There are plenty of ways to market your books or to market yourself as an author or publisher, but perhaps one of the most important outlets to promote what you offer today is the Internet. After all, it’s where your target audience is spending a lot of time. As an author or publisher you should think of yourself as a business owner and the books that you write or publish as your products. Every business today should have a website. As an author, a website serves as a place for current and prospective readers to learn more about you and the books that you’ve published or are currently working on. To increase exposure and the number of visitors to your website, it’s necessary to engage in search engine optimization (SEO). Continue reading
I am Bookmasters’ new marketing intern. We decided that it was time for me to write a blog post, but I have never done this before—so bear with me.
Just as you might be a first-time, self-publishing author who has no idea what to do after writing your book, I am also new to the publishing industry. Before starting at Bookmasters three weeks ago, I really didn’t know what to expect.
However, I did know that I was going to be the marketing intern…so marketing must be involved.
I was right. Yes, marketing is a part of the publishing industry, and it is a service that Bookmasters provides.
I was overwhelmed during my first marketing team meeting. Words and phrases, such as “NetGalley,” “ForeWord/Clarion Review,” and “Review & Media Strategy” were repeated, and I honestly didn’t know what they meant.
Luckily, I quickly learned. I am still learning, and I am excited about it.
How did I learn? One of things that really helped me get an understanding of what the marketing team does was Bookmasters’ marketing services kit. Bookmasters revised their previously 40-page Word document of book marketing services and trimmed it down to four (thank you!).
This kit lists and describes the six marketing packages Bookmasters has to offer, and it reviews Bookmasters’ most popular à la carte services to make it easy for you to decide which strategies are the best fit to promote you and your book.
After putting all of the effort into writing your book, you want people to know about it and to read it. This is why marketing is definitely something to consider. And don’t worry—Bookmasters has marketing strategies for all budgets.
To learn more about Bookmasters’ marketing services, check out our website (http://www.bookmasters.com/publishers_marketing) or call 877-312-3520.
By Michelle Antus, Bookmasters’ Media Design Specialist
“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
While one of our culture’s favorite idioms is nice in theory, the reality is that it occurs more frequently than we may want. As consumers in a visually driven marketplace, we are constantly judging the contents of a package by its appearance. Think of the last time you bought an unfamiliar product brand. What made you pick it up? Chances are something on the outside of the package caught your attention. A book cover should be no different. It needs to stand out from the thousands of other books in the market.
The cover is the face of the book and is what will ultimately be used to promote the book. People shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s be honest: it happens, and that means the cover needs to be designed well. Humans are drawn to a solid, eye catching design, whether or not they can articulate why. Having a true professional design the cover is worth the investment. A good artist will know how to design a quality cover that displays the emotion and theme of the book. The more information and inspiration the designer is fed, the better the cover will be.
Like any piece of good artwork, the cover needs to look good in a variety of situations. A printed, full color cover is only one of the aspects. It can be viewed in both color and black & white e-Readers, print publications, and websites. It also has to pack a punch when it is only 70 pixels wide. When a book is listed online in a search, 9 times out of 10, it will not have a description alongside it and it will be a much smaller version of the cover.
The cover has to be the magnet to pull in the potential readers and quickly and accurately tell them why they should give your book a chance. However, an overly complex design or overly minimalistic design does not always equal a solid cover. A potential reader will only look at a cover for a few seconds before he or she decides if it is worth picking up. If the cover is a mess or fails to engage the passerby, it will be looked over without a second glance. Exceptions to this rule are authors who have sold millions of copies and are a household name, such as J.K. Rowling or William Shakespeare. Once an author has made a name for his or herself, it is easier to bend the rules of design.
Do a bit of research before you jump in to designing your cover. Look at other titles and see what they did, and then don’t look at them again during the design process. Pushing the other cover designs aside makes sure that you avoid copyright infringement on another artist’s work and puts the focus back on your cover and book, and not imitating what others have done. Cover design is not always about having the flashiest and most trendy cover on the market. Let your book’s content dictate the cover. It is obvious when someone tries to force a certain type of cover on their book that doesn’t fit.
