Are you the type of author who writes to make a major impact on people’s lives and the wider world?
If your deepest motivation for writing is to have an impact, you need to think about marketing your book in a particular way.
Typically, book marketing is geared towards authors who want to focus on revenue and other conventional measures of success. But, if your deepest desire is to make a difference, you might want to approach things differently.
Here are four principles for book marketers looking to make the deepest impact on the world.
Know who you want to reach
Sometimes, when we write books intending to help people, we end up trying to help too many types of people at the same time. While this comes from a compassionate motivation, if you end up trying to help everyone, you run the risk of helping no-one.
Instead, it’s wise to have a clear idea of the type of person who will benefit most from reading your book.
This is an essential first step for marketing a book that has the best chance of making a real impact. Knowing who you want to help is the foundation for every other marketing decision you make.
You might have written the book with a clear reader in mind. But what about if you didn’t? It’s still worth taking the time to explore this question. Think about these ideas if you’re not sure how to start:
- Problems. What problem, or problems, does your book solve? For example, does it teach a specific skill? Does it offer resources for a specific situation? Often, the best way to find the ideal reader for your book is to focus intently on the problem it solves.
- Relatability. Thinking about the type of person who would relate most to your book is another valuable area of exploration. What kind of background do you have as an author, and how does it comes across in your writing? Are you writing books for a particular age group? What tone and style of language do you use, and who would relate to it the most? Relatability is one of the best ways to discover who you can impact the most.
- Uniqueness. What makes your book different from other books out there? Maybe it covers something not found in other books, or is written for an underserved demographic, or takes a new angle on an old problem? When you know what’s different about your book, you are more able to consider who the difference will benefit the most.
After you know the type of reader you feel your book would help the most, you can align every other decision with this information.
Understand the impact you want to make
As well as knowing exactly who you want to help by marketing your book, you should stop and consider the type of impact you want to have.
Think about the experience you want people to walk away with after reading your work.
If you’re not sure about the type of impact your book could have, here is some food for thought.
- Entertainment. Entertainment is a valuable aim for fiction authors and nonfiction writers alike. Providing joy through fiction is a great way to impact the world, while nonfiction books are a lot more likely to be absorbed if they are also an exciting read.
- Inspiration. The ability to inspire other people is one of the most precious things about a book. Do you want to offer a book that provides people with a sense of inspiration and motivation in their personal life, based on your own journey? Or do you want to inspire people to care about and take action on a social cause?
- Information. Books are an invaluable place to find deep information that goes beyond the surface-level content a lot of people consume on a day to day basis. Finding a way to offer the best and most helpful information on a topic is one way to make your book as impactful as possible.
It’s exciting to find the type of impact you want your book to have. There are so many different ways to benefit the world through your book. What type of change do you want to make?
Find the best marketing channels
After you know the type of reader you want to impact, and how you want to help them, it’s time to think about how to reach them.
Every relevant reader you can reach is another life you have a chance of changing.
So how can you find the most relevant ways to get your book in front of the people it can help the most?
First, it’s important to realize you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Think about books that are similar in some way to your own. Where are their authors going to promote them? If you follow authors within your genre or niche, you can easily see where they are promoting their books. Could you follow in their footsteps?
Second, think about how you can align the impact you want your book to have with the marketing channels you choose. For example, let’s say the major impact you want to have is inspiring the people who read your book. Are there inspirational blogs you could appear on? Is the tone of your marketing material inspirational itself, so that it is more likely to appeal to the right reader?
Finally, don’t be afraid to do things differently and go with your gut feeling. While it’s sensible to invest your time into proven marketing methods and channels, you can combine this with a certain amount of activity that is simply whatever appeals to you. It’s important to retain a sense of fun and possibility so that marketing doesn’t become something boring that you dread.
Learning the most effective ways to reach your intended readers involves trial and error and is a growth process. If it ever becomes too overwhelming or frustrating, try and stay focused on the big picture.
All your effort will be worth it when your book makes a real difference in someone’s life.
Measure the difference your book makes
It can be easy to lose sight of your original aims in the aftermath of a book launch. You can get caught up in the number of reviews you managed to get, download numbers on various days, and other metrics that might not be directly aligned with impact.
Before you next launch a book that you hope will have a major impact, stop and think about how exactly you will measure that impact.
For example, if you release a work of fiction that you want to bring joy to people’s lives and offer escapism, you might want to look out for certain language in the feedback you receive and the reviews you get. If you offer a book based on your life, are people taking the key lessons from it? This allows you to understand exactly how your book is being received, so you can make sure this is aligned with your intention.
You should also feel free to measure whatever is most meaningful to you. Let’s say your intended impact was to inform people about a social issue close to your heart. The number of people who downloaded and shared a free chapter of your work might be a more meaningful measure of this than the total revenue it produced.
When it comes to measuring your impact, choose your measurements carefully. Make sure that you are focusing on the things that most directly indicate your book is having the impact you hoped for.