Book publishing can feel like a maze, especially for indie authors. With different publishing processes to know about, don’t forget about your marketing plan. You can run dozens of marketing campaigns, but without having a target audience figured out, the results won’t reflect your best potential. Below, I go over five basic yet crucial things to do before launching your book (and spending money on advertising).
Package your book for the target audience before book publishing
1. Define your target audience
To reach your publishing and financial goals, identify your target audience. This is demographic information about the people who would most likely purchase your book. It’s also the ideal group of people you’d like to reach.
How to find the right audience? Do some market research to understand your potential readers. Where do they hang out in their spare time? What are they reading? What other products are they interested in and searching for? Even better – try organizing an interview or chat with your potential people.
When you’re able to understand those you want to reach, it gets easier to craft more compelling marketing messages. These messages may go straight into your book’s blurb, personal website, or online advertising materials like Facebook ads.
P.S. I’m holding a free webinar chat with book marketing experts on Nov 19th. Click here to sign up for a spot!
2. Define your categories
Book categories help readers find the genres they’re interested in. Most book stores use BISAC categorization, which contains over 4,000 rows of categories. I know, this can be overwhelming to look at. Big traditional publishing houses have metadata teams that help with picking categories.
Meanwhile, indies have tools like PublishDrive’s AI robot. Called Savant, this AI reads a book within seconds, then suggests a list of the best matching categories.
3. Nail your book cover
A book cover is a core and powerful marketing element, responsible for grabbing the attention of a reader. Invest in your cover early on – put work and thought into it. Here are some of my favorites on PublishDrive:
Not only should your cover design be engaging, but it should meet the requirements of various book stores and formats. Yes, to make the lives of authors and publishers more difficult, different stores and formats have their own specifications. For example, print-on-demand formats need extra back cover and spine designs that meet stores’ trim sizes. For more, definitely check out this complete guide about book covers.
4. Write a compelling blurb
Like your cover design, your book’s blurb is just as important in getting the attention of a reader. When someone takes a look at your book, the decision to purchase can very much depend on how engaging your blurb is. Especially in online stores, the first few sentences of your blurb appears in search results. Therefore, I suggest packing the first two sentences with your best hook.
If you got a review from a popular author or a great marketing line, try including those at the start of your blurb. Remember, you want someone to read your blurb and take the next step in wanting to read the entire book. Check out Brian Meek’s book on writing effective book descriptions.
5. Set your book for preorder
Whether you publish exclusively on KDP Select or go wide with multiple stores, I recommend setting up a preorder strategy. This is a solid way to collect reviews (so important in digital publishing), hype, and credibility for your book.
Also, by getting sales via preorder, purchases officially take place in stores on the day of your release. Think selling hundreds or even thousands of copies on the first day. This means instantly boosting your book for a better chance to land in bestseller charts.
Most retail stores like Amazon allow preorder sales up to one year before the release date. They also accept placeholder files for your book cover and blurb. If you have your polished book all ready, you’re more than ready to go. I say set up you preorder for at least a month – the longer the better. Read more about the preorder strategy here.
Maximize your selling potential
If you wrote a book and want to self-publish, that’s splendid news. The demand for digital books is at its highest across continents. To meet book people online, you want to do everything you can to ensure your book is discoverable. It’s all about taking care of the basics plus going the extra mile with your marketing efforts.
I share more on all the things you can do before your book launch in this webinar recording. ↓
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