The key is to create a cover that fits your target audience and the book’s overall tone. Don’t have a dark, sullen, dreary looking cover if your book is a lighthearted photo collection of fawns frolicking in fields with fedoras. The cover also needs to be engaging to give potential marketers something to work with. The design of marketing material can only go so far to promote the book and the weight of the promotion cannot fall completely on the shoulders of the marketing team. Marketing designs and layouts should complement and enhance the cover, but should not be the focal point. The book cover is what really helps the design shine and is what people will remember most.
Just as the contents of the book are an extension of your brain, the cover needs to be an extension and reflection of the book. Since you can’t physically tell every person why they should buy your book, the cover needs to do that for you. A designer can help you give it a strong voice and let your book shine.
- Browse other titles in your genre. Look at what makes them succeed or fail. Just be sure not to copy a cover directly.
- Tell your designer what you like and don’t like about covers you have seen in the marketplace. The more you can articulate your wants and tastes, the better the cover will look.
- Don’t be afraid to shop around for a designer. Each designer has a set of strengths, so don’t settle for one that doesn’t fit your needs.
- Engage with a cover that fits the target audience and overall tone, but most importantly, acts as your voice to tell potential buyers why they should purchase your book.
- A minimalistic cover can be engaging; it just has to be designed well.
Cover design has become a hot topic since the announcement of the forthcoming Harry Potter cover redesigns. To honor the 15th anniversary of the U.S. publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Scholastic recently unveiled a newly revamped cover for the first book in the series. Scholastic will be revamping all seven of the Harry Potter book covers just in time for a new generation to start their journey with Harry.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but we all know that it happens. Consumers browsing in bookstores or searching online are presented FIRST with the book, THEN with the synopsis. On average, a bookstore browser will spend eight seconds looking at the front cover and 15 seconds scanning the back cover. In other words, by the time you’re done reading this sentence, a reader would have already decided if they are putting your book back on the shelf or turning it over to explore more. Make sure your book is ready to grab the attention it deserves with an engaging cover.
Throughout March, we are going to explore inside tips for your next book cover, because it’s becoming more important to have a great one. With the explosion of eBooks, authors and publishers are forced to come up with a cover that is not only appealing at full scale, but also in thumbnail sizes. Check back for suggestions from Bookmasters’ designers for the latest practices in great cover design.
The way people find and purchase books has drastically changed in the last few years. Now, you as authors and publishers have to be a little more creative with your marketing. Be aware however, that being creative can also lead to confusion, difficulty understanding, or messages that just don’t make sense to the consumer. Bookmasters has a great way for you to stay ahead of “the game” with an easy to use and inexpensive marketing tool for your book. In 2012, we started offering the Book2Look book marketing Widget for authors and publishers to help launch their books into a more social and viral world.
The Book2Look Widget offers a lot of great capabilities allowing an author or publisher to showcase their book or preview of their book and then share via email or social media. Most authors and publishers have a website and are starting to use social media to gain awareness, but the widget combines the best of both worlds. Below are five ways that the Book2Look Widget can help you market your book.
- YouTube Embed Capabilities – Host your book trailer, author interviews, media appearances, or anything else on your YouTube Channel that promotes you as an author or your book(s).
- Audio Capabilities – Does your book have audio that goes with it, such as music, narrative, or a podcast? This widget allows you to embed and share those files.
- Links – Link your website, Facebook page, Twitter page, LinkedIn page, or any other page that people can find you on.
- Share – People can share your book right from the widget to a number of sites including Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and more.
- Rate & Comment – Do you want to know what people think about your book? Now you can with a five-star rating scale and comment section.
- I know I said five, but there are a few other things that are too good to leave out. People can embed your widget on their page, people can purchase your book directly from the “Shop” button within the widget, and you can even see what people are saying in the social world about your book from the “bookFeed.”
So, after reading all of these awesome things about the Book2Look Widget, are you still on the fence? Well, let me help you out with this… Your widget is a living, breathing, book marketing tool! You can change anything, at any time, and it changes for every widget that has already been shared, emailed or embedded on webpages. It really is one of the best book marketing tools currently out there and if used to its full potential, can gain a lot of exposure for your book.
Take a look at the video below and if you have any questions, leave a comment, call us toll free at 855-222-2095 or complete this form!