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Smith Publicity
Smith Publicity

How It Works: Marketing Your Book




If you're a first-time author wondering how to market your book, you likely have many more questions than answers. But don't worry because it's a natural part of the process; once you learn more, you'll understand how to go about it. For at least the past 20 years, the internet has been upending and revolutionizing the media and PR landscape. It affects book promotion just as it has other industries. There are fewer "rules" today than in the past and the opportunities. But many of the best ones aren't free or easy, and you'll need to be organized in your approach to be the winner.


Book sales are up, but more titles are being published in every genre than ever. So you have good prospects when yours is the book people want to buy and read. Creating a buzz around yourself and your book(s) is essential. Some authors do it naturally, while others need to engineer their success a bit more strategically. As you write your book, keep these things in mind, along with the imperative to appeal to your target audience – and be clear about who they are from the start. Many successful books today have multiple target audiences, each coming to the topic or story for different reasons. 


Deciding where and how to sell your book also matters. If you're in a consumer-oriented genre that will appeal to all booksellers, you can think and plan broadly. But if you inhabit a more niche genre (which can be a good thing for sales), you may need to think more specifically. For example, if you're a non-fiction writer and a trade group exists about your topic, its members are potentially in your target audience. Niche marketing is highly effective and more efficient than casting a wider net. Finding creative ways to reach the people you need will ensure success and power your future book sales.


Professional marketing support, most often with a paid publicist, gives any book an advantage. If you research the most highly successful titles, they have marketers working on their behalf. Doing things DIY is possible, but it's slower and less efficient. When a publicist with an established contact list comes on board, they can hit the ground running. Someone who has pitched media before understands where their interests lie and can strike a chord more effectively. You can try working on your own and promoting through social media, but you'll seldom out-perform a publicist.

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