This post comes from Senior Strategist Jennifer Snyder who recently self-published her first book, 100 Days of Discussion, and enjoyed the pre-launch process more than she expected.
Writing a book can be a daunting task. As authors and content creators, ourselves, we know how much work goes into finishing a manuscript. We also know that writing the book is the part of the book launch iceberg everyone can see. What often goes unnoticed are the marketing elements at play well before a book is launched.
If you’re writing and publishing a book, here are three simple steps you can take to start marketing your book now—before you’ve even sent the draft to your editor.
Create a landing page on your website.
A landing page is exactly as it sounds—it’s a place for people to land when they want to find out more about your forthcoming book. Because you’re still writing the book, you can keep this page fairly simple! We recommend sharing a blurb that helps readers understand the premise of the book, a link to the book waiting list we mentioned below, a few essential takeaways for readers, and any cover art or photos you have to help show readers what they can expect from the book.
The key is to entice your audience. What makes your book special? Why should they read it? You put in all this amazing effort to create something cool. Show them how cool it will be!
Start a book waiting list.
Do you already have an email list? Good! You’re ahead of the game. If you don’t, we highly recommend starting one. An email list can be used for many purposes, but we’ve had success creating buzz for a book by creating a list specifically for those interested in getting book news and updates. If you start this list early enough, you could build an audience of people who are simply waiting for you to finally publish that book so they can turn around and buy it!
Remember, too, your book waiting list doesn't have to be gargantuan. A small, passionate group of interested book nerds is all you need. If your book topic is intriguing enough—and we have no doubt that it is—more and more people will come. After all, if you write it, they will come.
Begin sharing information about your book on social media.
Whether you’re soliciting honest feedback about characters or simply sharing your process, readers love getting a behind-the-scenes look at what you’re creating. Doling out information bit by bit is a great way to gauge interest in the book, let your readers know how much effort you’re putting into your work, and to uncover the often mysterious act of writing a book.
Instagram is a great place for sharing book cover progress, or book art. Try Facebook for a bit more long-form engagement like having your audience take part in a creative exercise. On Twitter, try a poll!
Keep in mind that all of the tips above are connected! When you share your behind-the-scenes snippets on social media, be sure to link to your landing page and let your fans know they can sign up for the book waiting list to get exclusive news and updates. Fans who have a connection to the book and the author behind it are always more inclined to support the project once the book is published and, when it comes to book marketing, letting readers know that they are both appreciated and in-the-know is the ultimate goal.
And hey, we just wanted to say that what you're doing, writing a book, is awesome. Not everyone can do that. Keep it up, and we can't wait to read it!