So, you have the book idea. The writing is underway. Things are looking up. Maybe you even have a deal. Now, all that’s left is to get the word out. How do you market a book in 2015? How do you get the word out about a book?
Well, I can tell you. I’m doing it right now.
I am about to release my next book, the #AskGaryVee Book. And with that I am revisiting some tactics that have always worked for my past books, as well, as some new ones that are going really well. Here are three ways you need to be selling your book to market like the year we live in.
One thing before we get started though: you are thinking ahead right? Because if you’re reading this 90 days before the launch, there is not a ton I can do for you. But if you’ve planned months, even years in advance? You’re good to go.
1. Content content content
Right now, with the #AskGaryVee Show on YouTube, I’m putting out content that is allowing me to build an audience and gain a lot of new fans. But most importantly, I am putting out all the content for free. I’m bringing value, and that’s it. I’m not charging for the show, I’m not asking for anything. I’m just building leverage.
But then something happens. In 2016, when I launch the #AskGaryVee book, all the people that were involved in the show will be ready to buy a book. You might say, “people who have watched the whole show don’t really need to buy the book, right?” Wrong. Why? Because they’ve been part of it. They’ve consumed it for free, and now the value I provided will be what pushes them to do something in return for me by buying the book. See? (Plus, the book is going to have a lot of other exclusive content, so, you’re going to want it even if you’ve seen the show. Just FYI.).
Create content around the topics in your book, and make sure that content brings value to the consumers you most want to target. You’ll create buzz around your brand and book, and people will see that you know what you’re talking about. Then they’ll only want to buy your book more, right?
2. One-on-one interactions
A hugely common mistake that book promoters will do is send out a bulk email. Do not do that. You’ve probably received one, right? It usually says this: “Hey guys. I never do this but I have a book coming out next week and it would mean the world to me if you pre-ordered a copy.” Sound familiar?
Why do people do it? Because they want to be efficient. They want to scale. But that is the wrong way to look at this situation. You want to go the opposite way. Scale the unscalable.
Guess what I did differently? Before my book came out, I went to Connecticut with my family and all I did for a week was write emails. Thousands of them. One by one by one by one I wrote emails to people. I personally tailored each email. And it paid off.
3. Leverage through exposure
Now, for this one, you need to assess your own market. What’s big right now in your space? In August of 2013, podcasting was really starting to take off with my audience, so I focused on that for my last book. I went and did a ton of interviews with all the emerging podcast people because I knew that was the arbitrage.
And what I mean by arbitrage is this: a place where you can get bigger return on your investment than other places based on its exposure. So while in the past I would have wanted to be in the HuffPost guest blogging, that year was the year of the podcast. Things will continue to shift. You need to figure out where the market is shifting. Right now, podcasts are very hot again. So are YouTube shows. Maybe even look into some live streaming? You get the picture.
Bottom line: you need to stay tactical. That’s the way I think about selling books. Bring value for free, show people it’s worth it, and they will absolutely pay for it. BUT never forget that the first step is the heart. Always.