It’s the fourth month into the release of my book, The Nun and the Narc, and I know more about marketing than I did a few months ago. My new marketing knowledge hasn’t shot my book to the best seller list, but the way I look at it is knowledge is power. And, hey, if I keep following all the market tips I come across, I can always hope for the big sales, right?
For those who are just starting on their book journey, here are six things I’ve learned that I think are extremely important, especially for writers who are considering signing on with smaller presses with smaller marketing budgets.
- Don’t wait until the editor asks for your book to start figuring out how to market. Search the internet for book review sites and virtual blog tour sites and decide on a plan. Look for blog sites and review sites that have large audiences. The more exposure you give your book, the better the chances of a sale.
- Build your social media before you sell the book. I resisted Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and all the social media things out there. When the editor said, “We want all the authors involved in social media,” I had such a steep learning curve that it became overwhelming and all-consuming.
- Don’t be shy about telling others about your book. Look for every outlet to work it into a conversation, as naturally as possible, of course. You don’t want to come off looking like an idiot by shoving a business card in their hands if they show absolutely no interest. I’ve handed my book cover business cards out to people at Colonial Williamsburg while researching info for another book, to the workers at the post office, to my doctor and dental hygienist when they asked what was new in my life. I’ve even considered leaving a couple on the restaurant table with the tip.
- Let your friends and family work for you as your street gang. Give them book swag (postcard, business cards, flyers or whatever kind of promo materials you are passing out) so they can reach people you would never meet.
- Consider joining group blog sites to reach a different demographic than your blog reaches. After I signed on with Soul Mate Publishing, I joined the Soul Mate Publishing Author group and post there on a rotational basis. Beginning in August, I will also be blogging once a month at Stitches Thru Time, a new group blog site featuring crafts, devotionals, research tidbits, author interviews and book reviews, and giveaways.
- Don’t neglect your own blog when your book comes out. There are some who are saying that writers shouldn’t blog because it takes away from the writing time, and that’s so true. On the other hand, when you have an e-book, you are plugged into the electronic world where most of the marketing is happening. It can be a time drain, but you need to figure out how to handle it.
These six items are just the tip of the marketing iceberg, don’t cost anything but time, and are, I believe, invaluable. So, tell me, what are you doing to market your published book or to get ready to market your WIP?