How to Market Your Business Book

Once your business book is the hands of an editor or publisher, you can start work on planning the marketing. To work out how to market your business book, start by reviewing your audience.
Once your business book is the hands of an editor or publisher, you can start work on planning the marketing. To work out how to market your business book, start by reviewing your audience.

You need to be clear on who they are as people, where they spend time and the best ways to reach them. As you’ll know, there are so many options using social media, online publicity or through events, workshops and webinars. We’ve summarised the most popular tools used by our authors below for you.

Funding your business book and the marketing plan

Crowdfunding is a great way to generate pre-orders for your book and raise money before it’s even finished - then you can use these funds to pay for professional editing and publishing. Our top tips include setting rewards for the pledges to target the needs of your audience. To promote your core services, you can include free trials of your services with their copy of the book. For example, you could:

  • Offer a small discount for pre-ordering a copy of the book alone, or, if keeping it at full price, promote your supporters by adding a thank you page with their names printed in the book.
  • Create a practical ebook which is an extension of the business book and send it to those supporters who pre-order at full price.
  • Provide a free 30min service call to help those who pre-order your book at a slightly rounded up price.
  • Give away a free 60min consultation to help your supporters in return for a higher pledge amount.
To promote your business book, you’ll need a plan and a marketing budget to help you achieve everything in your plan. Some of the basic tools for online marketing are free - however, there’s a world of difference between a professional website and a set of pages that you build yourself. You also have decisions to make: you might add the book as a landing page on your existing business website, or you may want a custom domain for driving search engine traffic to the book, as our author Natalie Trice has done with her PR School.

Calculating the costs for marketing your business book can be complex because there are so many routes to reach your audience - and you may feel like you need to work out how to justify the cost. For more information on potential spend, do read more in our article, "What return can you expect from your business book?"

Launching your business book

Once you’ve set the date for publication, you can plan your book launch event - either a face to face party or an online celebration - to suit social distancing. (Hopefully that will soon be a thing of the past!) Top tips for your book launch:

  • Choose a venue which suits your business brand; also think about your close connections because you could even ask another business to host it, if they have larger premises than yours.
  • Invite a prominent guest to introduce you.
  • Prepare a talk to include your reasons for writing the book and your journey to get published.
  • Include a short reading from the book, whether you’re hosting the event online or in person.
  • Involve your guests in a lively question and answer session; you can start with one or two that previous clients have asked you, so that your audience has time to warm up and think of their own questions.
In the run up to your publication date, you can start to share snippets of the book and a cover reveal or even let your audience share their opinions on the options you are considering. Getting the audience involved is the best way to raise awareness and build interest in the book before it’s released. If your business involves explaining concepts with diagrams or sketches, these can work really well as visual posts on social media. Post helpful content regularly and join in with groups that are relevant to your industry.

Promoting yourself and your business

A business book gives you more opportunities to gain publicity for your business. If your book launch is going to be open to the public, you could even consider writing a press release about the event to invite them. However, there are thousands of books published every year, so you need to hone in on what’s interesting about yours. Is it a local story for your regional news? Or relevant to a particular niche audience? For tips on writing an effective press release, read The Guardian’s small business advice article here.

To get free coverage, there are journalist services such as Help a Reporter Out (US and global - sign up to receive email alerts), Response Source and Feature Me (UK) on Facebook and Twitter, where independent writers are looking for case studies or press releases to fit with the stories they’re developing. These offer free publicity and although they aren’t obliged to, often they’ll let you include a web link or mention of your business name.

Podcasts are another great way to become more visible. Research which ones suit your expertise and apply to be a guest - you’ll need to pitch your story, similar to a press release. There are also services to help you get more appearances and do interview tours; start by reading this guide.

Sharing your expertise

To market your book, you can add "Buy the book" as a call to action as part of your core business marketing. Think about the key questions your audience will be asking, what sort of help they need and where they will look for answers. To help you gain credibility and online traffic:

  • Blog regularly - ensuring your articles are optimised with keywords and phrases for Google search.
  • Create YouTube videos - sharing your expertise in short, digestible videos.
  • Run webinars - where your audience can join you and ask live questions on the material you’re presenting.
  • Use Facebook Live - giving out information in a less formal format, showing more of your work behind the scenes.
  • Use relevant hashtags and set up search alerts on them so you can post useful replies, responses and get involved in those discussions on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
  • Post your articles on Medium, adapting them for people who haven’t seen your website or your brand before.
  • Pitch your stories to platforms like the Huffington Post who now have the Thrive app.
Creating content regularly can be a challenge - especially when you’re busy running the business. If you find yourself getting stuck with what to write about:

  • Search on LinkedIn to see what other influencers in your industry are writing about this week.
  • Think about the behind-the-scenes topics you are discussing with your team: they’re just as valid to start social media discussions.
  • Explore whether the Write.As cues would help you share your thoughts and expertise more regularly.
  • Find communities which match your business interests on Reddit and join in the conversation threads to inspire others and raise awareness of your brand.
  • Run a search on Tumblr to see if there are blogs you’d like to contribute to or set up your own to re-share your articles, quotes, videos and questions.

Advertising your business book

Some authors set up adverts to promote their books, working with small initial budgets to test how successful each type of advert is. There are several options, with advantages and disadvantages to each platform - and plenty of actions you can take for free.

  • To reach more people who are already browsing for books, try Amazon Advertising as discussed in our blog here.
  • To reach audiences which you know a lot about, Facebook adverts enable you to target niche segments with your ads.
  • To attract more search engine traffic to your website and blogs, consider Google ads; although there’s plenty of actions you can take for free first to optimise your site for search engine queries.
  • To reach your professional network, you can also test LinkedIn advertising - but before you invest, start getting into a routine of mentioning your book among your regular business posts.
  • To market your business book on Twitter, you can join in with daily or weekly hashtags by adding them to your posts. Once your book gets some reviews, you could use them for #testimonialtuesday or publish snippets from your text for #Thursdaythoughts.

Email marketing to support your business book

The one issue with social media marketing is that there’s no guarantee that your followers will see your posts, because the platforms’ algorithm determines what they’ll see. So to underpin all the book marketing, you should start to build an email subscriber list because you can use it to promote your core services as well as your business book. Ways to encourage sign-ups:

  • Use a prominent button or pop-up on your website homepage.
  • Pull out the first chapter of your book as a mini ebook to give away to new subscribers.
  • Set up your online calendar for new subscribers to arrange a free discovery call with you.
Our final tip on how to market your business book is to keep going. All of these tools require time, planning and consistency to reach your audience. If you’re a SilverWood author, you can schedule a Book Marketing Consultation with Debra here.

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