One thing a lot of new writers – and some old hands – fail to appreciate is marketing, Yourself and your books need to be marketed. You cannot release a book on Amazon and then sit back and expect the millions to roll in.
Even J.K. Rowling and James Patterson actually have to do some marketing. Granted, not much, as their respective publishers will devote resources to sell their books.
But yours? From a newbie? Or from the small or independent publishing route? You don’t have a marketing division at your beck and call. Wait, I take that back, you actually do.
Only thing is, you’re it. You are the entire marketing division so you’d better get out there and market your backside off.
Unless of course you are independently wealthy and only write books as a hobby. In which case, I hate you. And so do all of us writers who have to work 30 hours a day, 10 days a week at our craft.
There’s no sure fire way to 100% success in marketing either. But there are many ways to go about doing it. The key is to find the combination that works best for you that generates sales and allows you time to write your next book, making more money so you can write more books. This is a cycle you want to ride for a very long time.
Book signings, personal appearances at Cons, going on radio shows (over the air and on the Internet there are no shortages of shows looking for writing guests) and book signings. Not every appearance generates a sale, but most do and some lead to sales down the line.
Social media is a huge tool and there are many sites to ply your wares. I myself limit mine to Facebook groups (you have no idea how many groups are out there for every genre as well as generic readrs) and Twitter along with this website and an e-mail list. I have that limit because I could easily spend 12 hours a day posting links and ads on those two platforms, but I’d never write another word if I did that.
The one thing to remember is this: Never pass up a chance at shameless self-promotion. Have you written a romance novel and are posting a comment on Twitter about a publicized celebrity romance? Tag your book on the end of your comment with a link to where it can be purchased.
Keep business cards with your name and website on them to hand out at any opportunity. I had postcards printed with the book cover for When The Gods Fell that will be released on Sept. 4th. I will be handing those cards out at O Comic Con in Omaha/Council Bluffs and again at DragonCon in Atlanta.
In case you were wondering, yes it does matter.
During the two months that I spent dealing with the move to Omaha and getting settled in here, I didn’t do any marketing at all. And my sales numbers cratered.
But in the last week that I have been actively marketing again, I’m seeing sales spike upward once again. Part of the reason is due to the LibertyCon special I and several others ran, selling our books at a discount. But without telling anyone about them. there would not have been any sales at all.
So, start working in marketing into your writing schedule. You will be surprised how much you can get done without spending too much time away from writing your next book once you get the hang of it.
Cut and paste is your friend. But, uh, don’t overdo it on Facebook. I once launched an marketing blitz to announce a new book release on 38 groups I was a part of in about a 30-minute span. I used the same tx and the same image for all 38 posts.
I got sent to Facebook jail for a day for my efforts.
Limit yourself to 8-12 posts, take off for an hour or two, then come back and drop 8-12 more until you’ve it all of your target groups. Then take a full day off the next day efore resuming on Day Three. You’ll avoid Facebook Prison that way and you’re less likely to get booted from a group for spamming.
Speaking of, make sure when you join a group that they allow authors to post links to their own books. I’ve had some unhappy exchanges over this. Angry potential customers rarely turn into paying customers.
Just remember, get out their and market yourself. If you don’t no one else will.