In our last installment, I shared the “behind-the-scenes” cost of what it takes to publish a book. While it certainly is exciting to have a work in print, books don’t just sell themselves. Time, thought, and effort must be put into how to get your books into the hands of readers. For all the money spent in getting your book published, marketing is, by far, the most costly and time consuming of the process. This article will focus on marketing your book.
The Book is Published…Now What?
Many times authors are so focused on writing and publishing their books that no real thought is given to how to market the book. One of the major differences between indie and traditionally published authors is that publishing houses have teams of people set up to handle specific components of the book publishing process. Indies typically have to do everything themselves. Trying to decide how best to manage your time between writing, working, marketing and all of your other obligations can be a bit daunting.
Ideally, the time to begin marketing your book should be about six months before its release. That is what we see industry professionals do with books, movies and music. At the time you are writing the book, if you can get your cover designed, you can begin to share the images with others and alert potential readers of the upcoming release. Likewise, if you obtain the ISBN, the option then becomes available to pitch it to booksellers and book clubs regarding the release.
There are plenty of options to market your book and the costs can rack up quickly. You’ll need to set a budget for yourself and determine how much of your resources are available to pour into marketing. As a side note, it’s also a good idea to set up a separate checking and/or savings account for your book. This allows you to keep track of book sales. It may be necessary to use the money from sales to put back into other parts of the project. Don’t expect to break even right away. It may take a while.