The dreaded M word for most authors is marketing. Marketing, marketing, marketing! And I don’t mean the cute Mother Goose tune about “taking a pig, giggety gig.” Some authors believe that the hardest job is the writing. The writing is easy. Great marketing can make your book into a NYT best seller. Poor marketing can relegate even the most well written book into oblivious resale shops. Marketing is not something that is taught by the publishing houses. It is encouraged, but not taught. If you are self published your book will remain unknown unless you are a marketing champion. If you hire a publicist, make sure they are savvy about today’s book market. Gone are the days when 20,000 copies will sell themselves. But don’t shy away, one can learn to market. You must embrace it with shameless self promotion. Babble about your book. Let’s break it down with some tips to make it easier:
M Make the most of every opportunity to talk about your book. Don’t shy away. Tweets, blogging, and facebook are all your friends.
A Advocate for your book. Whenever you around anyone, have fliers, business cards of your book, and information to readily hand out. Make it easy for people to find and read your book.
R Research, research, research. Look at the type of customer who seems to be attracted to your book and zero in on where you can find those people. Bookclubs, meetups, church groups. Find where they are hanging out and plan to be there. Consider public speaking. Dave Lieber the Yankee Cowboy is the champion on this. There are online communities like Createspace and forums, like Indie Publishers in your own towns to discuss these topics for authors.
K Kismet. Sometimes the starts align and put you in the right place at the right time to meet a person who loved reading your book and writes a great review. Not all the best reviews are paid for! Many are free. Look for Amazon top reviewers.
E Educate yourself on how to go about self promotion. Dont’ shy away from the experiences of other authors. Take a few workshops on book promotion through meetup groups. Read, read, read the outstanding free publications all over the internet. A great example of that is Author Media. Learn the trick of the trade on how to link your tweets, blog posts, and facebook postings to make them synergistically bring in more followers and fans.
T Take the time to learn the ins and outs. Be patient. Start a momentum and build it. There are no secret tricks to marketing. Be ready to learn from what works and what doesn’t. Collect ideas and test them to see what gets the best bang for you buck. You don’t have to spend all the profits from your books on paid services to market. Great quote from one author, “make sure you get some promo copies of your book into the hands of the reader. Remember your slogan is not ‘buy my book’ but read my book. Word of mouth in this business is everything! One reader who share with another and another and another. Best example of this, The Help.
So, don’t get frustrated or have a panic attack when someone in the industry asks you about your marketing plan. Follow the tips here, make yourself a list of activities and like NIKE says. . . . just do it!