In a recent book marketing strategy podcast, Joanna Penn asked me what I thought were the top three book marketing strategies right now.
The short answer is: it depends. The best book marketing strategy for any particular book depends on a number of factors, including the type of book, the audience, your skills and interests, and whether you are selling through bookstores.
For example, for nonfiction authors focused on direct sales, here are my top three book marketing strategies:
1. Develop relationships with your peers, bloggers and other influencers, and look for ways to help each other out and collaborate. Social networking is one of the best ways to develop those relationships.
2. Engage in content marketing, which includes activities like submitting articles to other blogs and article directories, posting on expert sites like Squidoo, and giving away free reports. As a nonfiction author, you already have a wealth of content, so find ways to repurpose it as part of your book marketing strategy.
3. Build a good website and/or blog that's search engine optimized, user friendly, and designed to attract opt-in subscribers and buyers. You can learn how to do this yourself or hire someone to help you.
I'm going to cheat a bit here and add a fourth pick: speaking. Whether you speak at live events or on radio shows, online radio, podcasts or teleseminars, speaking is a terrific way to build your expert status and sell books.
For fiction authors, I think social networking and blogging can be effective book marketing strategies, especially if you can focus on a niche market or sub-genre. Book clubs and virtual reader communities such as GoodReads and Library Thing are well suited to fiction. Children's book authors can promote through library and school visits.