Guest Author: Rebecca Hamilton
A lot of articles focus on how to market your book once you’ve published. Admittedly, I haven’t gotten there yet. I have some interested publishers, but also an open to the new trend of self-publishing. I’ve started putting thought into marketing early on. In this day and age, whether you go the traditional route or not, you will have to do a lot of self promotion for your books. A lot of authors say that when their books are published, they spend so much time marketing that they don’t have the time to write. I think that’s why it helps ease the burden to start building your fan base early, and there’s a certainly more than a few things you can do to successfully market your book.
1) Quality. The most important thing, in my opinion, is make it the best book you can! There are great sites like scribophile.com where you can get feedback from the writing community to help you polish your book into shape. If you don’t want to get story/character level commentary from other writers, you can try beta readers instead, but I do recommend trying a writing community as well even if it’s only to help you polish your grammar and punctuation.
2) Exposure. Once your manuscript is in good shape, work on getting some exposure. There are more sites than I can name for this, but I’ll say Authonomy.com and BookCountry.com to name a couple. While both of those sites serve additional purposes, they are perfect to use as a platform to showcase your work. They’re also great sites for social networking.
3) FaceBook,Twitter. It’s never too early to start building a fan base. Even if your publication date is months away, you can get the ball rolling in this area. Likewise, even if you’ve been published for a while, it’s never too late to start! Try to focus on connecting with your readership. For example, if your book is about vampires, try meeting new twitters through the #vampires hashtag. On FaceBook, you can join vampire groups or groups that love other vampire books.
4) Your Personal Website/Blog. An author website is another great way to have a platform for your work. Post trailers, sample chapters, and updates. You can also blog on related topics. For example, some people who write paranormal mysteries may give their reader free short stories, serial blog stories, their take on news stories, or articles on paranormal activity and myths. I recommend Weebly for a friendly interface to create an author page/blog.
5) I’ve also learned a lot of great tips through marketing seminars. Every year, there is a free workshop held by MuseItUpPublishing called The Muse Online Writer’s Conference. You read that right. It’s free! And there are usually a few workshops during that month that go more in depth on marketing (as well as other things).
6) Book Blogs. See if you can’t find any book blog reviewers to review your book on their blog. (Try saying that 5 times fast). Offer them a free copy. Maybe even give a limited time coupon they can give out on their site, so that anyone who reads their blog and decides to buy your book can get a good deal.
7) Patience. Remember that even when you are a savvy marketer, it takes time. Word of Mouth will always be your BEST tool. And that’s not something you have when getting started. But as more of your books sell, more people will be talking and reviewing. I believe this is why some writers might only sell 100 books their first month, 200 books their second, 500 their third, and by 6 months, they’ve shot up to selling 5-10 thousand books a month. Don’t despair; don’t give up. Believe in your product and keep at it :)
Items 6 and 7 are obviously things you can do after the launch of your novel. This list isn’t all inclusive by any means, though I hope I’ve given some pointers on a phase of marketing that isn’t often talked about: The build up before the launch and going into the launch. Many successes to you all!
Rebecca Hamilton is a freelance writer of Paranormal Fantasy, Horror, and Mainstream Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and three kids, along with multiple writing personalities that range from morbid to literary. She enjoys dancing with her kids to television show theme songs and would love the beach if it weren’t for the sand. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently.
Follow Rebecca’s Writer Blog.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia