Self Promotion For Authors

By now you’ve got the drift that this is a learning curve for me too and it’s taking more work to promote my book than it did to write it which I never anticipated! That was an eighteen month labour of love. This marketing myself is just as much labour but I am not too sure about the love bit.

Anyway the below is a list of just some of things things I have been told that I should do. It’s already fairly extensive and gives me the heebies. Am I really prepared to do so much work? I like being anonymous. I like the privacy and security of my little office… Talk about leaving my comfort zone.

Kamy Wicoff, founder and CEO of She Writes, says that authors are expected to behave like mini-entrepreneurs. And she’s right. Selling well, unless you are one of the incredible rare and extremely lucky few who fluke it is a big job.

Gary Player once said, somewhat irritably, when the press kept on at him about his success and his ‘luck’, ‘It’s funny how the harder you practise the luckier you get.

I guess the same applies here. ‘The more I market, the more I sell.’ It’s just a question of how badly I want to be successful.

Tip – Tony Eldridge has some great advice and it’s really worth reading the article he has on Dana Lynn Smiths book marketing website but a couple of his points boosted my confidence.

You will never know everything you need to know about marketing. It’s a fluid skill that changes all the time. The important thing is to start. Choose something you are not doing now and make it happen. You see, it really doesn’t matter what your first step is. Action has a way of breeding more action. With a tiny victory and a small success under your belt, the next step becomes a little easier to take.

He’s so right. Simply getting the first people to follow me on Twitter was a buzz – lol – certainly inspired me to keep going.

Marketing, ideally, before you publish (but any time will do)

  • Create a marketing plan
  • Establish a brand / logo / identity that works for you (* see comment below)
  • Create a good website – (ideally linked in some way to other authors in your genre)
  • Create a blog that is linked to your website (KEEP IT FRESH AND CONSTANTLY UPDATED!!!!!!)
  • Get your Social Media Networking up to speed
  • Create a YouTube trailer of your book
  • Get some good artwork done that links to your book/brand that you can use as promotional give aways (bookmarks, T Shirts, Mugs, pens etc)
  • Ask your local book store about 2 months or so before your publishing date to have a stand at front of the shop / featured in the window.

Marketing after you publish

  • Ask local libraries and book stores and writers clubs if they’d consider you for a book signing or if you can do a talk on writing/self promotion/getting published
  • Visit as many independent bookstores as you can and introduce yourself, take copies of your book and ask if they’d like to buy. Even if they don’t write thank you notes afterwards.
  • Send press kits to newspapers (use an angle in the press release that catches attention, e.g., single mum gets dream come true publishing deal, or local writer volunteers to teach workshop, etc.).
  • Volunteer as a speaker for various groups.
  • Contact Independent distributors. Don’t be afraid or shy, most are quite helpful. They’ll be particularly interested if your book is about a setting local to them.
  • Consider running ads on websites and in relevant publications – romance times or Sci Fi Fantasy magazines. Ask them to include a press release too.
  • Make your book stand out by it’s branding and promotional marketing and contact major buyers and distributors with copies of your book and free T shirts, pens, hats etc
  • Promote your book in a special way by sending items to major buyers and distributors (The New York buyer for B. Dalton buys for 800 stores!). Send tee-shirts, gift baskets, anything edible, coffee cups, hats, pens.
  • Contact national media; magazines, television, newspapers and, with an angle, tell them what you can bring to them.
  • Get friends to host book parties
  • Do public speaking about a subject you know very well. It doesn’t have to about the book – possibly your experience of getting to where you are now.

Publishing and Self Promotion for eBook authors

  • Sell your book through your own website as well as Amazon and through other outlets
  • Sell your book through affiliate marketing (Clickbank for example) where others sell your book for you and get a percentage from the sale
  • Write articles about your writing genre/boo/field and in the last section add a link and plug for your book

* Branding

Did you know that it takes between ten and twelve contacts for a brand name to stick in the average persons memory? Think of famous brand names like coke, Pepsi, Sony, Toyota… the logos instantly leap into your mind. Because you come in contact with them hundreds of times a year.

If you want yourself to become a ‘Brand’ so you can sell your books than people need to come across your ‘Brand’ at least ten times for it to start to make an impression.

If one of those impressions gives them the feeling that you are rude, inconsiderate, inept etc while they may be more likely to remember you, they will also be less likely to respond positively.

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