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).
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.