Building a Writers Platform
No not that Platform!
In today's Book Publishing reality it is important to self promote
I was talking to a writer friend of mine who has written a book that was published by iUniverse a Print on Demand Publishing. She expressed to me her frustration because she could not really afford to continue marketing her book. The main package she paid for included a website and yet, did not include a lot of other promotional features that a Writing Agent would be able to obtain for her. There is always a trade off one makes when one uses Print on Demand or self –publishing instead of traditional publishing. This applies to my situation, for I am working on my first Novel and I want to keep all my options open.
I am aware of that being a first time Novelist, I may face a sizable challenge acquiring an agent. I have written and produced low budget TV. Commercials, Lyrics for songs, some even award winning. I have written proposals for many different projects, a TV Pilot Scrip, Magazine articles, a full length Screen Play and yet, never a Novel.
All these years of writing looks great on a Resume. However, when one is trying to approach a Big Time Publishing Agent, not all of this may appear that impressive. They want to know if you can sell books. You need to erase every possible reason for them not to represent you.
Even if you are trying to get published by an established Publishing House, it might be wise if you do every thing you can do to promote yourself. Prepare yourself for the possibility that you may need to self-publish, weigh every option. This is how HubPages comes in. For you can use the material you have created as part of your Platform.
Let us say you decided to write a book about HubPages as a pioneering writer’s community, with writers from all over the world writing on almost every subject imaginable. You would choose the Hubs you had written that focuses on that view and promote those hubs to get people more familiar with this concept. You would also “share” (yes, that little green button) other hubs that deal with this subject. Personally, I feel it is important to have a connection with several other writers that is going though some of the same challenges I am. In this business it wise to find allies.
This is what I did when I was promoting my Video Production Company. I bartered with technology and information. The old saying “if you can not beat them, join them” was very true in my case. This is why being involved in writing clubs both online and off can be very beneficial. You need feed back, criticism and encouragement.
The important thing to know about promoting and building a writer’s platform is that you must become creative in finding cost effective ways to market your book. Word of mouth has always been considered the most coast effective and productive ways of marketing, but now we have this Armageddon Age device known as the Internet that is like giving you a bullhorn so your word of mouth can be broadcast to millions! Cool you say? Yea but…there is now SO MANY out there with a bullhorn that it seems like you are just one small voice crying in a cyber wilderness! Hmm dilemma, for most people (including my self) has become paranoid of Spam and even worst scam artist who are always phishing.
The solution then, is Earn your customer trust, not easy in this world but still doable. Do not hit them over the head with trying to sell them something. Give them stuff free! No strings attached free, not pretend free like a lot of companies do. What do you give them? No silly little trinkets give them information, give them deals…show them ways to make money! Never forget, the two most powerful words in marketing are “you” and “free.” Do not just use these methods, live by them; make other people your priority for when you give freely it does come back to you!
To make sure I practice what I preach, let me share with you some of my own marketing approaches that work for me in the past and which I plan to incorporate in the future. I am new to the whole self-publishing for books thing, but I feel besides word of mouth and having a web site focus on your writing; book signings, and interviews on the web or TV and radio is very effective. In fact producing your own video interview seems like a practical approach. Most important thing is you haft to get out there in front of the media. Create news worthy activates on a frequent basses. Here are some ideas that I have used in the past and I feel can be effective in marketing your book:
1) Hook up with local book stores that cater to the kind of book you are planning on writing. Then commission them with say about 100 books and set aside a time to have a public reading or better yet, .have a scene from the book acted out by local actors.
2) Throw a big party at some unusual location, something that is related to the book you are writing.
3) Get shirts printed with the cover of the book on it.
4) Hand out “Mini-Posters of the front cover of the book (instead of business cards).
5) Have a mini computer game that you haft to master to get access to the site, not to difficult and yet challenging.
6) Create a video “trailer” for your book like they do for moves. This seems to be a popular trend with both POD and major Publishing Houses.
These tactics are just a few that can be effective for books our just about anything else you want to market. I recommend one classic marketing book, for it has many such ideas for cost effective promotion and marketing. This book is Guerrilla Marketing, which was written about two decades ago and even so, it is still extremely effective. Then, there are the many hubs that can help you with marketing your Book. Rebecca E. is one writer that have several Hubs with great information on Marketing and other aspects of Book Publishing. Though trial and error will find the most successful ways for what has work for me, may not work for you.
Also, I would like to direct your attention to How to Position Your Trailer. This goes into more detail about using book trailers to your best advantage.
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