In a charming café tucked in the corner of an eclectic bookstore not far from the center of town, you stare into your latte, mesmerized by the heart-shaped swirls of steamed milk. This peaceful instance of solitude is so perfect you decide to share it on Instagram.
After venting the domed lid of your new Big Green Egg backyard cooker, you reach for tongs to lift ribs dripping in a tangy barbeque sauce onto your plate. Your friend, sensing the momentous nature of this occasion, captures the moment for Facebook with her smartphone.
You weren’t trying to market a bookstore or a cooker. You simply found a treasure and you were sharing it with friends.
Draw A Treasure Map
As I prepare for the launch of my first book, Questioning Your Doubts: A Harvard PhD Explores Challenges to Faith, I am learning how to assist in the marketing process. Buried treasure helps no one. A book cannot fulfill its purpose unless readers find it. So I have begun to view marketing as the process of drawing a treasure map to help potential readers locate my book.
Everyone draws a map unique to a particular treasure, but here are some ideas:
- Have your social media bio mention your book and link to your website.
- On your website, include links to a variety of online retailers and bookstore websites that are selling your book. Use a pull down menu of retailers if the list is long.
- Mention your book in bylines to articles you write.
- Blog and guest blog, mentioning your book in your post or your bio.
Supply the Digging Tools
Once the map leads you to the buried treasure, you need tools to dig it out so you can enjoy the treasure and share it with your friends. In the same way, marketing involves not only drawing a treasure map for potential readers, but also supplying the digging tools so others can unearth the treasure and share it with others. Here is a list of a few tools I am using to help others spread the word about my book:
- Flyers (both paper and PDF format for sharing by email)
- Publicity photos
- Link to discussion guide for book
- Social media page for each book
Prepare to Celebrate!
What are some things you’ve found helpful for marketing your books?