Yes, because the alternative is no book promotion, which naturally, doesn’t work.
Measuring the results of book promotion is a very inexact science. If your measure of success is 1,000’s of immediate overnight book sales, then you will be totally disappointed.
Promotion is a long-term project and requires patience and the mindset that it is all about gaining exposure. Sometimes it can feel like you are all alone, but with perseverance, people will notice your book, and your book promotion will pay dividends.
The more times your book is seen or noticed, the more chance you have of gaining sales.
The other aspect to consider is that yes, you love your book or books, but not every product brought to market succeeds. No matter how much money Microsoft spends on promoting their smartphone, it will never sell like Samsung or Apple.
The hard truth with books is that very few new titles sell well, and this is especially true for self-published titles. There is no use trying to pretend that there is an alternate reality.
However, some books do succeed, or at least sell reasonably well.
In general, books that sell well are firstly, great stories that are well written, and secondly have been well prepared for publication with meticulous editing, proofreading and formatting for each publishing version. On top of this, they almost always have a professional, attention-grabbing cover.
But even with a great product, if no one knows about it, it won’t sell. Hence the need for promotion.
Book promotion and marketing options
Promoting your book doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money. If you set your promotional goal as getting your book seen by as many people as possible, then you can make a lot of progress without spending a cent. Here are a few ideas.
Share your book on social media.
Don’t overdo it, but let all your contacts know something about your book every week or so.
Build your social media presence.
Set aside 30 minutes a day to build your audience on social media by following other people.
Always have social share buttons on your blog or website.
One or two shares on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, could send your book to thousands of new people, so make sure you have social share buttons on every page and post of your blog or website.
This is one big mistake by omission that I see on the majority of author sites I visit.
Make social sharing of your site, posts and book very easy for your visitors, and some will share, and you will reap the promotional rewards.
Blog, and comment.
While having a blog is the number one priority for book promotion, commenting on other blogs is almost always overlooked as a means of gaining free promotion.
Any comment you make on other blogs is a link back to you, as your name at the top of your comment is a link to your blog or website. This also works on most newspapers that allow commenting. Commenting is a simple, free means of getting a lot of exposure.
Yes, you do have time.
If you think that you don’t have time to write blog posts, comment, add share buttons, follow people and post on a few social media sites each day, then you have an option. If you don’t want to spend your time promoting your books, then spend your money.
Paid promotion and advertising.
There are so many paid options available that a list would be far too long to add here. Suffice to say that the most suitable and successful paid options are Facebook Ads, Amazon Ads and dedicated book promotion services.
The key to paid book promotion is to target real book readers, and if possible, in your genre, and not waste money on advertising to a general audience. This is why Google Ads are unsuitable, as they can’t be as narrowly targeted.
Whenever you spend money on advertising or promotion, think about your defined target audience. With Facebook Ads, you can narrow down your target audience to just a few thousand, by age, demographic, gender, job title, interests and geography and is why it is one of the best paid options for authors.
Broad advertising is very expensive and for authors, a complete waste of money. Don’t spend big – spend a little, wisely.
Keep doing a little bit every day.
Effective book promotion is a daily habit and not a one-off occurrence. Make a plan and stick to it, but don’t expect miracles from day one.
Get your social media working for you, blog and comment regularly, pay a little to get wider exposure, and then hope your book is good enough to attract buyers.
Be honest with yourself.
Lastly, be analytical. Look for what promotional tools work best and refine your plan if necessary. Take notice of reviews and feedback on your book and react.
Can you find ways to improve it? Is your cover attracting attention, or not so well? It is possible to republish an ebook or POD paperback in minutes, so never think your book is finished.
If you find an error, fix it immediately. Always look for ways to improve your product.
Think of social media promotion as old-fashioned word of mouth advertising. But instead of just one person telling one person, one share can result in your message being seen by 1,000’s, so never underestimate its value.
As an example, one of my posts was shared on Flipboard recently, which resulted in over 8,000 site visitors in 24 hours. Did I sell any books? I don’t know yet, but I do know that 8,000 more people know my name now.
Your book cover is by far the number one attraction and promotional tool you have for your book, so never be afraid to change, experiment and improve it.
Second is your book description. As this will be shared along with your cover, again, improve, change, modify and experiment with the text, and especially the first sentence, as these few words are your hook to get people to click.
Yes, book promotion works, but never stop improving your product.