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4 Killer Book Marketing Tips for NaNoWriMo

POSTED BY prbythebook ON November 22, 2016

book marketing tips for nanowrimo


This year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is almost over, but – for most participants – the publication journey is far from over. Whether you’re looking for a traditional publisher or self-publishing, we’ve got some book marketing tips for NaNoWriMo participants and winners that can help you build your brand whether you’re just starting off or finishing your final draft.

As a NaNoWriMo participant and author myself, I know that it can be difficult to juggle writing, a day job, and a marketing campaign, but it’s important to make time to start growing your audience early.

Remember, you can never start too early, but you can start too late! The last thing you want is to be ready to publish your book and have zero fans to buy it!

Here are my best book marketing tips for NaNoWriMo participants:

1. Start small.

— It’s always better to start with one social media platform and grow from there than to pick up 5 and struggle to keep them afloat. Generally speaking? Your genre (and audience) defines which platform you should be starting with.

Need a little guidance? Our blog post on which social network you should use can help.

2. Follow the 80/20 rule.

This one is tough for some authors (and some marketers), but it’s the truth.

Basically, this means that you should only post blatantly self-promotional content 20% of the time on social media (e.g. “My new book, ____, is available now! Check it out on Amazon: [link]”).

The other 80% of the time? You should be sharing content that is “topic adjacent” as I call it, meaning related to you and your brand as an author. Obviously, if you’ve written a nonfiction book about knitting, it probably doesn’t make sense for you to rant about politics – because that confuses your followers. However, if you’re a romance author, you can share cute articles about finding love, date ideas, funny stories, pictures, etc.

It’s not that you can’t share about your personal life (you can), but be sure that the content you’re sharing provides value of some kind.

3. Social media (unfortunately) doesn’t really sell books.

Ooof. This is a tough one to digest, but most of the time you’re not going to see a direct correlation with book sales from social media activity.

Does this mean you shouldn’t use it? Absolutely not!

Social media is about making connections and building a brand. (AKA – selling yourself!) As an author, your focus shouldn’t solely rest on “man, gotta sell this book right now”, because you also need to be thinking about what comes next. Maybe you’ve only got 50 followers now, so only 3 of them will buy this book, but – as your brand grows – you’ll have 200 followers when the next book comes out (and 20 buy it), then 1000 (and 200 buy it) and so on.

You need to be okay with the growth mindset, because – as a first time author – that’s what it takes. Even if you’re published traditionally, you won’t get as much support from the publisher as you’d think. In fact, many of our clients are people who say, “Well, my publisher didn’t do X, Y, or Z, so now what do I do? They expect me to promote the book!”

4. Don’t give up.

Social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. We tell our clients this constantly. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your book probably won’t be a best-seller overnight. It’s going to take time and effort.

Stick with it, remember these book marketing tips, and good luck!

In the meantime, if you need a little help to get you started, we’re offering our Social Media Coaching + Audit combo to all NaNoWriMo participants for $1250 (15% off) for the months of December 2016 and January 2017!

Learn more and get started here.

Jandra Sutton is the Digital Marketing Director at PR by the Book. She loves writing books, reading, and hanging out with her fluffy white husky. Pluto is still a planet in her heart. Follow her on Twitter @jandralee.

Some of the content in this post was originally published on the NaNoWriMo forums.  

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