Book marketing services are an absolute minefield. You release your first book into the world expecting a host of sales to appear from nowhere, to find only a few of your friends and family actually bother to buy it.
After a few hapless efforts to try and generate some more sales, which have the effect of waving a miniature flag in a cathedral, you give up or look to find someone to help you. Enter the world of book marketing services.
What are book marketing services?
There are loads of different types of book marketing services out there. Some of which are a complete waste of time and others which I’d deem essential to growing your author business. Book marketing experts can help you with everything from building and maintaining an engaged email list, to running adverts for your books and helping with social media. They can assist you in devising a marketing strategy, building your author brand and also help with PR. Some provide you with ‘done-for-you’ services whereas others coach and train you to do the marketing yourself.
Why do I need them?
Especially as a novice writer, it’s a steep learning curve when it comes to the world of book publishing. It’s a massive uphill task to do everything necessary to make your book successful. Even if you’re not self-publishing and have managed to bag yourself a traditional contract, the expectation is still that you’ll still do an element of promotion and PR.
Some publishers like to see a decent sized social media following behind a writer and an engaged email list. If these kind of things aren’t your forte, then there are loads of options to help you out there.
If you’re self-publishing then the onus is on you to do it all. So, when time is at a premium, enlisting the help of a trained professional could be the smart thing to do.
I would always recommend you learn how to do everything involved in publishing, even if long-term you pay someone to take control of certain aspects of it. As a writer you’re running a business and as such, you should always work out where your time is best spent and how much it’s worth.
Work out what your long term goals are, what you can do achieve them and then you’ll soon see where you need the help.
What can you do for free?
Before you spend a penny on Book marketing services it’s imperative that you look at all the free options before you start splashing the cash. There are loads of writers with incredible newsletters, loads of free courses and a wealth of blog articles out there which will give you a whole host of knowledge.
Here are some of my favourite resources.
- Self pub with Dale YouTube Channel
- David Gaughran’s writer blog
- Kindlepreneur by Dave Chesson
- Mark Dawson’s Self Publishing Formula Podcast
Once you’ve learned all you can for free it may then be time to invest in some book marketing services.
How do I get started using book marketing services?
As I mentioned before you need to know your long term vision when it comes to your author business. Is your ambition just to become a best-seller or do you want to make a career from your writing? This will inform you in your choices.
Also, be mindful of many people out there trying to make a quick buck. If you’ve ever received random messages on Instagram promising to promote your book to thousands of engaged readers for a really low price then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
True professionals will give you value for free, whether that be through podcasts, newsletters, blogs or educational videos. Many will offer free consultations to establish how they can help you and to make sure you are the right fit for their services. They will focus on value over price and give you comprehensive solutions to your problems.
Do your research, take your time and select the services that are right for you. You may find it could be your ticket to that best selling author badge on your books.