Marketing and Your Author Platform
As a recently published author, I ran head on into the reality known as marketing. The more authors I meet, the more I realize that on some level we’re all in the same boat. It really doesn’t matter how your book was published, the reality is the same. YOU have to promote your book.
I had gone over some marketing points in earlier blogs, but this one sums it all up.
Marketing your book should start as soon as possible, even before the book has been published. Talk about it. Let your friends and family know. Ask them to spread the word as well, word of mouth is valuable. You should lay the groundwork in advance so people will be looking forward to its release.
Let’s break this down into simple steps:
- Define your target audience. This will allow you to prepare your marketing strategy. If you have written a YA novel, you might save yourself a lot of wasted energy promoting it in all the wrong places.
-Create an email for your author/book related business. You will appreciate this later on.
-Create a Goodreads account and include an author page. Take time to explore all offered groups and pages. I honestly think Goodreads is endless…I’m still discovering stuff.
-Use social media like facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Separate your book page from your personal page on facebook, keep it professional. You can also create a separate author page.
-Ask your friends on facebook to share the link to your book page at least once (no one likes to be harassed).
-Search for pages that would be helpful, such as publishers, fellow authors, book clubs etc. Join these book pages.
-Create an author and/or book website.
-List a book giveaway through Goodreads and on blogs or facebook, but not all at the same time.
-Let your local newspaper know they have a new author living in the area, or that their local author has yet another book on the market.
-Ask those who have read it to post a review...not as easy as it sounds ;o)
-Give (yes, give) your book to friends, to blogs or other websites that offer to post reviews (such as Great Minds Think Aloud). Yes I know authors have to pay for the books given, but in the end it will be worth it.
-Make a book trailer (video). Your computer probably has a program such as Windows Media Maker that you can use. You can go on book publishing sites or on YouTube and check them out to get some ideas. There are quite a few posted on the net. Pictures and music can be found on public domain sites if you don’t want to get out there and take pictures.
-Create a blog. Visit other blogs, share comments, information and good news. Post their (other authors) book link in exchange for them posting yours. Participate in a blog tour.
-Link everything together, so your trailer, website and facebook page can be found on Goodreads and the other way around. Write “Click Here to see…” next to your buttons, remember –not everyone is computer literate, so keep it simple for everyone.
-Join local author groups, review groups and literary groups. If you wrote a sci-fi novel, join a sci-fi group as well. These often have fees, but in exchange they organize author signings, presentations and such.
-Go to your local library. If a citizen requests a book they will get it. Donate a book to a school library. Ask about doing an author presentation with the students; make up a quick giveaway…the best 500 word story gets a book. If the book is not school material, look into book clubs or reading clubs as well as community centers.
-Offer your book to local bookstores on consignment. Most of the bigger chains will have to go through the head office before being able to accept it.
-See if your local or community TV/radio station won’t give you a brief interview or at least share your good news. Offer to give a book away here too.
Time for a breath of air…
I suggest you do these one after another so that you can pace yourself. Once you create these pages or sites, it is your responsibility to maintain them. Watch your page stats and keep traffic flowing. After you have one working, add a second one, then a third and so on. Keep a pace that works for you; better to have one great page than half a dozen bad ones. As for content, do you really want to just "copy-paste" the same stuff everywhere? If not, then you need to work at a pace that allows you to create material for each page.
-Most of all, enjoy the process, and don't forget to breathe. Go at your own rate because it can quickly become overwhelming...and remember -you are NOT alone!