Beginner’s Dive into Marketing:
Marketing can seem like a daunting task at first glance, but if you take it step by step and allow yourself plenty of time to get into the marketing groove before your book is released, you will have a much easier time of it and gain the advantage of having your very own audience ready and waiting to buy your book!
Is your thinking like mine? My goal:
First and foremost I am a writer, not a full-time marketer—is this true for you, too? Not seeking to promote myself, what I want to promote are my “books” so that people will learn they exist and, if they’re interested, read them, and enjoy the stories and characters as much as I, myself, do; to brighten a reader’s day, and take them away to another world which they can relate to and become lost within…! Affecting people’s lives—that is my goal.
So, when I first realized that taking the self-publishing route would mean I’d have to start drawing attention to “me”, I wanted to grab the nearest blanket and hide underneath it! I think there are plenty of other creative people who can relate to this. We want people to enjoy what we create, diverting all the attention to what we have made, instead of onto ourselves. Unfortunately, however, if you are taking the path of self-publishing, there will not be anybody else but “you” to let people know your book/creative work exists. You are going to need to venture into marketing; however, there are many ways to go about keeping the focus on your “books” rather than on you.—Using images related to your book for online profile photos and social media is one of many ways. But, I do encourage you to get out of your comfort zone a little and let people know about you: the better they get to know you, the more they will trust you and be drawn to the stories you write.
*On a side note: I’ve heard that for some people of faith (Christians) the idea of promoting one’s self is seen as somehow wrong, but this idea is based on a way of thinking which says all promoting and advertising is self-serving. It can be used in a self-serving way, this is true, but if your heart and intentions are in the right place: you are promoting the works God has used you to create in order to benefit others. Your priority and focus is on “others”, and not on yourself. With your heart in the right place, there is nothing wrong with promoting and advertising what you have worked so hard to create. Don’t hide yourself and your books under the lampshade, but instead take away the shade and let your bright light shine forth through the world!
Start Early—Start Now!
Every article and author I’ve received advice from has been telling me the same thing: Begin gathering an audience now and start a marketing plan.
Even though my fantasy/spiritual series has a long ways yet to go before it’s ready for publication, I should begin my marketing plan early on—getting the word out and getting people interested. This way, once it is ready for pre-order, there will already be an audience ready and waiting for it!
So, how do you go about forming your marketing plan?
Target Your Audience: Form a Strategy
It’s no easy task, but you need to maintain a balance between letting people know about your book and not over promoting yourself in people’s faces. A big turn off to a potential audience can be too much boasting about yourself or your previous accomplishments. Instead, keep it simple, keep it short, and keep it relatable.
With that being said, identify the age group which your book is targeting. Once you have that down, think about where online that particular age group is most active. Is it: Facebook? Twitter? Blogs?
Next, identify the names/pages/profiles of people and groups within these and other social media—choose those that are currently active and have a big audience.
Check and ask if they are willing to read and review a free copy of your book, posting the review on their website for all their followers to see. There are some blogs devoted to reviewing books—check these out first, and make sure they are interested in the genre of your book.
I recently joined Triberr, the place for bloggers to connect and share content. It’s one of many ways to connect with people interested in your books’ genre and find people willing to read and review for you. You can create a free account, or a monthly paid account with privileges.
Now You Have the Beginnings of a Plan. Way to go! Keep at it!
Follow these steps to begin forming your marketing plan and gathering your audience—there’s no better time to start than now. It is a slow process, but well worth the effort; and once you grow your group of fans, the less you will have to worry about marketing in the future, as their enthusiasm for your books will spread the word and market for you!
Stay tuned as I will be posting articles and blog pages pertaining to Marketing Your Book—there is a well of great information out there! I will be a guide as to what possibilities there are, as you venture into the next stage of becoming a self-published author.
If you have any tips or strategies of your own, won’t you please share them with us? We’d love to hear from you!