Your book is written, it’s published and you are ready to share it with others. How do you get people to notice it? To read it? To buy it?
Marketing is a beast. It will make you crazy and it might make you cry. It’s a challenge and its overwhelming. You have to do it. If you don’t then why did you bother doing all that hard work to get published?
But relax. Marketing can be done. It doesn’t have to take over your life. If you put the effort into setting yourself up right it will become a well oiled machine that hopefully will someday take less effort and still yield good results.
*My number one tip? Social Media. This should be a requirement for every author who wants to sell a book.
I’ll admit I used to hate FB. I was one of the last people I knew to sign up. I didn’t understand the point. GoodReads? It scared the pants right off of me. I do them both now. Daily.
http://www.facebook.com Get a fan page. A page that is public (open to anyone). Upload an author pic, your personal logo or the cover of your book. Post to it several times a week. I post to mine almost daily. Don’t just post “Buy my book” People will get annoyed and annoyed people won’t like your page or buy your book. Is it okay to post links to your interviews or great reviews? YES! But post other stuff to.
Fun facts, questions that will draw in your fans to answer, jokes, useful information, you name it you can post it. If you write a book about cupcakes post links to recipes or pictures of your latest cupcake creations. If you wrote a horror book ask people what their all time favorite horror movie is. Get creative.
http://www.Goodreads.com Get an account. Get active. Network with other authors and readers and reviewers. Again do NOT just post “Buy my book” with a link. That’s called SPAM. It’s annoying. Join a group or two that reads the same books as you or join a writers group. Talk to people. Ask them about themselves. Support others, encourage them. If people like you they will find out about your book – they will buy it.
Become a GoodReads author. You get perks like widgets for your blog or website, giveaway options and chances to market. It’s free. Utilize it.
http://www.twitter.com Another social networking site. It doesn’t take long to bust out a tweet. Do it and get it over with. Tweet others about fun stuff. Reply to followers and retweet good info.
Other social media sites to check out:
http://www.plus.google.com Google Plus
http://www.myspace.com Do people use this anymore? LOL
Geared toward writing:
(There is a ton of these sites, these are the main ones)
*Start a blog or a website.
The earlier you do this – the better. You want people to know your name.
Most blogs are free. You need to post a new blog post at least once a week. Try to have content that others will value or like and want to keep coming back to see.
You can also run a website and a blog together (I do this – I use a wordpress site but I own my domain name)
Free sites to make a website (user friendly):
*You will need to send out review copies of your book to get some reviews listed on the various book sites (amazon, barnes and noble, smashwords, shelfari, goodreads) Reviews sell books. Period. If someone is debating whether or not to buy your book and you have NO reviews or only one or two they won’t buy it. They want what others want. If you have a good number of reviews then that means other people wanted your book = they now want it too. (hey I didn’t say this stuff was logical)
Find some reviewers.
Reviewer getting places:
http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/46156.Creative_Reviews My group on Goodreads. We like reviewers. 😉
http://www.journalstone.com They write reviews
http://www.bookconnector.com lists reviewers
Look this is a where your social media and blogging comes in. if you are active in your social media and blogging then you will know people. You will know where to go for reviews.
http://www.blogbooktours.blogspot.com Blog book tours class
http://www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com Virtual Tours
http://www.booktour.com author/tour listings
http://www.publicityhound.com Publicity resource
http://www.mysterypromotion.com book promoting
These are examples of blogs that you can post an ad on and what the cost for you would be. It tells you the number of hits or followers each blog has as well, so you know where your AD would get the most looks.
|Blog / Web Site||# Followers||Cost|
|www.thestorysiren.com||4300||Ad is $30 for 30 days|
|www.yabookscentral.com||60k hits/mo||Many options; $20-$100/monthBook early (up to 6 months)|
|www.pageturnersblog.com||2800||Ads are $2 per month, 3 mo. minimum.|
|www.parajunkee.com||2300||Ads $20-$75 /mo. depending on size.|
|www.bookshelvesofdoom.blogs.com||1700||Ads $30 and up|
|www.emilysreadingroom.blogspot.com||1500||Ads $5/mo 3 mo.|
|www.teenreadstoo.com||?||Ads $30 for 30 days|
|www.words-that-sparkle.com||?||$15 to $30 for 30 days|
|www.thebookbreeze.com/For_Authors.html||?||Ads $40 and up|
~This blog ad information comes to you courtesy of Jan Fischer Wade who I have met through book blogs. She is an author and a blogger. Her posts on marketing are really fabulous. I would totally recommend going to her blog and reading her articles. They will help you. I have many of them saved in my email to refer to. Her blog: http://bookblogs.ning.com/profiles/blog/list?user=1iroqwhwlmsmg
http://www.vistaprint.com I use this site for all my materials. I have gotten posters, keychains, postcards, business cards, bookmarks, etc made here. They have great prices and the quality is very good.
http://www.gotprint.com I hear they are great too.
http://cafepress.com you can have materials made here. You can also set up your own shop and make your own merchandise to sell. You can mark it up to make a profit.
