Updated: Dec 14, 2019
I know we’ve been focusing much more on self-publishing guidance the last few weeks. But that’s over as of today. Unless you’re an instant Stephen King or Janet Evanovich, you’re going to need to know how to market your books.
Publishers these days expect authors to step in and handle at least some – if not all – of the book-marketing load. We writers can’t simply rely on marketing agents anymore, if we have those at all.
Just accept that fact and prepare to make the most out of it – because there’s still a lot to make.
It depends greatly on how much worthwhile guidance you get about the book-marketing tips, tricks and tactics at your disposal. There are so many possibilities out there these days that it can feel overwhelming.
Hence the reason we’re listing your main resources down below.
Innovative Editing’s goal is to make the book-writing, editing, publishing and marketing process as smooth as possible. Even so, that doesn’t mean it’s always actually smooth.
Few worthwhile ventures are.
With that said, before we discuss what we’re going to discuss, here’s a bit of good news: Marketing your book can actually be a lot of fun once you get the hang of it.
Once you’ve got your front and back covers done, you’re ready to start the next phase and more common kind of marketing: getting the word out there that your book exists. It might not be what you went into book-writing for, but it’s still part of the (successful) package no matter whether you’re self-published or traditionally so.
If you want to gain an audience of more than just your closest friends and family members, you need to know how to attract a reader base. It involves understanding your product, yourself and your customers.
Essentially, what do you have, who will it appeal to, and what are you comfortable handling?
The first two parts of that are probably too personalized to discuss without a one-on-one consultation. But that last part can be condensed much more easily.
It would be nice if marketing a book involved merely making a few posts or tweets on social media.
“Hi, friends, family and followers,” you could write. “My newly published novel or nonfiction work is here. Buy your own copy and spread the word!”
I’m not saying not to do that. (Though you might want to use slightly more sophisticated language if you do.) It’s just that’s more than likely only going to go so far.
The same goes for relying on word of mouth. It’s probably not going to take you very far if you don’t have a following to begin with.
You need a lot more oomph, perhaps through one or more of these options:
An Official Online Presence – You want to be searchable. And most people search for stuff online. Therefore, it probably won’t hurt to open a separate social media account or two that proudly proclaims your authorship. The same goes for an entire author website, if you can manage it. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate: just a homepage, an “about my book or books” page and a contact page could do.
Ad Placements – This could be through social media, on other people’s websites, in magazines or newspapers, on TV, through book-marketing subscription services, on YouTube, etc. These admittedly can be costly, but they can also be effective… depending on a wide range of factors, of course.
Conventions – There are plenty of genre-specific events that go on around the U.S. and elsewhere in the world that could be worthwhile venues to rent a booth at.
Interviews – Whether online, on TV, over the radio, in a magazine or other printed publication, these can be very effective. If you can snag them. Oftentimes, doing so does mean knowing the right people in the first place though.
There’s more than that, but those are some biggies. And we’ll discuss a "biggie" factor in just about every one of them on Thursday. Call it the art of presenting yourself like someone worth reading, if you will.