Many authors will tell you . . . “writing isn’t the hard part. It’s the marketing.” As the market continues to get flooded by everyone under the sun who has had a book in their head, it becomes evermore important for a writer to create their presence, their brand, their own way on social media. The recommendation from the pros in the book industry is to find your niche. It will be the perfect niche that will hook your writers.
Initially, it will be easy for you to find other authors. In following them, and they in turn following you, your presence will expand on social media. However, it will quickly become apparent from the frequented #hashtags out there, that gaining a following of only other authors will not sell your books. Your numbers will go up to be sure. But unfortunately, not your sales. Only your mates that are fellow authors might buy your book. For you see, other authors are trying to sell their own books. You must find readers. But a good start is to build your brand by promotion of fellow authors.
In building up a colleagial relationship with fellow authors, you must promote their books. Tweet them, blog them, facebook them. Extol your fellow author’s talents. In turn, if they are savvy about book marketing, they will return the favor and promote yours. One such writers conference that encourages such efforts is Lexicon. According to the philosophy here, readers would much rather hear another author promoting a strong book, as opposed to an author screeching “Buy my book.” As such, it is important that you promote brands that match your own caliber of writing and style. Promoting every wanna-be writer out there, one whose material isn’t quality will water down your brand. Preview their work, surf their blog and webpage, then if you like what you see, promote away!
Here are two examples of successful Indie marketing journeys:
The first is a pair of writers, Buck Steinke and Ken Farmer. Both have presence on social media. Their niche? #historicalfiction and #militaryfiction. As such, in developing their marketing plan, they booked themselves into events which characterized the themes of their writing. Some of their most successful sales have been gun shows, military gatherings and cowboy events. In these events, they dress the part in character. Set up a display with objects related to the theme. They visit. Greet. And yes, even flirt. The results? Sales. Sales. Sales out the wazoo! One of their books, The Nations is now in the top 50 books on Amazon in historical fiction. Wow!
A second example is even more grassroots. Brinda Carey is a survivor of incest and domestic abuse. Her book tells of that story. Brinda who initially found it hard to talk about the subject, must less write about it, found comfort in sharing her story to help other women. As such, she speaks at women’s shelters, public health forums, groups which attempt to prevent domestic violence. Her tweets and blogs are directed at helping other women break free of the imprisonment of domestic violence and abuse. She provides them comfort and strength. It is through her public speaking appearances that she has sold over 1000 ebooks in the first year of publication for her debut memoir, Don’t Cry Daddy’sHere.
Finding a niche isn’t easy. Sometimes it is hit or miss. From what I have learned in seeing a work of my own, Flying Solo published this year, I can already see the mistakes I made initially, that could have boosted sales. But no need to cry over spilt milk. A historical fiction, well written has no expiration date. One advantage of the genre to be sure. Take your time, do your research. Explore and experiment with several multi-tiered layers of marketing. Be a hawk! But most of all, don’t give up and keep on writing! The world is waiting to read your words.