You’ve worked hard to write and polish your book, and you want to ensure it gets into the hands of readers. Many writers hope that the quality of their writing and illustrations will attract audiences, but even the best book won’t sell copies if readers never hear about it. If you want your book to succeed, you need a strategic and thorough marketing plan.
How much does it cost to market a book? Your expenses can vary widely depending on whether you’re implementing your own promotional plan or hiring a publishing company to market your book from start to finish. The cost to market a book can range from as low as $50 to upwards of $4,000, with the results often speaking for themselves. If you want to create a brand with an eye toward the future, marketing will be the key to your success.
What Is Book Marketing?
Book marketing refers to the tactics that authors and publishers use to raise awareness of a book for potential readers, critics, booksellers, and other audiences. Depending on your ad campaign and budget, you can use specific advertising, digital marketing, and public relations strategies to increase your reach.
As you prepare to publish your book, you can work with industry experts like Palmetto Publishing to develop an overall marketing plan. Your agenda can include a combination of approaches, such as:
- Amazon author page
- Author website
- Audience engagement through social media
- Book reviews
- Cover design
- In-person or virtual book events, like a launch party hosted by a local bookstore
- Mailing list
- Pre-order sales
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
These steps can help you establish an online presence and generate excitement about your book.
How to Market a Book
Marketing your book works best if you use multiple strategies to reach different audiences. Here are a few simple techniques that you can use to attract readers and start building your author brand.
Design an Eye-Catching Book Cover
Typically, the first impression that audiences get of your book is seeing the cover in a bookstore or online. An attention-grabbing cover can make readers want to learn more about your story, while a bland or unattractive image may cause people to overlook it.
A great book cover design typically includes these elements:
- Clear title and the author’s name in an appealing and easily readable font
- Brief tagline that hints at your book’s main conflicts or themes
- Interesting focal point that draws the reader’s eye
- Many book covers feature the protagonist(s) — consider factors like age, clothing, and skin color to ensure that the image reflects your vision of your characters
- Background image that hints at the setting
- Back cover information like a short author biography, a blurb, and reviewer testimonials
As you design your cover, remember to take genre expectations into account. For instance, many romance covers feature an attractive couple, while a young adult fantasy novel may use dark colors and feature a background image of fire, plants, or swords.
In many ways, a superior cover markets itself, so it’s worth investing the time to create an excellent design.
Solicit Positive Reviews
Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to advertise a product.Nearly 75% of customers won’t buy anything online without first reading reviews or customer testimonials.
In our increasingly digital world, many readers discover books through endorsements from their favorite authors and bloggers, online reviews, and social media mentions. You can harness the power of recommendations by requesting reviews from other authors and relevant social media outlets. Strategies to encourage book reviews include:
- Asking for reviews on your author website and include a link that takes readers to Amazon or other review websites
- Circulating positive reviews of your book on social media
- Making your first book free to everyone for a limited period to attract more readers and potential reviewers
- Offering free copies of your book to loyal fans that you’ve gained through social media or your mailing list
- Providing promotional giveaways of branded bookmarks, postcards, and other materials in exchange for book reviews
As you gain more reviews, you’ll probably get a few negative responses from your audience. Learn from constructive reviews for your next writing project, but try not to dwell on hurtful or inaccurate reviews.
Market to the Right Genre
Marketing works best when you understand your audience and know how to reach them. The book industry includes hundreds of genres. Endless numbers of subcategories exist for all the broad categories listed below:
- Children’s books
To identify your genre and target audience, you can:
- Consider which demographics of readers will likely be interested in your book, such as teenagers, women, or horror lovers
- Identify similar books and examine how their authors and publishers market them to readers
- Learn to speak your audience’s language
- Use your existing networks, like people who follow your social media pages
Once you’ve identified your target reader, you can research how they discover and interact with books. A teenager may find new books on “ BookTok” and other types of social media, while advertisements on Facebook may reach older readers.
You can also share your book with people who blog or post about books in your genre and ask them for a review.
Use Multimedia Marketing Strategies
Online multimedia marketing can help you gain exposure for your book. Multimodal marketing blends images, text, videos, and other forms of media to convey information and grab the audience’s attention.