Other marketing tools:
http://www.youtube.com book trailers and any videos you make can be placed on your channel here.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/journaljabber This is the radio show I co-host. We interview authors weekly in a variety of genres.
http://www.ontheradio.net lists all radio stations
http://www.mediapost.com media listings
http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/Sitemap/northamerica.htm lists all newspapers
*Other ideas to stay in the game
Write up a bio. Make it interesting and funny. Name at least one thing that is unique enough to be remembered. Something as simple as naming your favorite color.
Get an author picture. You can take this yourself. Use the same photo for all your profiles so you are recognized instantly.
Make a press kit. This will make it easy when doing interviews, blog tours, etc. Items to include in your press kit:
Any other information that could be important to you and your book.
Here’s a great idea that I learned recently from Jan Fischer Wade: get a Social Media Press Kit. What is that? Basically it’s a button that you can put in your signature panel (of emails or anywhere like your website, blog, etc) that with once click takes a person to a page where all the places you are online can be found. You can also add a bio, a picture and even book trailers. You can also add links for people to buy your book. It’s one stop shopping to me! (I will be doing this myself in the near future)It is NOT free. But it is a low cost. Jan reports it to be around $10.95. That includes the button and the page – that is a great price for something like this. Here is the site to get your SMPK (social media press kit) http://whywebpr.com/
Want more great ideas from Jan Fischer Wade? (I do!) Join her marketing group called Marketing tidbits for authors on Book Blogs. (You have to have a blog to join book blogs)here is the link to her group (I am a member): http://bookblogs.ning.com/group/marketingtidbits
Another review resource: Another group on Book blogs called World Wide Reviewers: http://bookblogs.ning.com/group/findreviewersfromallovertheworld
I am not a member of this group but I might become one. 😉
Make a book trailer. They aren’t as hard as it might seem. I managed a few and trust me if I can do it then so can you. I recommend Windows Live Movie maker. Find some royalty free pictures – and download them into the movie maker. Add text, add royalty free music and them play with the effects and features. Then you got yourself a trailer!
Get a celebrity to endorse your book. A quote can be used on a book jacket or on websites. Think they might say no? It never hurts to ask!
Send out a press release: http://www.prweb.com
So here’s another tip from me to you. Make a budget. Look marketing can be very low cost. You can get a website for free, make a book trailer for free and join social media sites all for free. Utilize this stuff! But somethings you might want to spend on. It would be worth it. You don’t have to be rich (no one is anyway) Set aside what you can afford and get what it most important to you.
Giveaways. Nothing fancy but let’s face it Free stuff draws people. They might come for the free stuff but they will look at your book before they leave the site. It’s a potential sale. Even a $5 gift card is a great gift. Ebooks are free to giveaway and people like those. Get creative and think about your book. How can you relate a product to your story?
Business cards. Hopefully you will at some point be telling someone about your book in public and they will be interested. What do you do? Telling them your info goes in one ear and out the other – especially if they don’t know you. Hand them a business card with all your info right there. You can get business cards from vista print for less than 10$. You can design your own.
Ads. These ads reach people. They are worth a few dollars.
The social media press kit button I talked about above. Seriously don’t be surprised if my next email has on in the signature panel.
Bookmarks or postcards. I recently made both at vista print. I got them all free because they were running a deal. I put the ISBN numbers on the back of all the postcards along with the sites where you could buy my book. On the front I added the cover pics. I can mail these to all my friends and family and to libraries a local businesses and everyone will have my ordering information. This was free people. Shop around. The bookmarks are swags that I sign and mail to fans. They were free too. I also leave them in restaurants with my servers tip. Why not? They read too. Note: Do not leave that in lieu of a tip – that is just wrong.
Obviously there is an endless amount of marketing opportunities. These, I think, are the most common and most used ways to get your name out there. Again, I am no expert, but an author trying to help other authors. This is complied as my way of telling others what I have experienced and the resources I have heard of. I have not used every resource on this list. I cannot vouch for every single site on this list. If you choose to use any of these resources do your homework and ask for references before agreeing to something or paying any money. Use these resources at your own discretion.
I would like to credit Diane L. Wolfe for some of these resource links. I recently took a promotion and publicity seminar that she taught. I learned a lot from the 3 hour class. She is an author and a professional speaker. She also owns a publishing house.
Her links are: http://www.dancinglemurpress.com
I would also like to credit Jan Fischer Wade. Her articles on marketing are seriously helpful. She is also an author and a blogger. This is the link to her social media press kit where you can get ALL her info: http://whywebpr.com/veiledvirtues/