Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
Do you have the next great novel or how-to guide trapped in your computer or printed and ready for the masses or even boxes of books you need to sell so that you can have enough cash stashed to write your next one?
Many times, writers hate the very idea of marketing their work. Marketing smacks of sales and if you wanted to sell stuff, well, you wouldn’t be a writer now would you?
But, you do believe in your work and you do want to “get it out there”, so, you have to market it. And, you can do that. If it helps, call it promoting your book instead of selling or marketing your book. The end result is that you are telling people about your book so that they can buy it if they want to read it. That’s all. Now, how hard is that?
There are almost as many marketing techniques as there are books in your local library. For the most success (and fun), try to stick with things you enjoy doing. But, do try to expand your comfort zone and try something new occasionally.
Online marketing Create a blog or website to promote your book. Post on forums and on your social networking pages like Myspace and Facebook. If you have an ISBN number, you can sell your book on Amazon.com.
Write articles to promote your book and put them on your websites, but also post on free article sites like ezine.com or goarticles.com. Make sure your articles complement your book without being strictly promotional pieces. Include some information your audience would be interested in.
For example, if you are a romance author, possible articles would be “top ten romantic vacation sites”, “how to add romance to your life” or “top ten romantic novels of 2007”. Include your book info in your “about the author” or bio section, and if possible, a link to readers can buy the book.
Events and appearances: Do readings and signings. Call bookstores and libraries and even book clubs in your area and offer to appear to promote your book to their customers. Do the same for any area you are visiting. Just tell them the dates you’ll be there and ask if you can meet them and perhaps some of their customers. Have a sign printed that says "Fabulous Author Name/In Person" for the table or storefront.
If you write for children, include schools in your contact list. Ditto for other “niches” your book would fit. Book clubs, association meetings, even social groups could be a target for your book.
If you can stand the idea of public speaking, seek out local meetings in your area and offer to speak at their meetings or luncheons.
Press Releases: Write up a press release or a series of press releases and send to radio, TV, newspaper and magazines related to your subject matter or your audience. Post to free online PR resources. Add it to your websites. Offer to participate in interviews, panels, or to answer questions.
Giveaways: You can hold contests online and offline to give away autographed copies of your books. If you can also keep the contact information of people who enter the contests, you can send them an email or letter about how to buy the book, how to subscribe to your newsletter, or info on where you will be appearing. Donate copies to non-profits for an ad in their newsletter or the opportunity to speak at their meeting. Some will even allow you to sell your books after your presentation.
Offer Review Copies: You can do this via press releases for offline media, and also consider online columnists. For example, almost every subject here at BellaOnline.com has an editor who does book reviews. Many of us post reviews at Amazon.com, too. When you send review copies, sign them and include a nice note or letter offering to do an author interview if the writer feels it would be helpful.
Be interesting and enthusiastic. Many authors consider themselves shy. In fact, most people are shy when it comes to self-promotion. While it is okay to be shy, people are buying you when they buy your book and the more interesting and enthusiastic you can be, the more they are interested and enthusiastic about your work. At the least, practice smiling and being open to meeting your readers.
If it helps, think of yourself as “the author” not “me”. Playing a role during interviews and even when writing your promotional material can help you get outside yourself, and hide your nervousness. And, remember to breathe and smile. Enjoy your slice of fame!
Persist. Market your book every day. You cannot send out one batch of letters or books or press releases and wait for the accolades and book sales to roll in. Writing, like any other business is not a "field of dreams"--just because you wrote it does not mean people will line up to buy it. Do something every day to promote your book, even if it is just a tiny little something, and you will begin to see results. And, then, still keep marketing your book.
For a comprehensive book on how to market your book, I recommend
And, to learn more about marketing your book online, buy