Marketing A Book Through A Pandemic

The United States is running record-high numbers as it enters its fifth month of trying to navigate around, or negotiate with, a silent, invisible killer. Do authors stand a chance?

Before corona infected America and shut down the economy, marketing a book was something many authors either avoided, did poorly, or did OK but with reluctance, fear, and uncertainty. Well, corona adds another layer of confusion and challenge to the equation. So how does one market a book during the roller-coaster era the pandemic has brought upon us?

Corona brings a lot of uncertainty to the book playing field. We simply struggle to plan ahead when one really has no idea where the nation will be three, six, or even nine months to a year from now. We can, however, plan on certain things. Corona doesn’t impact your social media, advertising, or authors doing online events. It does, however, limit travel, and public events, including bookstore signings, library appearances, and paid speaking gigs at various events and conferences.

You should have a sound book marketing plan that is based on certainty and likelihood. But you can allow for some time, budget, and mindshare to be dedicated to a wish-list, the unknowables regarding public speaking events. Assume there will be no events in public for the rest of the year, but if that should change look to capitalize on that.

Authors should certainly look at:

  • Posting on key social media platforms, consistently and often.
  • Spending time on creating quality content.
  • Connecting with more followers on each platform.
  • Generating ways to increase your follower totals.
  • Mastering online tools to push a book.
  • Participating in events online, from bookstore-on-zoom signings to conferences, seminars, and courses.
  • Finding groups – non-profits, churches, businesses, government agencies – that would want to buy your book.
  • Pursuing opportunities to promote with the news media, via book reviews, op-eds, by-line articles, interviews, feature stories, excerpts, etc.

The core basics of book marketing remain the same even during a catastrophic pandemic. You simply must craft a relevant, interesting message and find ways to share it with someone. That is it at its most simple form. You simply need to reach out – to someone, anyone and often – and ask for something, anything. Then do it again and again. If one door is closed, go to the open door.

If the doors can’t be found, create new ones.

How do you market during corona? You work smart and hard at it. You don’t get depressed or feel boxed in. Instead, you step up and make things happen!

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