If you’re at all involved in online conversations about writing, either via social media or traditional media outlets, you’ve probably heard a lot of chatter about ChatGPT, generative AI, and the way it’s going to impact the publishing industry. And while we’re a long way from AI overtaking human novelists in terms of their writing skill, there are several valuable applications for AI in the marketing of books.
You may perhaps be reluctant to adopt these new tools, but think about it this way: how did old school authors feel about the advent of major changes in publishing? How about book writing software? Or social media? Or the Kindle store? Some were probably just as wary as you are now, and yet all of these have become an established part of every self-published writer’s repertoire.
If you’re interested in dipping your toes into the chatbot pond, and trying out the new tools — that don’t claim to write your book for you — available to authors, here are 5 ways you can experiment with AI in your book marketing.
1. Producing promotional copy
Writing promotional copy, like blurbs, book descriptions, and newsletters, can become a drag. Even the most creative among us can find this type of copywriting difficult, and it’s an entirely different skill set to other types of writing. If you’re struggling to create a blurb for your book, or put together a promotional email gearing readers up for your launch, AI chatbots like ChatGPT can be your best friend.
You’ll definitely not want to use the first thing the AI produces: it probably won’t sound much like you, it may make too many extrapolations or assumptions based on the data you gave it and misrepresent your book, or it may simply miss the mark in terms of tone. But with a few additional prompts and revisions, what ChatGPT produces can be a great first draft to inspire your final version — or help you through writers’ block by eliminating the fear of the blank page.
2. Gaining audience insights
For many of us, the key hurdle to overcome in successful book marketing is knowing exactly who to market to. At times, this may be pretty obvious — but if your book straddles genres, is a niche piece of literary fiction, or is difficult to place in the market at first glance, this can become a real challenge.
Thankfully, there are now tools available to authors to help take the guesswork out of audience identification. Tools like Booxby are able to analyze the content of a novel, and provide a series of marketing-minded suggestions to authors, such as writing style matches, comparative titles, tone tags, and even projected audience size. All these kinds of data can be used to target the right buyers for your book, and can inform the keywords and metadata you choose on sales platforms.
3. Analyzing your book’s cover
A cover can look great, and still be a bad book cover. How? Simple: if it doesn’t capture the essence of the story contained within. Specifically, if a cover doesn’t do a good job of conveying the tone and genre of a story, it’s not going to work when the time comes to market your book.
Of course, your own discernment is a big part in identifying whether your book cover is hitting the mark. But sometimes we can be blinded by our own tastes. If you’re looking for a more objective way to check that your book cover is ticking the right boxes, try out AI tools like Google Cloud API or Amazon Rekognition. These platforms scan and analyze images and give insights into things like visual appeal, genre, and target audience. So if the cover for your cozy mystery comes back identified as paranormal romance, you’ll know it’s time to get to work redesigning!
4. Optimizing Amazon metadata
The world of Amazon categories and keywords is a daunting one — and it’s constantly evolving. Choosing the right labels for your metadata and Amazon page is extremely important for discoverability, aka getting eligible readers’ eyes on your listing. In addition to checking out online resources to help you crack the Amazon algorithm code, you may want to employ some specialist tools, as well.
Tools like Publisher Rocket crunch the numbers and give you intelligent suggestions for which keywords to target and how to optimize your metadata for maximum sales. Simply put, they can pretty much automate the keyword selection process for you. Of course, you should still check their work and that the suggestions make sense for your title, but your process will be much quicker, start to finish.
5. Choosing your price point
Book pricing is a trade off between marketability and profitability, and it’s a hard balance to strike. Luckily, AI dynamic pricing tools can give you some helpful direction. Tools like Revionics take into account market trends, competitor pricing, and sales goals to help establish the right price point for your book — one that will attract customers without selling you short.
AI tools are continuing to evolve at a remarkable rate, and it’s up to you which (if any) you choose to implement into your own routine. You should always be sure to do your research before relying too heavily on any automation, but authors who are willing to ride the wave and adopt tools that work for them will be making their marketing lives easier — and hopefully this article has given you some ideas for where to begin.