All book marketing, sales, and promotions are the publishing house’s responsibility.
Your sales essentially depend on the effectiveness of the promotion strategies you develop to get the book out in the market and in front of the right audiences. However, if yours is a brand new publishing house, it can feel like every marketing tactic has already been done by the big names in the publishing industry.
While that may be true, it is possible to differentiate your offerings and garner attention from prospective buyers. To stand out from the competition, you must do everything to get your name known to indie authors and entering the world of book publishing.
The fact of the matter is that these most authors cannot penetrate the market with the help of big publishers simply because of the sheer amount of manuscripts that are sent their way. So, this is your chance to get the word out and attract these authors to your services.
Let’s explore some proven effective marketing strategies that you can adopt as a new publishing house.
Get registered with Local Directories
Local author directories are essentially an author database containing up-to-date and relevant info on book festivals, literary organizations, journalists, book agents, and other industry events and bigwigs.
Authors looking to get published often go to these directories to access people who can help them get published and market their books. They can also register here and leave their info and writing samples so prospective publishers and agents can find them. Getting your publishing house listed on one of these websites will allow you to discover new authors and books that align with the content you want to publish.
You can also get leads on upcoming book festivals and organizations that are great places for you to market your publishing house. Book festivals, specifically, are great for emerging publishing houses as these community-centered events celebrate and promote books of all genres and offer critical opportunities to increase book sales and promotions.
Additionally, it is also good for SEO purposes. The more times your publishing house is listed online, the higher it shows up in Google search results when an author or agent is looking for publishing opportunities.
Pick your specialization
The term “publishing” encapsulates various activities from book sales and book marketing to editing and copywriting. So it is not surprising if many writers are not clear at what exactly it is that you do.
Moreover, each publishing house specializes in a particular genre or publishing a specific type of book. For example, some publishers deal in paperbacks only while some only print hardback copies. There is a further distinction made in terms of categories, with three categories taking the predominant lead: trade publishing, academic publishing.
Clearly differentiate your offerings to make it easy for authors and readers to look for you when they need a particular type of service.
Trade publishers are big commercial houses that you’ve often heard of and hold a monopoly in the market. Penguin Random House and Simon and Schuster are two such examples. Trade books are ones that people read for leisure. They are books published for mass consumer appeal and cover a wide selection of topics and genres like science-fiction, romance, literary fiction, and more.
On the other hand, there are many publishing houses that specialize exclusively in particular genres such as science-fiction publishing houses or those that publish only mass paperbacks of romance novels.
Academic publishers are also called textbook publishers, and they usually publish books that are part of the educational curriculum. If you’ve ever used an SAT preparation book or studied psychology from course books, you already have a good idea of what an academic publisher does.
Some major academic publishers include Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin.
Make use of social media advertising
You can go onto almost any social media platform or website to get information or update yourself with the latest news. Social media websites are also becoming increasingly essential as marketing hubs. The connection between audience and marketers does not depend solely on sales but conversations and debates between the two parties.
Social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit are major hubs for publishers to build their brand awareness. Use these platforms to hold conversations with readers, do book giveaways, have author Q&A sessions, and do whatever else you need to do to cater to your audiences.
Here are some writing and reading communities that you can join:
Goodreads is an independent social media website that is very popular in the book world. It is a great place for readers and writers to come together and market their books, create book lists, vote for popular books, and even hosts Goodreads’ own Annual Book Awards.
There are multiple groups on the site for almost any category of reader, writer, or marketer. As a publishing company, you can join groups with emerging authors and book reviewers and get all the inside details regarding audience preferences. This is a great way of enhancing your marketing skills as it will help you target specific groups of consumers.
Twitter is one of the social media platforms that has become a permanent part of the digital culture and is a major marketing tool by the publishing industry. Tweets are a great way to reach your audience. 81% of millennials check their feed every day and retweet their favorite tweets. In comparison, 63% of the Gen-Z population want to engage with real people on Twitter and know about brands and their latest offerings. So if you can master the art of tweets, you can build a large following that will trust your recommendations.
Here are a few ways of upgrading your Twitter skills:
- Create several Twitter accounts according to the niches in which you want to publish. Follow authors from this genre and retweet their tweets. For example, Penguin Random House has almost 275 independent publishing imprints, all specializing in a different genre (Knopf Doubleday, Golden Books, Wendy Lamb Books etc.)
- Do not automate your replies. Make an effort to reply and communicate with every person who interacts with you
- Avoid hard sales pitches for your books. Instead, share book snippets, book quotes, and book posters to start a conversation
Reddit is a community where people can post several queries and get answers through people who have been in a similar situation. As a book publisher, you can find the problems that authors face while getting their book published and rectify these problems through marketing your brand.
You can post about your company’s offerings and find out what your target audience really wants by engaging them in real-time.
Share Social Media Content Regularly
Whether you’re entering into an industry or have been part of the industry for some time, knowing how to use social media as a marketing tool is a crucial skill to learn. There are multiple ways you can create engaging content on social media without being too salesy.
- Make engaging advertisements for your upcoming books or quotes from famous books. Eye-catching posters are a good way to start conversations with your audience. Thanks to various online applications, you can easily create customized posters that get instant attention.
- You can hold giveaways of books from the genre that you specialize in. The more people who enter giveaways, the more you will understand their preferences
- Create highly captivating visuals that include all the design elements of your book. For example, you can create an ‘aesthetic’ around the genre of the books that you specialize in and ask people to comment on their favorite books that resonate with the genre
- Make regular industry-related announcements like the retirement of a famous author, book signings, the release of a popular sequel and upcoming book-to-film adaptations, etc.
As a publisher, you have control over what books and manuscripts you choose to publish. However, you have to make sure that you are specific about your goals to attract writers and book lovers whose goals align with yours. And to achieve this, you have to choose the right marketing tactics to get your point across. Make sure to engage with your audience via social platforms, make exciting book visuals, and get registered on directories to get a first-hand perspective of what your audience demands.