#LifeBooksWriting Challenge-6 Book Marketing Tips
With the continuation of the #LifeBooksWriting Challenge, today’s topic is book marketing. Honestly most days I feel like I’m floundering in a giant ocean and I’m the teeny tiny almost invisible fish. To say the book market is flooded is a complete understatement. But that just pushes me harder to learn new and better ways of putting myself out there. So although these might be repeated from other authors, here are my tips in no particular order!
Have a Website. I don’t care if you create a blog on Blogger or if you purchase an actual domain and have a real website. But this is vital to your author business. You need a platform for people to reach out to you when they don’t use social media. I’m horrible at keeping my website regularly updated, these posts are helping with that, but I still have all of my basic information on here. I include a page to all of my books with links to purchase them and any extras from my books like playlists. Having an actual website I think adds weight to your platform as an author.
Be on Social Media. People think that social media is the devil and it sucks away our lives and you know what, those people wouldn’t be lying. But this is vital in creating your author platform. And I don’t mean to get a social media account with every able site out there and spam everyone with book links. That gets you nowhere and is a waste of time. Get to know people. And start out small. If you’re only comfortable with Facebook, then update it regularly and be approachable. If you want to also add Instagram and Twitter into the mix, link your accounts. That way if you post something on one, it will post to the others as well. It’s a great way to build a following on all three sites.
Build a Newsletter List. This is vital. If there’s one thing the majority of people have and check regularly, it’s an email address. With all of the pay for ads exposure nonsense going on with social media we need a way to reach out to our fans and insure they see what we’re sending them. This is a great outlet for sales, new releases, and and other important information you have involving your author business. That isn’t to say you need to harass your followers and send them an email everyday with your buy links. Again this is spammy and will only ruin your business. Once a month seems like the consensus of how regular subscribers like to see something with the occasional one thrown in here and there when you have extra exciting news.
Cross Promotion. This one has been extremely helpful to me in my author career. It doesn’t hold a lot of weight for someone to promote themselves. In fact it usually has the opposite affect. But when you can get someone else to promote you, then that holds a lot more weight. Whether the promotion is through each other’s newsletters, reading each other’s newest release and writing a blurb, or even swapping back matter for your latest book. Reaching out to each other’s fanbases in this way can find both of you fans that you might not have already had.
Think Outside of the Box. While all of the above tips are great, a lot of people are chasing the same ideas. I think the best tip is to bee innovative and come up with new ideas. While there can be a lot of risk in starting something new, there can also be a lot of reward. Everything had to start from nothing at some point, so why not be one of the people that starts something huge.
Don’t Give Up. Last but not least, if this is what you love then don’t let it go. The book world is insane right now but it’s not going to stay this way forever and I truly believe that. Maybe I’m just being naive but the people that are in this to make a quick buck are going to realize that it’s not going to happen. If you stay positive and stick with it there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. And this is coming from someone that wants to throw in the towel multiple times a day. It’s a hard market but this is something I can’t imagine not doing. I’ve been a reader my whole life and a writer almost as long. Even though it took me awhile to actually do something about it and publish my work, outside of that love poem I wrote for Shane West when I was eleven and had published in one of those teeny bopper magazines, I was still writing. I have notebooks full of ideas or partially started stories. So for me this is a career and my future. And nothing saddens me more than seeing those that love doing this giving up because it doesn’t make sense for them and their family anymore. If you love it, stick with it.