Ah yes. Book marketing. You may love it. Or you may hate it. But you can't avoid it.
But then who would want to? Avoid book marketing, that is. Your hands, or even both hands, might be waving in the air at the moment, saying, "Me, me, me!" It’s an established fact that many hate the marketing aspect of being a writer. However, no matter how we feel, there is no escaping the fact that book marketing is vital for every author in today’s publishing world. The number of books published each day grows at an alarming rate.
So far, you may be thinking this makes for depressing reading. You may be thinking that you can’t properly engage in book marketing. Here’s a thought: why not change your thinking? The brain is a wonderful thing. If you tell it you can’t market, you’re right. If you tell it you can, you’re right. Your brain will believe anything you tell it to believe. So, what now?
First things first. Repeat after me: the best time to start book marketing is right now. Grab a notebook, sheet of blank paper or open a document on your computer, start an Evernote file, but do it now. Start your marketing plan. (Check out this blog article for more on creating your own book marketing strategy.)
Write down everything you have already done to market your book. You will find you have done more than you thought you had. If you think your list is depressingly small, it just means your list of opportunities will be all the greater. Think now about economy of scale. If you do one thing a week more than you're doing now, in a year you will have carried out fifty-two new marketing activities to get your book noticed. Two a week is all it takes. You get the picture.
The best time to start #bookmarketing? Right now. #indieauthor #iartg #asmrg @WendyHJones
Here are ten ideas to get you started.
Use a social media scheduler such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Commun.it or Coschedule to schedule regular posts to social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Please note using these platforms to post to Facebook currently means you may run into issues with their terms and conditions.
Follow industry leaders and other writers on twitter and take note of what they are tweeting about. This will keep you up to date. Retweet them and respond to them and this will keep you on their radar. Invariably they will respond and retweet you. You will also be providing value to your followers.
Use photos and videos effectively in social media. Posts that include images are more likely to be seen.
Make sure you have a Facebook Author Page. However, this will have limited reach. Therefore, alongside this, run a Facebook readers group. I have found there is a lot of interaction within my Facebook group. Try to post one thing there every day.
Set up a Facebook group which will help others. For example, I have set up a group called Killer Marketing Techniques for Writers. Those in the group help each other with marketing ideas and also marketing.
Make sure your author brand is strong. You'll waste much of your book marketing energy if it isn't. My name, Wendy H. Jones, is my major brand. Then, within that, all my covers and titles convey Scottish Crime Fiction. The titles of my DI Shona McKenzie series all start with Killer’s… So, my marketing group has killer in the title. If I give a talk or do a presentation I use titles such as Writing a Killer First Line. This keeps the titles of my books in people’s minds. Numerous authors have rebranded their books and relaunched them to ensure they get the branding just right.
Make sure your #authorbrand is strong. You'll waste much of your #bookmarketing energy if it isn't. #indieauthor @WendyHJones
Approach local coffee shops and see if they would like you to do a book signing. I have done several book signings in coffee shops in and around Dundee. Speak to bookshops and ask if you can have a book launch or a book signing. Each of my books has been successfully launched in Waterstones. Look out for book fairs and local fairs and festivals and take a table where you can hold your own book singing. Take it one step further and run your own book fair, especially in the run up to Christmas.
Apply to speak at literary festivals and events. Say yes to any opportunities which come up. I said yes to speaking on a local radio show and now present my own book show. Keep an eye out for opportunities. I was recently interviewed on local television. A Scottish station was looking for interesting stories in Dundee, I pitched them, and they got in touch.
Widen your horizons. I write adult crime books, young adult mysteries and was then asked to write a picture book. Of course, I said yes. This means my name is heard in many different ways.
I've started with the free activities but paid advertising such as Amazon ads, Facebook ads, BookBub, etc. are almost a necessity these days. I would advise a word of caution before paying money to any agency you’ve never heard of.
There's a lot to do and a lot to keep track of when you're marketing your books and yourself as an author. Buy a wall planner and write down what you are going to do on what date. Stick to it and start to move your book sales forward.
I hope these ideas have given you something to think about. Of course, there are many more, but this is a good overview. If you would like to know more, check out my book Power Packed Book Marketing: Sell More Books.
Ingenium Books has been asked to deliver a 90-minute webinar guiding indie authors on how to craft their own marketing strategy. Find out more and sign up here.
Wendy H Jones is the author of Power-Packed Book Marketing, Sell More Books. She is also best-selling author of the award-winning DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries. Her young adult mystery, The Dagger’s Curse, was a finalist in the Woman Alive Readers’ Choice Award. She is president of the Scottish Association of Writers, an international public speaker, runs conferences and workshops on writing, motivation, and marketing, and is the founder of Crime at the Castle, Scotland’s newest Crime Festival. Her first children’s picture book, Bertie the Buffalo, was published October 2018.
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