Marketing Tips for Non-Fiction Christian Authors
After laboring over a book for some time, it can seem easy to simply drop it on social media and tell everyone that it is available. However, that is the worst thing you can do for book sales. I want to give you five ways you can improve or plan to market your book effectively as a Christian author where your genre is non-fiction. Before we jump into these tips, make sure you have created a marketing plan that is planned in advance. Plan all content in advance and start with thinking about how you can integrate my strategies for you.
#1: Bring Your Audience Behind the Scenes & Build Up A Hashtag
Instead of announcing your book once it's finished, bring people along the journey without revealing too many details. A great way to do this is to start conversations about the topic that your book surrounds to stir up conversation and interest. Post correlating scriptures and content that match the theme. When you post the content, use a hashtag. The hashtag doesn't have to be the name of the book but it should be a hashtag that correlates to the theme. This tip will not work if you want to go half-way on interaction. This only works if you desire to really engage your followers throughout the process.
#2 Create Powerful Landing Page to Capture Sales
While you're working on engaging the audience and getting them to talk/be involved, work on your website or do a landing page within your site. I get asked many times about if purchasing a website just for a new book is necessary. It really depends on your marketing strategy and also if you believe that the name is very unique to the point that someone else may publish content that is similar. Having a website that is just for the book helps focus attention solely on the book and nothing else. In my opinion, if you did a site plus domain, the average investment would be around $150-$200 for a full year. If you don't make that money back from your book sales, you may need to figure out if you need to readjust your sales strategy.
Now what should be on the site or landing page? Here are some ideas:
- Summary of the book
- Video including story & impact of the book
- Author Bio w/Professional Headshot
- What void or issue this book addresses & the solutions that it brings
- Testimonials/Endorsements (Send your book to a few people that you respect & that can bring credibility to your book)
- Graphics/Quotes that can be shared on social media
- Where Book Can Be Purchased (If directly through the site, make sure e-commerce is setup)
- Freebie Opt-In (They provide their email, you provide a sample of book + resource)
- Mockup (Graphic) of the book
Here are some examples of book stand-a-lone sites:
Here are some examples of book landing pages within websites:
#3: Present a Pre-Order Deal & Bundles
Pre-Orders are amazing. I love pre-order bundles even more. The strategy behind this is presenting people an incentive to place their orders before the books drop. This helps you have some cash flow to order your first batch of books. It also gets people excited because by pre-ordering they will receive things that people who wait until the book drops won't get.
So let's say the book is $12.99. If they pre-order, they can get the book, t-shirt, and wristband for $30/$35. You can also do bundles if you have previous books out and you want to provide a bundle where they get a few of your previous books plus your new book for a bundle deal. If you don't want to increase on price, you can do the book plus a free digital item such as an e-book, audio download, worksheet, wallpaper,ect.
Here is a list to help:
- Audio Download
- Apparel/Accessory Item (T-Shirt, Hoodie, Wristband)
- Video Teaching/Course
#4: Create Curriculum or Online Video Courses to Further Push Concepts of the Book
One of the greatest ideas that I saw came from Steven Furtwick and the Free Online Bible Study he did via his book Unqualified. It involved portions directly from the book causing many people to purchase the book because in order to fully understand, you needed the book. I loved it! It offered a free way for people to get engaged with the author and the book. It included the video, study questions, and scriptures along with the matching chapter. This was launched along with the book so it was obvious he took out enough time to schedule and get together this content. This is why there is no need to ever rush a book. Never.
Another idea came from John Bevere who launched an online course entitled "Called". It's based upon a chapter from his newest book "Driven by Eternity". It's an online 10 module course that was built using the platform called Kajabi. This is a great way to dive further into particular concepts of the book. This was offered as a paid course.
One of the most popular things that I absolutely love is expanding your book to be a resource for churches. This strategy isn't for everyone because in order to do this, you're going to have to pitch and present your book as something that can be used for curriculum. First, you need to create a separate book as a bible study guide that can be used by small groups, individuals, and churches. If you want to go a step further, you can accompany those books by including videos that match each chapter. These videos need to be professionally shot.
- Making of a Man Small Group Bible Study by Tim Brown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqdI1lshlW0
- Christine Caine, Unashamed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXIctTLaCF4
- Louie Giglio, The Comeback: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bbFI7jmwLM
- Live Full Walk Free Small Group Bible Study by Cindy Bultema: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4AfjzaDYxQ
- You'll Get Through This Small Group Bible Study by Max Lucado: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ii4188UfUHg
#5: Create Challenges, Campaigns, and Strategic Online/Physical Events
I know everybody wants to do a book tour. I get it. However, do you have a strategic plan behind why this is necessary? If so, go for it. However, make sure every move is strategic. You have to know where your audience is and what will work best for them. I often suggest to balance physical with virtual or online events. Once a book is released, many authors stop going hard. You have to keep the momentum going. Create online free challenges linked to the book that you can layout via an email marketing platform and then do a Facebook Ad to engage people to join the challenge. Do online social media campaigns promoting the book indirectly. Telling people to "buy", "buy", "buy" won't work. You have to fill the void. The book itself isn't what fills the void. It's the content itself. If I'm writing on how to fix broken marriages, I need to do some challenges or social media campaigns discussing how to heal broken marriages. I should probably post encouragement about scriptures or tips on how to do these things. I should also address the challenges that couples are facing who are going through this. You have to meet the people where they are before they place your book in the shopping cart and purchase. As much as I love book signings, try to make your event more than you signing your name. It should be educational, fun, and engaging. Shift the focus from purchase to empowerment and being transformed.
Have any further questions about how to market your book? Drop your questions below in the comment area and I'll be sure to respond!