Previously, I’ve talked about marketing ideas for books in a series. But what about standalone books? Unlike later books in a series, they might not have a built-in audience for the launch, especially for debut authors. Marketing tactics like offering the first book in a series for free in order to draw readers in obviously won’t work for standalone books. So what are some strategies for promoting standalone books?
Here are my tips:
- Focus on getting reviews early
Reviews are important for promoting any book, but especially for standalones. Readers might be willing to pick up the second book in a series because they enjoyed the first even if the reviews aren’t great, but they likely won’t do the same for a standalone title. Without previous books to go by, some readers will be looking at reviews to determine if they’re interested.
Luckily, there are many ways to get honest reviews before the book even launches. While Amazon reviews are still most important for book sales, Goodreads will allow reviews to be posted before a book is even released (and some reviewers will even cross-post their reviews to Amazon later). You can run giveaways to get early copies of your book in the hands of bloggers, and you can also use tools like Netgalley to provide advance digital copies to reviewers.
- Run a price promotion
Consider offering your book at a discount for a limited time, and then promote the sale on social media. Services like BookBub are also great options for promoting a temporary price drop. Offering your ebook for $0.99 or even $2.99 for a few days can really help generate sales.
- Build up a mailing list
I’ve talked about this before, but mailing lists can be a really helpful marketing tool. Mailing lists allow you to share news about your newest book releases with interested readers directly in their email inboxes, instead of hoping people will see it on social media. Readers who have enjoyed your previous works might be willing to check out a new release even if it’s a standalone, and a mailing list is a great way to reach those readers and keep them informed of your latest books.
Believe it or not, cross-promotion doesn’t just apply to books in a series. Consider cross-promoting your standalone books in the same way that you would a series. Include promotional material for your next standalone book in the backmatter of your previous titles. This is especially useful if your books are all in the same genre, but it can be effective regardless. If readers like your writing style or other aspects of your work, they’ll be interested in more of your books, even if they’re standalone titles.
- Consider demographics
While thinking of strategies to promote your book both online and off, consider the likely demographics of your audience. While we all like to imagine that everyone in the world will enjoy our book, odds are your audience will consist of a much narrower demographic. Identifying the target age range of your audience, for example, will help you determine which marketing efforts will be most successful. By reaching out to specific audience demographics, you’ll ensure that the potential readers who are hearing about your book are the same readers who are likely to enjoy it. (If you’re not sure what your target audience is, I’ve written another post about that.)
What do you think? What are some other useful strategies for marketing standalones? What types of promotions work for you as a reader? Let me know in the comments!
Interested in professional editorial services for your manuscript? Check out my Services page for more information about what I offer.