I talked with a friend last night. He published a book. In fact, I helped him put it together a few months ago. He sounded a bit disappointed when he said that he had only sold ten copies. I reminded him that he needed to do a bit of marketing ( a big bit of marketing) if he hoped to get his book noticed. Many authors don’t understand this part or overestimate how much marketing they do.
For example, many people announce to their Facebook friends that their new book is out. What does this do? Well, if you’re like most people, you might have only about 100 friends. I would guess that while you were writing the book, you told them about the process or at the very least complained to them about a chapter or scene that was holding you up. So, they know your book is coming out. If they are itching to get their hands on the book, they will buy it. If not, they’ll click on the like button, thinking that they’ve helped you, and go on their way.
So, you get a couple of sales out of that and you mention it again in a couple of weeks… A reminder might yield a sale, but you are telling the same people. The point I’m making here, is that telling your Facebook friends about your book is not what I would call a marketing plan.
To make sales, your marketing has to be bigger than you think and it has to reach the people who might buy your book. So, before your write and while you write, begin making a list of what you plan to do to market your book. Here are some suggestions…
- Sign onto Twitter and begin building up your followers.
- Join Facebook and begin building up your friends.
- Join Google+ and start adding to your circles.
- Set up a blog about you. Remember when you are marketing a book, you are selling yourself, not the book. Ultimately, people will buy your book because they like the way you write and they like you, not due to any one topic. For example, I have many dog lovers and even people allergic to cats buying my book, The Zen of Max, the memoir of my cat. I can only conclude it is because they have read some of my writing in other places.
- Begin following other bloggers and start making a list of the blogs who welcome guest bloggers. When you are in the final stages of writing your book, start contacting them to see if you could write a guest post for them. This is one of the best ways to spread the word about your book.
- Another inadvertent way to get word out about your book is to review books that you read. Whenever you read a book, take a few minutes to review it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Every time you do, your name goes with the review and people may click through to see other reviews by you. In the process, they may inadvertently discover that you’ve written a book. You just never know what might lead to a sale.
- Another suggestions is to comment on other blogs regularly and give them a plug on your blog when it fits into your topic of the day. They might just remember your book and mention it to a friend occasionally too.
That’s enough to get started. You can do most of this while you are still writing your book, so marketing does not need to be overwhelming when your book comes out.
But you do need to market. If you think that your book will magically sell itself once it is on Amazon or some similar site, you will probably be disappointed. Keep it moving by doing a little bit of marketing every day.