The 5 Secrets to Successful Book Marketing

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Founded in 1997, Smith Publicity has evolved from a one-person operation run in a bedroom office to one of the leading book publicity agencies in the world. Founder Dan Smith’s goal for the company was to offer unparalleled customer service and work to exceed, not simply meet client expe

Traditional publishers and the ever-growing number of self-published authors compete for book buyers' attention as never before. Therefore, having a book publicist and a well-planned marketing campaign are requirements for success. The first pillar of successful book marketing is knowing your audience. The chances are good that your book will have several target readers, some in the mainstream and others more niche. Being able to reach them through the media is one way to help potentially interested readers discover your book. Also, media coverage is always repurposed online.

When you map out a book launch strategy, it's also crucial to be clear about your goals. Some authors only want to sell books and attract the largest possible audience. Others have very different needs, such as promoting a business or professional practice, and, in those cases, have very different target audiences and markets. Many businesspeople today in crowded fields write and publish books to gain visibility and attract new clients. Given the cost of marketing, writing a book can be a cost-effective way to expand your client base. It also further establishes you as a bona fide expert in your field.

Serious and successful book marketing campaigns often have short and long-term goals. The short-term objectives are commonly book sales and coverage in the media. Longer-term goals can include author branding and personality cultivation – which mean establishing yourself as an expert in your industry or profession. It brings you a steady stream of media inquiries and speaking opportunities that can help you attract new clients. You'll also have an easier time publishing successful new books when you have a fan base and are better known. The first book can be a springboard to bigger things later.

If your work or life includes travel, keeping it in mind to seek additional publicity opportunities can be wise. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual appearances and interviews have become more widely accepted, but an in-person presence is still welcomed. If you're seeking media coverage and interviews, it's also vital to understand what makes you newsworthy and how it can be communicated in pitches to the media. Publicists will advise you to be reasonable but broad in your thinking. Narrowly defined areas of expertise can limit potential opportunities and make securing coverage rarer.