It is never enough to merely write and publish a book. The next step is to get it into the hands of others. That's where it gets tricky. Thankfully, I'm getting guidance and advice from the best in the business.
1) Design Graphics for use in social media
Whether your book is published by a mainstream publisher or you're a self-published author, it needs to be seen by other people, and there is no wider audience than on social media
Weeks to months before printing, the cover of the book has to be finalised and it should be designed to catch the eye. Thus, unless you're a designer yourself, get one to come up with a custom design for you.
Yes, sites like Canva are very useful for putting your own graphics together and I highly recommend them for your regular posts on social media. However, this isn't just any typical graphic.
A professionally designed book cover allows you to stand out from the thousands of uninspiring book covers out there. When people see your cover, they will associate it with you and what you represent - your brand. Do you really want them to come away with a poor impression of you?
Once your book cover is finalised, use its colour scheme for graphics associated with the book (and, by extension, you as the author). These graphics may include social media banners, profile pictures, marketing materials and so on. Keeping things consistent is the key here. Again, I recommend that you get a designer to do these things for you, at least for the first run. You can do your tweaks and changes on your own later.
These graphics will make your book more visible over social media and invariably lead to increased interest in what you have written, which leads to more people reading your book.
2) Tell Others about your book
Along with the appropriate graphics, write an introduction for your book. Tell others what it's about and what they can learn from it. Show them how this book will improve their lives / make them happier / allow them to do things they didn't know they could etc.
A side-effect of telling others about your book is that you have now publicly committed to this project. This makes you much more likely to complete it, especially since others will keep asking when they can get a copy of it.
Another useful side-effect is the attention those outside of your circle will start to pay towards you and your book. One of these people may be linked to media outlets and help you gain yet more publicity.
With regard to publicity, look for opportunities to share what you've written about - be it through workshops, speaking engagements, media appearances and so on. While you are keeping a lookout, continue to update your captive audience via social media.
You aren't expecting every single person who hears about your book to get a copy but the more people hear about it, the more people will want one. Don't keep such a great work to yourself. Share it with others and let them benefit from your book.
3) Give Copies of your book away
Yes. Give them to people who helped you on your book-writing journey, to your clients (current and potential), and, of course, to your loved ones.
Run contests on social media where you give a copy away as a prize. Give one to that brave soul who first stands up to answer your question when you are giving a talk. Give extra copies to people who know others who may benefit from your book.
You are trying to get your book into as many hands as possible. Though it may seem like an expensive way to do so, giving the book away works. Very well.
Throughout my journey as an author, I was constantly reminded that book sales aren't what I should focus on. They will come and they are important in keeping authors writing (otherwise, we'll have to find other paying professions), but my main priority should be in getting my message out there.
After all, that's why I wrote the book in the first place.