By Tania Brown
In part one of this blog series I looked at the importance of investing your energy in marketing your book and provided the first two of five suggestions I feel are important for authors. We’ll continue the discussion today with three other ideas that I hope you will find valuable!
3. Cultivate your community. Finding and creating an organic community takes a lot of work and requires you to be engaging and available. And the benefits are often rewarding! The most obvious reason for cultivating a community is to increase book sales by spreading the word about your book. However, there are other reasons for engaging with like-minded people. Need a testimonial? Want to give away exclusive signed copies or promote a book-signing event? Maintaining a website and social media platforms are now considered key to attracting your audience’s attention. See what other authors in your genre are doing to grow and engage with their fan base on social media and through their websites. Be reasonable about what you can do with your budget and time available. Also, consider your current audience. Do you have only 100 followers on social media? Doing a large scale event to promote your book might not be the best way spend your money: consider growing your audience first.
4. The Influencers. Book agents, publishers, TV and radio hosts, bloggers, podcasters, book promoters, fans, and writing contest opportunities don’t just magically appear. You can’t just rely on a book agent to do all the work, either! None of the influencers in the world are likely to stumble across your book and read it from cover to cover. You’ll need to send out press releases, photos, video book trailers, testimonials and a captivating story bio about you and your book journey. Influencers are swamped with submissions, just like publishers are. Your book isn’t the only thing that needs to be polished and clear: your marketing material should also be enticing. Learn some basic copywriting tips on how to create engaging tags, headlines and ways to make you and your book as appealing as possible. Short videos, press releases, bios, and other types of content help prepare your message and are easily sharable. They allow the media to “sum up” your book.
5. Receiving Feedback: You finally finished pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into your book. Isn’t the purpose of publishing your book is to share the story with others? So enjoy it! Marketing might seem to be a bit of a scary monster, but it’s also a great way to connect with people (sometimes in surprising ways) and gain useful critiques, love and feedback to help propel you to becoming an even stronger writer.
Here’s a final tip for writers, both new and experienced: even if you haven’t yet completed your book, start collecting pictures and video that might be compatible with your book marketing. Join communities and collect marketing material examples. Be sure to take notes and have a list of questions so you are prepared when you’re ready to promote your book.
Tania Brown is Marketing Manager at Crossman Communications.