ve been marketing them gently at least six months before the book is published and normally six months before I’ve finished writing them. Yes, you did hear me right, I have been marketing for this book BEFORE I have finished writing the book.
The secret to a successful marketing campaign for your book is to start as soon as you have decided you want to write the book. Yes, that really is the secret to marketing my book. There is nothing like having built up desire for your book over 18 months, rather than what most authors do, i.e. start marketing the book when either the manuscript is finished or the book is about to be published.
If you think about your marketing BEFORE you really start writing your book, you can do these useful marketing tricks:
- interview people for the book who will help you get the word out about the book (and who may hire you to work with them or their organisation)
- seek feedback for the concept of the book, before and whilst you are writing it
- email your list and engage in a conversation with them about what they want in the book
- use a ‘kickstarter’ like crowd-funding service to help fund the costs of writing the book – as well as generate buzz about the book before it is written
- secure PR slots and articles placed in relevant publications to support the launch of the book
- start a long-running and on-going dialogue about the book on social media to really whet people’s appetite for the book
If you are sitting there thinking, but I’ve not got time for marketing my book as well as write it, then do not despair. The earlier you start the marketing, the better. Aim to do just one thing each day, however small, which will help you build awareness and desire for your book. After all, you owe it to yourself to make sure that all your hard work in writing the book generates the business success you crave.