The Trends Driving Online Book Marketing

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The Trends Driving Online Book Marketing

20 ways to promote your book before it's published. How to market a book before it's published to spark sales with self-published book marketing tips by Smith Publicity

Several trends are driving the most recent changes in the book PR world, and one is the continued growth of online book marketing. It's changing the promotional landscape and presenting new opportunities along with challenges. Also, the enormous competition of so many books being published each week continues to be a factor. Podcasts are continuing to grow in popularity and are progressively replacing radio interviews in the marketing mix. It's as easy for an author to self-produce a podcast as it is to be invited as a guest on an established one – but it takes time to build an audience.

The stay-at-home restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic caused the use of virtual (online) book tours to skyrocket. They allow authors to participate in TV shows and appear at conferences without the cost and time needed to travel. It means much more can be accomplished in a shorter time with less disruption to life. There does remain an appeal for going in person when time and circumstances allow. But the pandemic considerably lessened the bias against appearing virtually. Printed newspapers also continue to disappear, but their journalism lives online. Successful ones transition more each year.

Independent bookstores are primarily on life support after the pandemic. Some will recover and resume their businesses, but many are closed or forever changed. Those that have been able to sell books online to their loyal customers have had better survival rates. But if successful online, some may choose to remain virtual and skip operating their stores. The expectation is that in-person events and book signings will resume ultimately, but it's going to be a slow process. Author appearances often were considered among the most potent promotional opportunities for independent booksellers.

Radio interviews continue to decline as part of book marketing programs, as noted earlier, primarily due to the explosive growth of podcasts. Long-form podcasts which aren't interrupted with commercials can be far better platforms for author interviews in the long run. That said, not everything will remain online, and people's desire for human contact will cause many legacy businesses and media to resume in person. Success requires sticking a balance and being adaptable for your book marketing plans as things continue to change. You need to begin with an excellent program and then emphasize what works.

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