This form of book marketing can consist of the following:
- Ads on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube
- Direct email marketing
- Hashtag campaigns
- Mailing/subscriber lists
You can also use SEO strategies to promote your book, such as:
- Creating an author platform so that your book appears on the first page of search results
- Including keywords on your author website to make your book findable
- Using internal links so that readers can explore your website
A top-tier publishing company like Palmetto Publishing will know exactly how to maximize your online exposure using these and many other techniques.
Common Book Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Most authors start writing because they love their craft, not because they’re marketing whizzes. Making mistakes is normal, especially if you’re a first-time author.
Here are common book marketing errors to avoid:
- Being too negative on social media
- Failing to monitor audience engagement statistics to see which forms of marketing work best
- Feeling too awkward to share your book with your followers
- Not offering presales
- Not personalizing your accounts and promotions
- Only advertising your book without creating other types of content
- Skipping book readings and other events
- Spamming readers with promotions of your book
- Starting your marketing campaign without a clear plan
Palmetto Publishing can offer recommendations for developing a marketing plan to use social media and other tools effectively. Our expert team has decades of combined industry experience, so we can help you avoid the most common mistakes.
Book Marketing Pricing
Many authors are concerned about the book marketing cost. After all, you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars advertising a book that may only sell a few copies. However, investing a little money into your marketing campaign can help set your book up for success.
The most significant expense for self-publishing authors is the book cover and design. A stellar cover image can help inspire your readers, but a poor design can confuse audiences or doom your book to obscurity. If you’re not confident in your artistic ability or want to rely on the knowledge of industry experts, you can outsource this process.
Your marketing budget and genre will likely determine the design you choose. Palmetto Publishing has an exclusive partnership with Getty Images to create the highest-quality cover designs. For around $699, Palmetto’s design team will produce two cover concepts with quality images and provide two rounds of changes to ensure your book communicates your vision and style to readers. Visually complex or custom illustrated covers will run closer to $899.
An independent author can forgo professional publishing and may spend less than $200 to create their own marketing campaigns. Self-marketing versus investing money in an actual publisher can be the difference between only selling a handful of books and succeeding on a spectacular level.
Book Marketing Services
The experts at Palmetto Publishing offer affordable book marketing services to help you share your book with readers. You can choose services based on your budget and needs. We can take care of one aspect of marketing, like designing your cover, or we can handle your entire marketing campaign. Whatever you need, Palmetto Publishing is here to help.
A customized author website can expand your readership and promote new followers. It’s a wonderful way to engage with your readers and maintain a community of online users interested in your work.
Palmetto Publishing will create a professional author website with an extensive author biography section, a sales page for your book(s), an updated contact page, and an editable blog with room for instant comments from your readers.
Book Marketing Copy
Palmetto Publishing can create marketing copy like a written book description and back cover text to engage the reader. We’ll help you find the right words to introduce your story to others.
Cover and Interior Formatting
We offer cover design and interior formatting services. An attractive book with an engaging illustration and a powerful title will grab a reader’s attention and help catapult your book to success. We’ll also take care of formatting pages so that the inside of your book looks as stylish as the outside.
A compelling press release can reach target audiences you didn’t even know existed. For an additional cost, Palmetto Publishing can write a press release and distribute it to media contacts all across your relevant book genres and industries. We have more than 780,000 of these contacts and can pick the right ones for your exposure.
Palmetto Publishing also offers free resources to help authors with every step of the writing process, from brainstorming to editing. Visit our blog to continue honing your craft and developing your industry knowledge.
Market Your Book With Palmetto Publishing
When you market your book with Palmetto Publishing, you’ll collaborate with an experienced team of marketers, illustrators, and designers who know the ins and outs of the publishing industry.
We will transform your manuscript into the published work you’ve always dreamed of — without the exorbitant costs associated with other publishers. We take no commission and 0% of your royalties, and all the proceeds from your published work remain yours alone. You pay for our knowledge, guidance, and stellar marketing plans to get your book into the hands and onto the screens of your readers.
Ready to take the first step to market your book? Contact us today and we’ll work together to design your promotional campaign.