Marketing Tips For Authors
The most common request I get from my blog readers is for marketing tips. I usually point people to my post on how I became a full-time author here, but if you’d like to know more, please find my (tongue in cheek) top five tips below.
The Creative Penn.
It may seem like I’m passing the buck, but I really cannot pass you on to a better resource than The Creative Penn. Joanna Penn is a successful author in her own right, and a total guru when it comes to helping authors write, publish and market their books. Her podcast provided me with the inspiration to keep going when I self-published my first book. She’s got over two hundred podcasts in her backlist. Get listening today.
2. Social Media.
Social media can zap your time, but it does have its uses and I highly recommend authors get a Facebook and Twitter account at the very least. Search for online book clubs and make some new friends. Please don’t spam your new acquaintances. There’s nothing worse than a stream of ‘buy my book’ posts, which are guaranteed to get people clicking the unfollow button. Facebook ads are a useful way of promoting your work online. Word of mouth is better, and a lot easier on your pocket. Find out what people like to read and ask if you can send some sample chapters of your work.
Politely asking people if they’d like to read some sample chapters is a great way to start. And if they don’t like your writing? That’s something you can learn from too. If you want to be an author, you’re going to have to develop a thick hide. Goodreads giveaways are a good way of getting your books added to people’s virtual shelves. You can find their giveaway page here. Don’t be tempted to pay for reviews, and don’t hound family and friends. If they want to support you, they’ll do so without being asked. Please don’t nag them to death!
4. Book Blogging
I know of some fantastic authors who started off blogging books, and you can create a new site on WordPress for free. It’s a great way of networking, and quite often established blogs are happy to have guest reviewers on board. Just bear in mind that book blogging is an art, not a ticket to free books. If you’re an author you should be able to write an unbiased review in an interesting and thoughtful way. My advice is to review books that you know you’re going to love. It might be a little bit awkward if you’ve slated a novel and find yourself sitting next to the author at a writing conference, or if you’re pitching to an editor when she mentions you’ve reviewed one of her books on social media as a disaster! #Awkward
5. Listen to the Experts
Learn everything you can about the market. There are lots of free resources in libraries and online for newbie authors. A crazy amount of people publish their books to Amazon every day, but it’s the ones with the drive and determination to keep going that make it to the top. Agent Jane Friedman is a great example of an industry expert. Put aside some of some time, listen to the experts and subscribe to free newsletters such as The Bookseller. As I’ve said before, it takes time, energy and unfaltering commitment. I know authors who have been writing for ten years, only to be signed for a deal and deemed an overnight success. If you write great books and invest in your dream, then you will find a way.
Did you enjoy my blog? Have you any tips to add? I love hearing from readers, please comment below!
Image courtesy of Thu Le – Flickr Creative Commons and Giphy.