It’s a sad fact that many newly-minted authors feel that their writing should speak for itself and their book should more or less fly off the shelves as soon as it’s launched. The reality is that successfully marketing your book is as big a job as writing it. Consider the sheer number of books that are published each year: American-based company R.R. Bowker, which publishes the renowned bibliographic database, Books in Print, reports that over one million (1,009,188) books were self-published in the United States in 2017. Meanwhile, AuthorEarnings.com notes that 1,045,570 were traditionally published in the U.S. that year.
If Canadian statistics are roughly 10% of American totals, that means an author publishing a book in North America these days is one of about 2.25 million books looking for a buyer. If you want to make this book publishing business work for you, you need to be proactive about marketing your book, regardless of whether you are traditional- or self-published. In this blog, I’m sharing two of five important thoughts on the topic that you might want to consider:
1. Learn to speak assertively about yourself and your book. You’ve spent months, maybe even years crafting your manuscript. But can you talk about your story in a compelling way? You need to become comfortable telling your story, to show excitement about your book and to give potential readers compelling insight into what your novel is about. What is unique about your book? What do you think readers will take away from it? What was your personal story or struggle in writing this? The savvier you get with the discussion around your book, the easier it is to tell people about your journey from writer to author!
2. Become proactive in your marketing. The more research you do into your audience and genre, the more money you can potentially save in the marketing of your book. Fact: you will be bombarded with flashy marketing strategies and packages. What is worth spending your money on? What might be a waste? What marketing can you do yourself and what are you willing to hand off to others? Ask questions and consider what your end goal is.
Are you looking to leverage your book in order to get a major book deal? Do you think your writing is award winning and should be distributed to writing contests? Do you have a business goal, and see your book as a way of gaining traction in your field? Are you looking for a following of fans who you can help triumph over a deeply personal struggle? Are you marketing to teens or children? There can be legal implications that you may want to seek guidance on from an expert! Your marketing approach should match your goal. Consider your audience, media platform, budget and marketing inspirations and implications that can help so you don’t waste your hard-earned dollars!
Please stay tuned for my next post in this series, where I’ll offer three more important tips!
Tania Brown is Marketing Manager at Crossman Communications.