8 things you’ll need to start marketing your book

marketing your book
July 30, 2023
Book Award Pro

If you’re struggling to find ways to market your book, you’re not alone. Authors of all kinds face the complicated task of book marketing. On top of requiring time, effort, and resources, traditional book marketing simply doesn’t cut it in today’s competitive publishing landscape.

At Book Award Pro, we believe there’s a better way to start marketing your book. The powerful combination of book awards and reviews, plus modern tools like social media, empower authors to find easier, highly effective marketing strategies for their books.

Read on to learn eight things you’ll need to start marketing your book like a pro.

8 things you’ll need to start marketing your book

Here are the eight things you’ll need to make marketing your book easier, more effective, and author-friendly:

1. A target audience

A principal of any successful marketing strategy, identifying a target audience is a foundational first step toward marketing your book. To identify your ideal readership, consider your book’s unique qualities. Then, determine the types of people most likely to read your book.

For example, Romance readers are typically female and most find books through in-store displays. Fantasy readers vary in age, with 75% reading eBooks. Older fantasy readers prefer paperback, whereas younger readers prefer digital copies.

Insights about your ideal readership’s shopping habits, age, and motivations can inform your marketing decisions from the very beginning.

2. A marketing budget

The reality of marketing a book includes financial investment. However, there are many options available to authors with budgets of all kinds. The trick is to identify strategies and resources that comfortably fit within yours.

The size of your marketing budget depends on several variables, including:

  • Your book’s publishing type
  • Your professional goals
  • The resources currently available to you
  • If you’re working with a publicist or marketing agency
  • If you’re marketing your book yourself

We recommend authors think about marketing their books before publishing them, and the same goes for determining a budget that works for you. Identifying a clear, attainable marketing budget from the start can help you focus your goals and pursue opportunities that meet your needs.

3. Credibility from awards and reviews

One of the most influential things you can do for your marketing strategy is to establish author credibility with book awards and reviews. Your book can receive reviews and awards before it’s even published, so you can build professionalism and legitimacy into your author brand from the very start.

Becoming an award-winning, reviewed author immediately enhances your book marketing strategy. Beyond the eye-catching seal, awards show your book has been honored and persuades readers to buy. Then, reviews inform readers of your book’s best qualities.

When you receive endorsements from awards and reviews, it’s not just readers that take notice of your credibility. Publishing experts and literary professionals also pay attention to authors with accolades and consider them to be important markers of a book’s potential for success.

4. A compelling book cover

The first thing readers notice about your book is, of course, the cover. Your book is much more likely to be picked up if your exterior is inviting, compelling, and full of professional esteem.

Each genre has its own best practices for book covers, which is why it’s essential for you to work with a book cover designer who has experience in your genre. Expect to spend around $500 - $800 for a single book cover if you decide to work with a professional.

Book Award Pro tip: There are more affordable ways to design a polished, engaging cover for your book on your own. Online tools like Book Brush offer author-friendly tools to create professional covers for your book.

5. A platform for story marketing

Social media is home to millions of readers worldwide. In today’s digital era, many use social media to discover new authors, check in with their favorite writers, and find reviews of the latest books. If you want your book to reach as many readers as possible, establishing an author presence on social media is of utmost importance.

Popular social media platforms to consider include:

  • Goodreads
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
  • Twitter

Once you’ve created an author profile on social media, you can begin story marketing: an author-friendly strategy for book marketing fueled by awards and reviews.

The principle behind story marketing is simple. As you progress through your award and review journey, you can share each milestone, win, and exciting new development with your followers. This creates a constant buzz of excitement around your book, builds relationships with loyal readers, and generates endless content you can use to market your book.

Book Award Pro tip: Did you know Book Award Pro has a way to easily share customized posts about your book to social media? The Story Marketing feature generates captions and images about your book that you can instantly share with readers on popular social media platforms.

Impress more readers with Story Marketing.

Available on the Essentials plan and up.

6. An author website

It’s important to have one central location for your readers to find everything they need to know about you and your book(s). If you’re tech-savvy, you could get away with building your author website yourself. There are great free platforms, like Wix, which many authors choose as a starting point.

When you purchase your domain, try your best to get it as close to your pen name as possible (like YourPenName.com). If you can’t get it exactly, try adding “author” to the end to keep it relevant.

If you’ve never made a website before or simply don’t have the time, we recommend seeking the help of a professional web designer. Most authors spend between $1,000 and $1,500 on a professional website.

No matter which approach is best for you, a comprehensive author website should include these details:

  • Author bio
  • Links to purchase your books
  • Upcoming work
  • Awards you’ve won and reviews you’ve received
  • Links to your social media channels
  • Email subscription sign-up
  • Contact page

7. A professional network

Building a professional network of fellow authors and industry experts is essential to maintaining your book’s momentum. The connections you make in the literary world can open exciting, unexpected professional opportunities. You never know what doors can be opened through industry connections; a simple introduction could lead to a career-boosting opportunity.

If you’re unsure how to begin building a professional network, here are some tips to get you started:

  • Use social media to collaborate with authors in your genre
  • Attend book fairs in your community and online
  • Participate in conferences, seminars, and virtual events for authors
  • Connect with book bloggers and podcast hosts
  • Use Meetup to find local events and workshops
  • Consider becoming a member of professional organizations like ALLi or IBPA
  • Work with a publicist or literary agent

8. A plan with Book Award Pro

Now that you’re equipped with the tools you need to start marketing your book, say hello to Book Award Pro: the all-in-one tool for awards, reviews, and better book marketing.

Book Award Pro combines winning awards, getting reviews, and story marketing into one easy-to-use platform. We have plans for authors at every stage, budget, and publishing background.

From matching your book with curated awards and reviews, to automated submissions, and personalized story marketing posts you can instantly share on social media, Book Award Pro has features to make marketing your book easier and more effective than ever before.

Start your award-winning journey with Book Award Pro.

We have plans for every author at every stage.

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