When I grow up, I’m going to be a lawyer, a rock star, or marry Denzel Washington…well, if he weren’t already married. Have you ever had a dream to come true, but then reality hits? Such as, you became a lawyer but now you’re working 60-80 hour weeks and don’t have time to spend the money you’re making. Or maybe you’re a rock star, you have more groupies than you know what to do with and you’ve traveled the world – twice, but now you have no privacy and can’t even walk into your neighbor coffee shop without being hounded for your autograph.
Well, my dreams meet reality story is a little different. I am now a multi-published author (woo hoo!), but my reality – marketing my books. I know, I know, you’re wondering how I can compare that to the dream of being a lawyer or a rock star, well it’s not so much about the dream as it is about what happens when you acquire the dream and reality sets in.
First, can I just say, never in a million years would I have guessed that I’d be doing a post about marketing your book. Despite having a degree in business, I’ve come to realize that one aspect of business that I dislike more than anything – is marketing. And the fact that I’m an author hasn’t changed that, but it has made me realize that being published (especially if you’re an indie author) is like running your own business – you’re in charge…of everything.
But whether you’re an indie author (like I am) or if you’ve been published by a traditional publisher, it’s up to you to promote your book. Gone are the days of getting a contract with a major publishing house and they do everything for you – such as: setting up book signings, creating promotional materials, and marketing your work. You now have to do most of it yourself…and if you’re an indie author, you have to do all of it yourself.
Below are a few things I’ve learned about marketing since becoming published (and a few things I knew prior to getting published):
- It’s all about building relationships – If you’re like many writers, you’re perfectly happy at home with your laptop, hanging out with your imaginary friends (the characters you’ve created), than you are being out in public building relationships. Don’t wait until your book has been published before you build a following (readers). Start blogging, join social media sites (like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and so on), and even consider joining some writing organizations. Note: when you join these sites, don’t make it all about you. Be engaging, listen to what others are doing, and talk about things your new friends/readers want to talk about or are interested in (now this doesn’t come easy for those of us who prefer to hang out with our laptop and characters). Being published is exciting! Having readers who enjoy and look forward to your books is…priceless! Here’s a quote by Anthony Robbins – “The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” And in my own words – “The quality of your published life is dependent upon the relationships you’ve built with your readers.”
- Find a guru – If marketing is not your strength (or you absolutely hate it), find someone to do the work for you. But, if you’re like many indie authors – you don’t have the extra money to pay someone to do your marketing. That’s when you have to do like the rest of us – research (Google, read how-to-books), network with those who enjoy marketing, and if none of that works – beg other published authors for information on how they market their work (most are willing to share ideas).
- Know what the market wants – Now this is taught in Business 101. If you write a book about the proper technique of nose picking, most people aren’t going to be interested (although there might be a few interested folks). But say you write a book about how to meet Mr. Right with only a smile – you’ll probably get some takers. If nothing else, they’ll be very curious about what you have to say. Find out what people are reading and what they enjoy reading and write your book!
- Don’t stop! – Don’t stop at one book. If you’ve built a readership, and have written some great books – people are going to want more. Have you ever read a good book by an author, and then went in search of what else they’ve written – only to find out they only have one book and no promises of another book on the way? Kinda disappointing huh? Don’t let this be you. Keep writing and keep putting your books out there!
- And my last thought about marketing your books (especially if you’re an indie author), grab hold of every opportunity to promote your work…especially when someone is kind enough to let you guest post on their blog! Below is my debut novel.
A Sweet Romance
Entrepreneur, Simone Edwards, did what any intelligent woman with a ticking biological clock would do: she asked her longtime boyfriend to marry her. Devastated when he turns her down, and fed up with dead-end relationships, Simone swears off men … and takes a vow of celibacy. How hard could it be? She soon learns it’s harder than she thinks when the most irresistible man in the world, Tim Hollister, shows up at her job. She hasn’t seen him in over ten years, and quickly realizes he is a temptation she doesn’t want to resist. But isn’t there some rule about dating your friend? Simone must decide if a romance with Tim is worth risking their friendship and her reclaimed virginity.
Many thanks Yawatta!
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