Writing your book is only the start of an author’s job.

Your book is released and you’re dancing around celebrating the achievement. After rubbing the cover, reading the blurb on the back, staring at it for the tenth time (or more), almost tripping over your dog in your excitement (or is that just me?) reality hits.

Smacking your forehead with your hand, you realise you have to market your book (at least if you want anyone other than family and friends to read it). Of course, it’s best to start the promotion months before the book is released. If somehow you ran out of time (life gets in the way, I know) you can catch up. (Okay, pull yourself off the floor now).

Writing desk, author, writing spaces

My writings writing space. Usually, a laptop sits where my book, pen and bookmarks are.

When I was working in my second publishing job, marketing was thought to only work for a book during a three-month window. I don’t believe that to be true in this age of online presence. You can continue to engage a readership long after the release of your book.

Most authors want to write but marketing is daunting. I guess there is no point in having a beautiful, well-written book out there if you have no readers. Writers would rather be glued to their seat at their desk than face promoting themselves. Although, YOU CAN be at your workspace to gain publicity. Social media, blogs and other promotional outlets online don’t require you to engage in the outside world. See you don’t even have to leave your desk (though I suggest you do, at least sometimes).

Tips on marketing your book:

  • Create and AIS (Advanced Information Sheet). Including your book, blurb, small bio, book details like ISBN and recommended retail and where it can be bought). Send it to bookstores, stores and libraries. Advanced Information Sheet.
  • Send your book release details to your membership groups. Mine is on Romance Writers of Australia.
  • Create a press release (send to media, press release websites and anywhere you can find). Here’s mine on PRLog Donna Munro’s Latest Novel
  • Take photos of your book, strategically placed beside a coffee cup, spectacles, a beach (whatever) and post to social media using a unique hashtag. Mine for Kendwa’s Secret is #ILoveKendwa
  • Set up a competition for your readers asking them to retweet, Instagram or Facebook your post.
  • Organise a Book Launch (I sold out of books in my first launch).
  • Print bookmarks, posters, flyers; to promote your books.
  • Talk to other authors (networking can open many opportunities).
  • Agree to author talks, pop-up stores and book signings (anything to showcase your book).
  • Ask local stores if bookstores won’t stock your book. (Mine are stocked at Currumbin Creek Newsagency).
  • Always have a book or two in your bag.
  • Thank every single reader with heartfelt words of gratitude (word of mouth sales can be like a bushfire).
  • Love your books and readers will.

Pass on information (like in this blog) to encourage your writing friends. Happy writing. Once again, thank you to my awesome readers. You mean the world to me.

Don’t lose those brilliant story plot ideas

I came across this delightful cartoon. It got me thinking about how often a vivid idea surfaces (I’m sure I’ll remember no matter what) only for it to disappear when I need it. That twisting plot with a wonderful character can become a loose idea with a wilting, unlikeable character because your brain can’t find the inkling upon waking (or when you open your laptop or poise your pen). Unfortunately, if I don’t write it down I can (and often do) forget it.writers, cartoon, funny writing, forgetting ideas

Here are some tips to remember every fantastic idea you get:

  • Keep a notepad by the bed
  • Keep a notepad in your handbag
  • Keep a notepad on your desk
  • Keep a notepad in the kitchen
  • Keep a notepad on your phone
  • Keep a notepad in the bathroom
  • Keep a notepad everywhere (you get it don’t you?)
  • Voice record if you are incapable of writing on a notepad (eg. cartoon above)

Believe me, if you don’t write it, the idea may dissolve like early morning mist. Anyway, notepads are one of the fun writing tools. They come in all shapes, sizes, patterns, colours, formats, binding, shine, matte, bling, fabric and every writer loves them.

Go on. Get out there and find a new notepad. You won’t be sorry because your ideas will live.

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