If you’re an author who just wants to write, you’re not alone. I talk to authors every day who hate the idea of marketing and are not even sure where to begin. I definitely can understand. Marketing is always changing, and it isn’t easy, especially if you still have a full time job and want to focus on writing your next book. However, if you don’t market your existing title(s), no one will ever know what you have written.
Realistically, you can’t just upload your book to Amazon and expect the sales to roll in. That’s not a marketing plan. And, contrary to what your mom, family and friends may think, or perhaps what you’ve been told in your writers group: your book is not the field of dreams. Remember – “If you build it, they will come?” That’s simply not the case with books. The mere act of publishing one won’t bring droves of people beating a path to your door. So, what can you actually do to drive sales? Fortunately for you, it’s deceptively simple! Probably simpler than you thought.
Here are four easy things you can do to give your book it’s best possible start:
1. Start building your fan base
Fans, and Super Fans in particular, will really help you to market your book. Start engaging with people who already like your book; they often help drive sales. Just think for a moment how awesome that is. So how do you build this fan base? One thing I am always saying is that every author should include a letter in the back of every book. Craft something engaging and inviting; you want to encourage readers to contact you. A loyal base is worth its weight in gold, and if you really want to spend as little time as possible marketing your book(s), then it’s critical to invest in the fans that find you organically. If you want to dig into this further, I wrote a more in depth article -- “How to Turn A Freebie Lover into a Super Fan.”
2. Pitch Reviewers
Pitching reviewers can seem tedious, I know. But, if you can commit to pitching five bloggers each week, it will add up fast! I think the biggest thing here is to be consistent. You should always be pitching your book to bloggers, readers, Amazon reviewers, etc. Not sure how to find them.
Check out these links for bloggers you can pitch:
3. Start Building UP Your Amazon Visibility
On my own blog, I talk about optimizing your presence on Amazon a lot. In fact, I’m such a fan of this that I wrote a book about it. Why? Because, it works! Amazon can really help you market your book, but to make the most of it, your keyword strings and categories must be on point. Replace all of your single keywords with actual keyword strings. If you want to dig deeper here, I have more articles on how you can find keywords.
4. Post on Your Blog & Social Media
Unless you got your start by writing a blog, this is a turn off for most authors. Many of you have already started writing your next book or at least have an idea of it in your head. So you’re concerned that blogging and spending time on social media it will take away from your writing time.
Maybe a little, but don’t overthink this. Blog posts don’t have to be long, and in fact some of the best posts aren’t. But they should be interesting, insightful, even funny if being humorous is your thing. How often do I want you to blog? Once a week or so, which is manageable, right?.
And, in terms of social media, keep in mind that it’s not about being everywhere, but everywhere that matters. If you only have time for one site, then do just one site. Post one piece of content a day, that’s it. It literally takes less than 5 minutes, and it’s free. So spend those five minutes every day engaging with your fans and networking.
Whether you choose all of these things, or even just choose one, be consistent. One blog post every once in a while, one social media update, or one pitch to a blogger will not move the needle but done consistently this will have an effect on your success. All of these things are easy to work into a schedule and some (like the Amazon keywords) only have to be done once, or a couple times a year if you’re in a popular genre. If you wrote a book, you owe it to yourself and your book to do even a few small things to get the word out.
Whatever you do, don’t just throw up your hands and walk away. I see it a lot, but know that your book has so much potential.
When I was first in business I hated a lot about what I was required to do. Taxes and accounting are a great example of that. I did this myself for a while and it wasn’t pretty but I did it and it got me through. When I finally had the means to I outsourced this. I’m glad I didn’t walk away from my business just because I sort of suck at math. Why am I telling you this story? Well, to emphasize the fact that we all have pieces we hate to do but if this journey and your book are important to you, you’ll make time to do them or learn how.
You only fail if you fail to try!
Okay, Writers in the Storm readers, what non-marketing tips do you have to share with us?
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Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert and an Adjunct Professor with NYU. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. She is the author of fourteen books, including How to Sell Books by the Truckload. AME is the first marketing and publicity firm to use Internet promotion to its full impact through online promotion and their signature program called: The Virtual Author Tour™
To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at http://www.amarketingexpert.com. To subscribe to her free newsletter, send a blank email to: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright @2016 Penny C. Sansevieri
Top photo credit: JaneB13 - Pixabay