Open Blog Weekend: The Beginner’s Dive into Book Promotion by E. Rawls
Marketing can seem like a daunting task at first glance, but if you take it step by step and allow yourself plenty of time to get into the “book promoting groove” before your book is released, you will have a much easier time of it and feel less overwhelmed. You will also grow an audience who will be ready and waiting for your book to hit the shelves!
Is Your Thinking Like Mine? The goal:
First and foremost, I am a writer, not a full-time marketer. Not seeking to promote myself, instead I want to promote my “books,” for the sole purpose that people will learn of their existence and, if interested, read them—enjoying the stories and characters within as much as I myself do. To brighten a reader’s day, and take them away to another world they can be lost within and relate to! Making a difference in people’s lives—that is my goal.
When I first realized, however, that taking the self-publishing route would mean I’d have to start drawing attention to “me”, I wanted to grab the nearest blanket and hide underneath it! I think there are plenty of others out there who can relate to this. We want people to enjoy what we create, diverting all the attention to what we have made instead of onto ourselves. Unfortunately, though, if you are taking the “self-publishing” path, there will be nobody else but “you” to let people know your creative book exists. This means, you are going to have to venture into the realm of book promotion and marketing.
There are ways to keep the focus more on your “book” rather than on you, if that is what you prefer. Using images related to the theme of your book for online profiles and social media is one way of doing this. But, I do encourage you to get out of your comfort zone a little and let people know about you, because the better they get to know “you,” the more they will trust you and be drawn to the “stories” you write.
Start Early—Start Now!
Create a book promotion plan and begin gathering an audience now. Don’t wait until the week of your book’s release to create accounts on Twitter and other social sites. You want people to already know you and be aware of your presence as an author whom they may be interested in following.
Using myself as an example, even though my fantasy series has a long ways yet to go before it’s ready for publication, I should begin my promotional plan early on—getting the word out and getting people interested. This way, once it is ready for pre-order there will be an audience already waiting for it!
Target Your Audience: Form a Strategy
Now, you’re probably thinking: “How do I go about forming a plan to begin with?” Glad you asked! Here are a few tips to get your mind’s wheels turning and help get you started!
Book promotion is no easy task. For one thing, you need to maintain a balance between letting people know about your book and, at the same time, not over promoting yourself in people’s faces. A big turn-off to a potential audience can be too much boasting about yourself and previous accomplishments, or saying “Buy my book!” over and over again.
- Keep it simple
- Keep it short
- Keep it relatable
You want to draw people in, not scare them away. Once you have some ideas ready, it will be time to identify the age group your book will be targeting.
When you are sure who your audience is, think about where “online” that particular age group is most active: Is it Facebook? Twitter? Blogs? Forums? Come up with a list of names, pages, and profiles of people and groups within these and other social media to contact and become involved with, choosing those who have a big audience and are active on a daily basis.
Check and ask if any are willing to read and review a “free” copy of your book, posting the review on their website for their own followers to see. There are blogs devoted to reviewing books—check these out first, and make sure they are interested in the genre of your book.
Now You Have the Beginnings of a Plan. Way to go!—Keep at it!
Follow these steps to begin forming your book promotion plan, and gather your audience now. There’s no better time to start! Marketing can be a slow process, and it may be a while before the desired results are seen; however, it will be well worth the effort in the long run. Once you grow your group of fans, the less you will have to worry about “getting the word out there” in the future—as fans’ enthusiasm for your books will spread the word and market titles for you. More people will be drawn to read your stories, and they, in turn, will draw in others. A continuing cycle!
But, remember, it all starts with “you”.
For more from E. Rawls visit http://rawlse.wordpress.com/