If you only have time to read one book this year on marketing, the latest edition of How To Market A Book should be it.
Information Without Overload
Reading the book feels like sitting down and chatting with the author, Joanna Penn.
Penn covers in depth multiple ways to market your book, which could easily be overwhelming. But in her intro, closing, and throughout she makes clear that you can't do all of it, and that not every approach works or feels right to every author.
I really appreciated that because it seems every day I'm reading or hearing about something I “should” be doing to sell or market. This book includes them all, expertly breaking them down while acknowledging that it's okay to not do some of it.
Overall Marketing Principles
How To Market A Book (3rd edition) challenges marketing myths and shares marketing guidelines in the first part, which includes an overview of discoverability and other big-picture issues.
Even if you're familiar with many of these already, it's worth reading for a quick, clear overview.
Fundamentals For Success
The second part of the book gets into specifics like choosing categories and keywords for your book, pluses and minuses of publishing your ebook edition exclusively with Amazon, and pricing.
Each point includes detailed, specific information you can put into practice right away.
Part 3 covers short-term marketing issues like getting reviews and using paid advertising. This part is especially valuable because you can implement these strategies whether or not you have an author website or platform. I only finished the book last week but already I've referred back to some of the topics.
Building A Platform
The next section focuses on long-term marketing by building your author brand.
It includes specific, practical advice on building a website, email marketing, blogging, podcasting, book trailers, PR, and more. I plan to use the podcasting section as a step-by-step How To guide if my plans for a starting movie podcast next year come to fruition.
The last section details book launches, addressing differences between indie and traditionally-published authors, soft launches, relaunches, and numerous other things you need to know.
You'll also find a launch checklist, which is another example of how practical and clear the advice in How To Market A Book is.
The book also includes an appendix with questions to answer if your book isn't selling. It functions as a perfect recap of everything covered, and I plan to review it every few months as a refresher.