Some writers think that writing their book is the hardest part. That’s just the beginning. Out of the c.900 interviewees I’ve spoken to, I’d say 90-95% have answered “marketing” when I ask them, “What’s your least favourite aspect of your writing life?” It’s mainly because it’s so time-consuming so I thought I’d set up this page to help you a little along the way. I’ve had quite a few guest bloggers talk about marketing too…
- Bill Munro, Catherine Lundoff, Christopher Profeta, CS Lakin, Gary Showalter, Eric Muss-Barnes, Feather Schwarz Foster, Heather Green, Jamie Cawley, Jane Wenham-Jones, Judith Marshall, Kathryn Jones, Kim Dalferes, Lev Raphael, Patricia Fry, Phyllis Zimbler Miller, Rachel Abbott 1, Rachel Abbott 2, Robert Rosen, Sarahjane Funnell, Terri Morgan.
and on other sites (I will be adding more but I spotted this the day I created this page, 11th March 2014)…
- Attention-getting Tactics for Authors by Carol Dwyer.
So, what do you do to market your book?
- You create a website or blog – I recommend http://WordPress.com because you can do so much for free. They have videos on how to do pretty much everything from setting up the blog to maintaining it and if you need to know something, they’ll usually be a YouTube.com video with someone showing you how.
- You have profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and more, perhaps not the twenty-four I’ve joined and listed on my Contact Me page, but you do have to be out there to promote your book, or better still have others promote your book. “Please buy my book” is the swiftest way to get de-friended (on Facebook) / de-followed (on Twitter). Interact with people. If they’re interested in you, they could be interested in your writing. If they’re interested in your writing, they might just go and buy your book. I know of authors whose fans have set up Facebook pages for them and promote their writing on their behalf… for free!
- Guest on writing-related blog. Mine’s a good start, but then I would say that. I have a list of other WordPress sites so you could approach them and / or reblog articles of interest on to your blog (that’s just one great thing about WordPress) to drive traffic to both sites. You could always hire a PR and/or blog tour person.
- You can chat on the likes of Kindle Boards, Pinterest, Google+, Goodreads, LinkedIn, and of course on Facebook, Twitter etc. and get people to know you so that they become interest in what you have to talk about, write about and therefore gain interest in your book/s.
- Write more than one book. I know it’s hard enough to write one but if someone buys, say, the first in your series, and loves it, they’ll buy your other/s and tell people about it / them. Some writers don’t like doing this (or agree with it), but I’d recommend having one of your books (the first if you have a series) for 99c (c.77p) or less so that readers will try you and then hopefully buy more and recommend you.
- I only have one novel available but several short story collections. It’s actually my Writer’s Block Workbooks which sell the best because it’s a nicher market than fiction. Although my blog has done well for getting me exposure online, it’s not sold a lot of books so I still need to work on my marketing… which takes time I don’t usually have but must make more of an effort to find.
- I know a contemporary romance writer who sells c. 50,000 eBooks a month (at $2.99 each) because she had grown a fan base so large that they set up Facebook groups and talk about her… so they do her marketing for her. That’s what we all strive for.
Other Marketing Tips
Do you have tips for authors to market their books? If so, complete the form below and I’ll list them here…
- Joss Landry says, “I tried Book Bub and loved it. Will definitely do it again. Also I like the powerful wave of a great Kirkus Review. Reviews are definitely the way to go.” Thank you, Joss. I’m on their mailing list and they often have freebies that Digital Books Today doesn’t have.
- Lesley Fletcher says, “I would suggest authors own their name everywhere possible, including a web site. Every time there is a ‘new’ social media site happening, that is what I do and so now no one else can nab it and I turn up on the first page of Google. If writers have already purchased domain names in the name of their book(s), it is an easy fix to re-direct to a new site. At the same time as purchasing my name site, I aligned myself with Inspiration Import which highlights what I represent in a broader sense than me, me, me. This way when I have a new book, poem, play or piece of art, each representation (should) reflects my point of view as well as a product. I hope this explanation makes sense.” It does to me. Thank you, Lesley.
- Stephen Davenport suggests, “I have used my novel, “Saving Miss Oliver’s” as prescribed homework reading for workshops on leadership of independent schools by taking situations from the novel and using them as case studies. Though fiction, the novel is about a classic leadership problem in the politically fraught culture of an independent (aka private) girls’ boarding school. I know the world of the novel intimately because I have had a long career as a professional in such schools. School leaders came to the workshop to practice decision making and problem solving by solving the problems laid out in the cases. Because they knew the characters and the setting intimately from having read the novel, they were very engaged with the cases and felt their authenticity. The workshops were successful. Perhaps there are other novels whose writers could use as case studies. It worked for me.” What a great idea, Stephen, thank you. I teach creative writing so will definitely try that.
- Kim Dalferes posted on Facebook: New site for posting/marketing your book – eBookSoda. Has anyone else used them? It’s currently FREE. Thought I would share, can’t hurt, right? Do let me know how you get on.
- Smashwords creator, Mark Coker, has published a free marketing guide.
Thank you for reading and contributing, and good luck!