Your book is much like a business and marketing is no exception. Daydreaming about the best-sellers list won’t get you any closer to breaking the top 10. The book market is extremely competitive, so you have to be aggressive because your book won’t sell itself – that’s why companies have marketing departments. If you want to move copies, you have to market your book. So how do you market a book like a business? Start with the basics.

Know your product:

We have all experienced the awful sales pitch of someone who knows nothing about what they are selling; many times, you actually know more about the product than they do. This is a sure path to a failed marketing plan. If you don’t fully intend to know your product like the back of your hand, then stop here, because without product knowledge there is no product. Know your book as a product, not just the storyline, and be comfortable talking about and selling it. You should be able to define your book’s price, targeted audience, where to buy it, the page count, the benefits of reading it, and any other details about your product.

Keep it short:

You have most likely heard of an “elevator speech”. Do you know why it is called that? It’s because your sales pitch for your book needs to be short enough to tell on a short elevator ride. People don’t have time for you to tell your life story when pitching something to them – so keep it brief. Many people have difficulty with summarizing something they are extremely passionate about, but you must stay on track, keep it short and stick to the key points.

Tell your story:

People love stories, so know your story and tell it every chance you get. Stories are what make or break a marketing campaign. A product needs to illustrate or tell a clear and unique story to its audience; so tell yours. The key to effective story telling is something that has evaded many for centuries, but a well crafted and well versed story can be the best marketing tool you will ever use.

Stay persistent:

If it were easy everyone would be on the best-sellers list, but it’s not easy and many give up too soon. That’s where you can have an advantage over your competition – you’re persistent. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you won’t sell 1,000 copies in the first day. It will take some serious effort on your part, but if you put in the effort, you will find success in persistence.

Take advantage of free publicity:

Do you remember a time when you read something in a newspaper about someone who got into trouble and what it did to their career? They were on the wrong end of free publicity. However, you can use free publicity to market your product and yourself. Ads are expensive, so why not shop your story around for some free publicity? Many newspapers, magazines, news stations, and Internet outlets may take interest in your story and your new product.

Whatever your purpose for writing your book, these tips will start you in the right direction to a successful marketing campaign and hopefully get you one step closer to reaching your sales goals. The key is to tell your story often and to be persistent. With these tools in your belt, you will stay one step ahead of the competition. Marketing isn’t easy, but looking at your book as a business will do wonders for your author career. If you have a great product and you work at it, success will find you.