1. Define your goals and write them down where you can see them regularly. You can’t reach for the stars without knowing which star you’re reaching for.
John’s Comments: You will rarely get where you really want to go unless you know where you want to go. Know that, and you’re halfway there.
2. Write out, in one or two sentences, how your book will benefit the reader. Then post this on your website. Or even update your sales page with this information.
John’s Comments: The key to this exercise is to focus on the benefits to the reader, not the features of your book. How will your book change people’s lives? How will it entertain them? How will it enlighten them?
Then post it everywhere: blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, GoodReads, Amazon, etc.
3. Tell one person about your book each day. It could be someone at the grocery store or in a forum, or even your Auntie Em over the telephone. It doesn’t matter who you tell — someone needs to be talking about your book, and you’re the best person for the job.
John’s Comments: You are always the best person to market your book. But your book will never be a bestselling success unless other people also start talking about your book. Your job is to start the word of mouth going. Your hope is that other people will carry the word forward. That will inevitably happen if you’ve written a great book.
4. Set up a Google Alert for your name, your book title, or a key word in your niche. Continue working on your current marketing campaign.
John’s Comments: Google Alerts allow you to track what is being said about you, your book, and your topic. As you track your book’s progress, you can adjust your marketing campaigns so they produce more sales for your book.
More details on using Google Alerts: http://bookmarketingbestsellers.com/11-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-get-more-visibility-online-and-offline.
5. Give someone a free copy of your book. You could do it through a giveaway, or just give it to someone you know has been wanting to read it.
John’s Comments: While you can give your book to anyone in hopes of spreading word of mouth about your book, your best results will come when you give your book to people who can make a difference: leading bloggers, social media influencers, website editors, magazine editors, TV producers, librarians, booksellers, association leaders, catalogers, the loudmouth next door, etc.
6. Add or optimize a press room on your blog or website with your latest press releases, contact information, etc.
John’s Comments: Every author website should have a media tab and a speaking tab so people know that you are open to being interviewed, speaking before crowds, writing articles, writing guest posts, and more.
Be sure to include samples of your work, recent press appearances, high resolution photos of you, high resolution images of your book cover, etc.
7. Design and order bookmarks (and/or business cards) to help promote your book.
John’s Comments: It’s always useful to have something to give out when people ask you about your book – a bookmark or business card, either will do, although perhaps a business card is best for practical books and a bookmark for fiction, poetry, children’s books, and memoirs. Be sure to include your website and email address on either item.
8. Record a short portion of your book as a podcast or YouTube video.
John’s Comments: Don’t record just once short portion. Record 20 to 30 short portions that you can share once or twice a week. On-going promotions are the best way to build an audience. You could record these portions quite quickly if you record in segments of one or two minutes and record 20 to 30 segments in one sitting.
If that works out, then you could record new segments every month in a session of an hour or two.
9. Submit your book to a book review site such as Readers’ Favorite.
John’s Comments: There are a ton of websites and blogs that are influential in reviewing books and interviewing authors. Seek those out. Then ask for the review or interview. Then do the interview. Finally, share the good sites and blogs with other authors (via your social networks, your email newsletter, and/or your blog). You can always email them to me and I will pass them on (firstname.lastname@example.org).
10. Update your Amazon author page with new photos, videos, etc. Make sure your blog is linked and your bio is up-to-date.
John’s Comments: Absolutely keep your Amazon author page and Goodreads profile page up-to-date. These are two of the most important links to your potential readers. Keep them updated. Also change your Facebook profile image regularly. So many authors set and forget their social profiles. Don’t do that. Keep your websites and social media profiles always changing so people will be continually surprised by what you are doing.