Writing a book is a great way for knowledge-based businesses to reach more people, showcase their expertise, and possibly even add an extra income stream – but only if you put some effort into marketing it.

Spending the time, energy and money to write and publish book is wasted if you don’t leverage it.

So here are eight sure-fire ways to get your book marketing on track:

  • Start now. As soon as you decide to write the book start telling people. If you use social media then talk about it there, tell people what you’ll be writing about, give them a progress report periodically, share tips or a short extract, let them know how it can help them, and of course tell them when and where it’s available. You don’t need to overdo it - just whet their appetite.
  • Hold a launch party. You deserve it! It’s also a good excuse to reconnect with old contacts and make new ones. Hire a photographer and use the photos on your website, on your social media, in your marketing material and share them with your guests; they will often post pictures of themselves with your book on their own social media – helping you reach even more people.
  • Go Offline. Online is great – but talking to people face-to-face is even better. Tell people that you meet about your book, and get out to networking events to promote it. Don’t make everything you tell them a subtle (or not so subtle) sales pitch – but rather paint a picture of what the book could do for them. Take a copy (or two) with you and have change in your pocket in case someone wants to buy there and then. You’d be surprised how many people will buy a book from you when you are standing in front of them.
  • Create images. Imagery really helps your message stick in people’s minds, whether it’s on social media, your blog or during a talk. Take photographs of your book in different locations and with other people (with their permission), and create imagery to illustrate points or quotes within your book.
  • If you are running events, or giving talks, workshops or seminars – take the book with you. Mention it during your talk and hold up a copy so they can see it is real and will recognise the cover if they decide to look for it online later. Tell people they can buy the book from you after the workshop, and tell them where you will be sitting. Don’t make them have to search you out – help them find you and help them buy.
  • Take an extract from your book and create a ‘white paper’. This can be a set of useful ‘top tips’ or perhaps your views on how your industry might develop in the future. Give it a cover, add your branding and your contact details and offer this as a pdf download on your website. Use it to collect the email addresses of potential customers and start building your list. If they are willing to give you their email address in return for the ‘white paper’ then they are a partially qualified lead. So gather the email addresses and put them to good use.
  • Enrol your Kindle book in Amazon’s KDP Select and make the most of the ability to offer the book for free for five days in every 90. Reviews are the life-blood of sales on Amazon, and giving a few e-books away for free can really help to boost the number of reviews. Also, the more people you can encourage to read your book, even for free, the more you build your authority and visibility among your target audience. If giving the book away for free leads to one new paying client – the book has probably already made you a profit.
  • Always ask for a review. Don’t be shy! When someone buys a copy of your book, ask them to post an honest review on Amazon. You really can’t have too many reviews. It is absolutely the case that the more reviews you have (as long as the majority of them are positive) the more your book will sell – so don’t be afraid to ask.
A book can really give your business a boost – but only if you leverage it. So make sure you develop a strong, clear book marketing plan. And stick to it. Start as early as you can – and keep going. Don’t stop just because the launch is over. Keep promoting the book and it will keep working for you. That way you’ll not only drive book sales but you’ll also start to generate new client enquiries.

By Chantal Cooke, author of ‘The Authority Guide to Marketing your Business Book’ and founder of Panpathic Communications