Written by Nicholas Newman
In 2009, over a million different fiction books were published in English in the United States alone, reports UNESCO. This means it is a tough world out there. You will need to market your book aggressively if you are to succeed. Here are some brief notes that could help you in your endeavours.
Many writers of books, whether it is an academic, fiction or non-fiction publication, just think all they have to do is write the book. Unfortunately, this is only the first stage to potential publishing success. There is still much work by an author to be done if you are going to achieve any potential book sales for your printed publication or e-book.
Here are a few suggestions how you can promote your new book in the tough world of publishing.
Getting your book ready
No doubt you have already checked your manuscript for the inevitable spelling and grammar mistakes. The next step you will need to take is to have it properly evaluated and assessed. Most amateur authors will have their manuscript checked over for free by a friend, whilst more experienced authors will hire the services of a professional editor like:
Whoever, you ask to look at your book; he or she needs to appraise your manuscript with a jaundiced eye. As a book reviewer, I find too many books that are simply unreadable and long-winded because they have a poor narrative structure, could do with some copy-editing and would be a better book if severely pruned.
Such editorial experts offer a number of services including checking the narrative structure, copyedit, proofread and even rewriting parts of the book to make it more readable.
For help on choosing a book title, see http://www.xlibrispublishing.co.uk/authors-lounge-how-to-name-nonfiction-book.aspx
Finding an agent for your book
For those, who decide to ask an agent to find a publisher for your book, I suggest you try this new tool available at:
- https://www.agenthunter.co.uk/ or at
Some book agents, mainly located in Oxfordshire
Publishing your book
If you are looking to self-publish your book and make it available for sale on the internet, I suggest you take a look at Kindle and Blurb self-publishing options:
- Kindle is great for selling e-books, but it does mean your book is restricted to the Amazon Kindle format. https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/sign
- Blurb offers you a much more flexibility than Kindle by providing various high-quality e-book and printed book options, which can be sold at any internet bookshop site. Blurb provides you with all the free software tools you need to create your own publication.
- Blurb provides books in a variety of formats including for photo books, textbooks, coffee table books, personalised wedding albums, cookbooks, baby books, travel photo books and even fundraising books.
- You can order a range of bookshop-quality printings and bindings, which include a range of choices from Hardcover photo books to softcover paperbacks in an array of book sizes. http://www.blurb.co.uk/ In addition, you can sell your Blurb printed books on the Amazon website.
However, if you want someone to actually design your books layout, cover and assemble it, so it is ready to be published by Kindle or Blurb. I suggest http://www.orlandomedia.co.uk/
Marketing your book
Marketing your book will require you to complete several tasks including:
- Creating a press kit.
- Develop your own marketing plan.
- Contacting the media and writing press releases.
- Creating your own website.
- Attending media marketing opportunities.
- Developing book promotion themes.
- Make your own podcast.
Note: A marketing plan is basically a strategy for promoting your book.
It could be as simple as follows in the six weeks before you plan to publish your book:
- Create a press kit. https://www.nicnewmanoxford.com/how-to-create-a-press-kit/
- You will need to set up your book’s website and presence on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
- Contact at least ten media organisations about your book every week, make sure they obtain a copy of your press release. Include in the email that you are available for interview and ask if they would like to review it.
- Participate in any local literary festivals, by giving talks, readings and distribute leaflets about your book. For instance http://oxfordliteraryfestival.org/ and http://blenheimpalaceliteraryfestival.com/
- On the day of the book publication date, if possible, invite local journalists and friends to a press launch party.
In the six weeks after the book’s publication.
- Contact at least ten media organisations about your book every week, make sure they get a copy of your press release and ask if they would like to review it.
- Participate in any local literary festivals, by giving talks, readings and distribute leaflets about your book.
- Promote your book at local bookshops.
- Attract the attention of the local press, by donating a few copies to your local library, care home or hospital. If it is a military book, give some copies to your local regiment. Remember to invite local press journalists and photographers to be there when you hand them over.
It is important when dealing with journalists that you explain how relevant your book is to the paper’s readers e.g. authored by a local writer, commemorating some local battle or some link to some new film that is due out soon.
Selecting a book promotion theme
One book promotion idea is to check if you can associate your book with some famous anniversary or new Hollywood film to be planned to be launched. Once you have completed your press kit you can use the contents to fill in the website you will need to set up. Also, you will be ready to contact journalists responsible for reporting on book news and reviews etc.
Note: on every press kit document you produce, you must include your contact details.
About press releases
You are likely to need to write several different types of press releases depending on the type of publication you approach. For more advice on press release writing
For instance, you might need to emphasise, that you are a local author or the book is connected to some local historic figure etc.
For part 2 see https://www.nicnewmanoxford.com/market-book-part-2/