There’s lots of myths and secrets in the book publishing world. And there’s plenty of articles that talk to you about how to promote a book. But when you delve deeper into how to promote a business book, there’s a dearth of information out there. Here are my top five takeaways from PR-ing my own book.
- You can never start selling too soon.
When my book was available to buy I didn’t immediately shout about it. I didn’t want to pre-sell my book too much because I wanted to hit number one on Amazon. My tactic was to hold people back until actual launch day to flood Amazon with sales. On the actual day, I hit number one quite easily in the PR category because it isn’t that competitive. If you have a business book in a smaller niche, my advice would be to boost those pre-sales as soon as you can.
- Keep your audience involved right from the start.
I won my publishing deal with Practical Inspiration Publishing after completing a book proposal challenge with Alison Jones. I told my audience right from the start I had a book deal and kept them posted with the journey. This meant that by the time the book launch actually happened I had an engaged group of people who’d been on the journey with me from the start, they became big advocates for the book and were excellent at word of mouth promotion once the book arrived.
- Have a launch squad.
The easiest thing to do is to ask for help. Actually, it feels quite hard at the time but for ROI it is. I put out a social media post asking people to invite me to write guest posts, appear on their podcasts or talk at events. Once I did this, I was flooded with offers across the board. And unlike what you might expect, some of the bigger publications I landed in didn’t have as much of a payoff as some of the smaller blogs that I had articles in which had a more engaged audience.
- Video content works wonders.
Every time I saw somebody do an Instagram story or talk about the book in detail, I could always see the line of sales on Amazon Author Central go up. It didn’t matter how many mentions I got in press articles, or in other pieces of content when anybody created a video, I could literally see the numbers going up on Amazon. So where possible, see how you can incentivise your audience or create a moment or moments where video content, could be engaged.
- Launch event budgets
I felt slightly self conscious about charging tickets to my own launch event, but as a small business owner, promoting a book for small businesses, I didn’t have the budget or time to seek sponsorship for my book launch event. In actual fact, everybody was more than happy to give £5–7 to come along. For the ticket price, I provided a range of booze and soft-drinks from local small businesses. Had a very cool drag Queen performance and had a good old mingle on a cold January evening.
Ultimately, what I have realised six months later, is that you never really stop promoting your book. I’ve been told until you get your next book, you’re always going to be promoting the first. And even now, I still find myself, not as obsessively but still checking Amazon Author Central to see where that line is.
I’m definitely going to look at more creative ways I can continue to promote the book moving forwards. And we’ll share another blog post in six months of how I’ve managed to maintain momentum for the latter half of my book launch year.
If you’re wondering how many I sold….I don’t know for sure for six months but I do know that I sold nearly 2000 copies in my first three months. Not enough to be a Sunday Times business bestseller but enough to be an Amazon best-seller and make me feel like I’ve succeeded.