Seen and Sold: 10 Ways to Make Your Book Impossible to Ignore

book marketing Feb 01, 2024

"The End"—two beautiful words every author loves typing (or writing) after pouring their heart and soul into a hundred or more pages. It’s no small feat that you managed to finish your manuscript—many don’t!

Little do you realize that “The End” is only the beginning of your journey to claim visibility status.

Now, you’re stepping into the marathon of getting noticed in a sea of books, each one jostling for attention. Daunting is probably an understatement!

No author wants their book, packed full of valuable thoughts, stories, and expertise, to sit unnoticed on a shelf or lost in the digital abyss of online stores.

Visibility involves connecting with your audience, forming a community around your work, and positioning yourself as an expert in your field. Visibility allows your ideas to resonate, inspire, and make an impact.

So, what does it take to get noticed? I’ve compiled ten ways you can use to make sure you and your book have an opportunity to stand out in the ocean of authors and titles.

1. Dare to Be Different

Have you ever noticed how certain books just seem to stand out on the shelf? They call out to you with an invisible force. The reason? They are not afraid to be different.

Think back to the last physical or online bookstore you visited. Did you see rows of books with similar covers, titles, and themes? Now, think of your book. What makes it unique? Does it whisper, or does it sing from the shelves?

Consider Jackie, a client of mine, who wrote about urban gardening. At a local book fair, she wanted to do more than just display her book. Because of her love of gardening, she decided to create a mini-garden at her booth. She brought a wheelbarrow full of soil and live plants. People couldn’t help but stop and touch, smell, and eventually talk about gardening. And guess what? Her book was a sellout.

2. Break the Rules

Who said all book covers needed to look the same? Or that every self-help book needs a ‘how-to’ in the title? Challenge the norms.

Consider the story of Alex, who wrote a book on finance. Instead of the usual serious design, he chose a cover with a bold, abstract explosion of colors. It didn’t scream finance, and that’s precisely why it worked. It broke the pattern, and people were intrigued.

3. Think Like a Child

When did you last approach your writing with the same creativity as a child? Children view the world with bright colors and limitless possibilities. As adults, we often limit our creativity by considering what’s practical and what’s been done before.

Consider a new point of view. What might a ten-year-old say about your book? Perhaps it’s time to infuse some of that imaginative thinking into your work. Ask a 5th grader for some creative ideas.

4. Engage with Stories

People are naturally attracted to stories because they help us understand the world around us. So, tell the story of your book.

Why did you write it?

What journey does it promise the reader?

A compelling narrative can be the golden thread that draws readers in.

5. Connect on a Personal Level

In today’s digital world, personal touches stand out. Try slipping a personal note into each book. Or, share your writing journey on social media and at readings. These small acts deepen the reading experience and build unique connections. They turn casual readers into loyal fans. Sharing your story adds a human element to your brand. It makes your work relatable and memorable in our often impersonal digital age.

6. Use Striking Visuals

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a powerful image on your cover or in your marketing can grab attention. Think about the visual representation of your book’s core message. Make it so striking that it’s impossible to ignore. An eye-catching cover acts as a beacon to potential readers, compelling them to take a closer look. The right visual can instantly convey the essence of your book and evoke the emotions you want readers to experience. 

Imagine a book about human strength. The cover displays a single dandelion in a city, symbolizing resilience. It captures attention and hints at a story of determination and power. The cover reflects the book’s theme and inspires readers to consider the unstoppable power of hope.

7. Create an Experience

Enhance your book readings by turning them into immersive events. If your book is about history, consider dressing in period costumes to bring the past to life for your readers. If your book explores futuristic themes, create a tech-inspired setting to give attendees a glimpse of tomorrow.

For example, if your book focuses on mindfulness and meditation, consider hosting a reading in a serene garden or peaceful indoor space with soft lighting and cushions. You could start with a short meditation session before discussing the themes of your book and giving a live demonstration of the practices you talk about. 

This will create a memorable event and provide attendees with a hands-on experience of the benefits outlined in your book. It brings your nonfiction work to life and connects with readers with deeper impact.

8. Harness the Power of Community

Create a network of people who are passionate about your book. Initiate conversations on various social media platforms, establish a book club, or collaborate with groups that align with the message of your book. Committed readers serve as the most effective advocates for your work.

9. Be the Face of Your Book

Many authors try to hide behind their books, but readers want to connect with you as much as they do with your writing. Be the face of your book — literally. Do live readings, Q&A sessions, and interviews. Let people see your passion, your quirks, and your face light up when you talk about your work. Your passion and enthusiasm are contagious and the best tools to market and sell your book. 

Now you can forget those sleazy sales techniques!

10. Build a Signature Style

Consider turning your book and yourself into a well-known brand. Just like your favorite coffee brand, create a clear logo, color scheme, and overall feel. Create a unique look for your book covers, website, and author photos. Whether it’s unique fonts, a specific color scheme, or a recurring theme, make sure it becomes associated with you and your writing.

Now’s the time to take a moment and consider your book from the reader’s perspective. What will make them pause, pick up your book, and decide it’s the one they can’t leave without?

Make it visible, make it vibrant, and, above all, make it yours. You and your book deserve the recognition!