It might not be an author’s favourite thing to do, but whatever your goal is, adopting the right book marketing mindset will take you a long way.
Maybe you want make money from your book. Maybe you want to help people or to spread a message. Whatever your motivation for writing your book, you want people to read it. And before they can do that, they have to know about it. As an author, your book journey doesn’t end with holding the published book in your hands: you now have to get the word out about your book. Yvonne Caputo has some helpful advice on how to get into the book marketing mindset.
Yvonne is author of the forthcoming book Dying With Dad, publishing in early 2022, and Flying With Dad: A Daughter. A Father. And the Hidden Gifts in His Stories from World War II . This book is about her father’s experiences as a B-24 navigator during World War II. Flying With Dad is also about Yvonne’s relationship with her father and how, through finding out his story, she came to understand him better and have a closer relationship with him.
Check out the conversation on our podcast
Be sure to listen to our interview with Yvonne on the podcast, where we went more in-depth on book marketing mindset. As always, please share, rate and review! We recently reached 700+ downloads of The Empowered Author, and with your help, we can reach a milestone of 1000 downloads!
Getting into the mindset
For Yvonne, writing the book was an intense emotional journey. Still, she remained realistic about the book marketing job ahead: she did her research and reached out to the Alliance of Independent Authors to find out what exactly marketing a book as an indie author would entail. This helped her to prepare and get into the right mindset for what was to come.
Key to Yvonne’s book marketing mindset has been her belief in the book: believing in the story and believing what she really wants to come out of that story. She was excited when she held the print book in her hands for the first time, of course. But while sometimes she needed to remind herself that this was really happening, she also knew that this was something she needed to do.
Believing in her book helped Yvonne to push through the days when she felt low and unmotivated. It’s what drove her to do her research and reach out to podcasts, other authors and reviewers. And once she clicked SEND on those emails, she felt a sense of accomplishment that would help her get past the feelings of “Who am I to be reaching out to these people?” towards “You can do this.”
Getting down to the nitty-gritty
Getting into the right mindset is only a battle won: it isn’t winning the entire war. To do that, there’s getting down to the nitty-gritty of actually marketing the book.
Yvonne had her marketing strategy and knew what had to be done; now it was only a matter of doing it. So, she set herself the goal of doing two things every day to market the book. She took the approach that she felt most comfortable with: she wrote her to-do list on sticky notes and every day she would say, “What is the sticky that attracts me today?” As she went along, more sticky notes would appear as she came up with new ideas and found more things to do.
The marketing strategy that Yvonne came up with focuses on two main areas: getting reviews and talking about her book.
To get reviews, Yvonne simply asks people who read the book to post a review. To get them to read the book, of course, she needs to tell them about the book and to this end, she talks about the book every chance she gets. For example:
Yvonne belongs to several Facebook groups that are related to the war and her father’s unit. When she sees an opportunity in a Facebook group, she posts about the book. When someone asks her where they can get the book, she asks them in return to review the book once they’ve read it. It is important to follow the rules of the group, and avoid spamming, but many groups offer opportunities to promote or share about your work.
Speaking at events:
Being an experienced public speaker, Yvonne also looks for opportunities to speak at events. Her philosophy is that no event is too small: even speaking at a Father’s Day event at her local church has led to people reading the book and reviewing it. She has also had to adapt: before Covid-19, she looked for speaking opportunities at World War II reunions and museum events. When these events got cancelled because of Covid restrictions, she did virtual events. She also kept up the relationships with the organizers and sent them copies of the book to read and review. Connecting with audiences, whether live or virtual, is a key book marketing strategy.
Doing podcast interviews:
Podcast interviews have been a great way for Yvonne to talk about the book in the absence of live events. When she found that looking for the right podcasts to pitch to was taking up too much of her time, she employed a high-school student to first read the book and then do the research for her. His job is to research possible podcasts and build a spreadsheet with the podcasts categorized by type: podcasts who interview authors, aviation geeks, World War II, even religion and spirituality. Then he makes notes of what each podcast is looking for and includes links to the website.
This way, Yvonne can easily find a relevant podcast, click on the link, listen to the podcast and find out what they’re about. Then she can craft a pitch email tailor-made for them. She adds comments to the spreadsheet when she has emailed or heard from the podcast, which gives her a sense of accomplishment and keeps her motivated.
Talking about the book in everyday conversation:
Yvonne also talks about the book in everyday conversations. Even if it’s simply chatting to her neighbours while walking her dog, when she gets the sense that someone might be interested in the book, she mentions it. This not only brings her new readers but also possible new marketing contacts.
What is the key to the right book marketing mindset?
Successful book marketing requires lots of hard work, creative thinking, being proactive and perseverance. Yvonne describes what is key to adopting the right mindset for this: “I truly believe that it’s going to happen. But it isn’t going to happen if I don’t make it happen.”