Regardless of what anyone tells you, the best person to sell your book is you – it always has been. Even if you have services and distribution networks to get in front of people, it doesn’t guarantee you anything. All it does is get you in front of people, it’s then up to them to see if your ‘performance’ is worth the cost. Much like being up on stage, you have to ensure that not only the performance is great but you have a full theatre ready to take part in the show.
The reality of marketing services is a bit of a grey area when it comes to book publishing. As there are different types of publishing options it normally means you do it yourself (self-publishing), get assistance (hybrid publishing), or have an element of marketing completed for you (traditional publishing).
What really matters, and where a lot of new authors become unstuck, is the quality and duration of the marketing that different publishing businesses offer.
New authors, in particular, have a common misconception that if their books get into book shops that it will sell well, or if it becomes an Amazon bestseller that it’s considered a ‘success’. The truth is far from that perception. What really matters is the cost of their publishing journey – how much return or royalties they receive back and are they continuing this momentum or is it short-lived?
So What Book Marketing Services Should Publishers Really Offer?
Essentially the publishers should offer three main marketing services
- A step by step marketing plan to map out your marketing journey before, during, and after your book launch.
- A dedicated marketing team for consultancy, website development, social media strategies, media kit, and press release development and custom private options for authors to communicate with one another.
- Solid and comprehensive distribution channels.
Book Marketing Services – Plan
Having a marketing plan mapped out for your book journey is not only crucial but essential. Marketing your book shouldn’t just happen after your book is printed and ready to sell. It should happen the moment you start putting pen to paper – but why? Successful books have 3 things in common, a great manuscript, a proactive author, and most importantly, the right connections.
Connection = opportunity
Building connections and sharing your journey should begin at the very start of your publishing journey. Even though you don’t have a fully completed book (or maybe not even a few lines) starting to bring people into that journey is a powerful way to ensure you launch your book strong with a waiting audience. A publishing company should have a plan where a mentor or coach can step you through this process. The marketing service should also be able to map out how to launch your book, what resources to use, and ultimately, have a clear guide on how to not only made a return on investment but grow domestically and internationally. Finally, guides and strategies after your book has launched should be clear. How to use Amazon, Goodreads, and other digital opportunities should be outlined. The process in approaching libraries, specialty shops, becoming a keynote speaker, operating book signings, and much more should be accessible.
The problem is that most of this isn’t provided and if it is, you may only be provided marketing support or services after the book is printed. In some cases, only for a few months or even a few weeks in some cases. This is where a lot of authors become unstuck, because when this type of marketing stops, normally do the sales.
Book Marketing Services – Team
A book publishing company should have a dedicated marketing team to guide and mentor you through your book marketing journey every step of the way. Author website construction, media kit, and press releases development and customer groups and programs for authors should be provided at a bare minimum.
Ultimately, this team should have resources on hand and communication lines open to answer all of your questions quickly and professionally. Whether you are just starting to write, published multiple books, or about to launch your first, your marketing should be able to help you take the next step to ensure you hit the targets of your book. This is not something you should do on your own.
Book Marketing Services – Distribution
Your book publisher should already have established trusted lines of communication with their networks, with proven results. The main thing to consider here is that, for example, if this simply gets you in front of libraries, most will then do a check on your media and online activity to ensure you are getting traction and attention to warrant having your book on their shelves.
While your publisher may be able to access a distribution network to get your books in-store, this is where book marketing services really come into plan. If you have a clear guide and plan from the very start to gain reviews, endorsements, build connections with high profile names and businesses combined with a social media strategy, you would have created a strong author brand.
In the end, book marketing services vary from publisher to publisher. This is where lies the problem. With so many out there to choose from that offer marketing services for your book – which do you choose? Most importantly who do you trust?
A great publisher will offer all of the above services to help you market your book but ultimately they should be able to answer all your questions, be transparent, have credible reviews and testimonials, and make you feel comfortable with your book marketing journey at every single step. Be diligent in your research and review our previous blog that offers a step by step checklist to ensure your publisher or your marketing services options are the right fit for you.
Thanks for reading
Joshua Clifton – Marketing Coordinator
Ocean Reeve Publishing
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