Regardless of how you publish your book, expect to do one thing when you are not busy writing your next book: Marketing.
There are many authors out there who have shared their marketing stories, and the lessons they have learned, good and bad. Here we will review two of them, but first let’s take a look at a couple maxims to keep in mind.
Expect to learn about marketing, and to do some of it yourself.
Reading a couple of these guides is beneficial to new authors, and are great refreshers to those who have been around. After perusing a few of these, you’ll start to see similar concepts: Creating your author platform, finding your market (target audience), connecting with your fans (gaining their permission), etc. Are these new ideas? No, every one of them is out of Marketing 101, just applied to publishing.
The internet is a powerful tool to market your book.
The internet is so vast, it can take time to reach people and not get lost among thousands also trying to get readers’ attention.
Think about how many times an ad flashes on the television or computer screen before you take notice. When you put some thing in your “save list” on your favorite on-line store, how long does it sit before you buy it? As with any product, there’s a fine line between putting forth enough effort to get your book noticed and being annoying. But you need to make the effort. Your book won’t just sell on its own. So here are some highlights on two useful resources to help you get the word out:
Shelley Hitz‘s 9 Strategies to Build & Grow Your Author Platform is a quick guide that makes sure you have all the basics of an author platform down pat. Most know they need a website/blog as their home base, but too many think they need to be on every social media site out there. Not the case, as Hitz writes, focus on one or two. Ideally, ones that you’ll actually use and fit your book. In other words, if you’re going to tweet once a month, why bother? As Hitz details, directly finding your target audience, getting to know them, gaining direct access (e-mail) lists, giving them content (another marketing essential), will do far more than having 100s of Facebook posts.
So you have your platform, but what about publishing your book? Joanna Penn‘s Successful Self-Publishing is a nuts and bolts guide on the how-to of publishing. If you are completely new to New Publishing, this book gives a run down on what to expect. Penn also outlines the principles of marketing. She gives some great tips, but a lot of it centers about writing more (more on this in another post). If you take a look at her site, she has written quite a few, so she has a little experience in this field.
Marketing takes patience, trial and error, and a little experimentation. It will be easier — or perhaps less frustrating — if you start from a solid foundation.