How to Best Market Your Book
What is your favorite kind of book?
Writing the Next Best Novel
Begin envisioning your marketing plan before you write your book.
Shop around on the internet for ideas on how to spruce up your plans, think before diving so that you can make the most bang for your words.
The important part about marketing is getting the word out there. Using a platform like Kickstarter can help you to put the word out there and build an audience. Use Kickstarter.com to make unique aspects to your book; think of your project not as an individual one, but a collaboration. If you succeed in it, many others will also. Try incorporating illustrations or pictures where others can join in on the fun. Definitely use social media, and rake up attention in advance from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook pages, and your email list. Try to find a real physical publisher rather than online. A publisher can give you more options and they are more used to the system than you.
1. Recognize what kind of audience your book will be catering.
Figure this out, and then you can figure out how to connect with them, how to bring your book about to their venues. Knowing your audience is important; if you're only writing for yourself, then... you probably don't need to publish, but if there's an audience for you -- then publish away.
2. Help your readers to connect with you.
Write a genuine author biography. Have a prominent photographer take a photo of you for the biography. Then your photographer friend will market for you. ;)
3. Build a Facebook page. Invite all your friends.
Make sure to regularly post, make it exciting, make it funny -- make it interesting. And always -- think twice before you post.
4. Go to bookstores to do a grand opening.
Do some traveling. Get involved in conferences. Have a book selling in connection to local musical artists. Get a concert together for your book premiere.
5. Write to local newspapers to advertise your book, call news stations, and radio stations.
They might not be interested... but if the topic sounds sharp enough, they might do an interview.
6. Get in touch with your alma maters, see if they can let you do a reading at the school. Contact old teachers and professors about your work.
7. If you have a internet fan base at hand, use them at your disposal.
Whether you have a youtube page, Twitter, or the likes, you should advertise on those pages. You can build an author website, except it may be more conducive to use other social media where there's more of an influx of traffic at your disposal.
8. Think of places you can promote your book.
Getting your book locally out there will help, and getting your community to help out takes some of the book out of your hands and into a more collaborative process. Try to write a book that resonates with a community and not just yourself.
9. Do you have any connections with PR?
Are any of your friends especially good at communications? You may be able to ask them for advice or tips, and also, you may want to hire one of them to help you build a plan.
10. While building a plan, consider how much you may need to budget...
for travel, printing costs, and possibly hotels. You could do a Kickstarter for this to help with your funds and also to build more of an audience. You constantly want to find ways to build an audience. It's essential to getting your book out there and sold. Don't expect everyone to buy your book... or like it. Get used to the process of getting yourself out there.
11. Use illustrations from friends, and make sure to give them a cut of the compensation.
Why friends? Because if you use some random person's art, they may not help promote the book. Friends will want to brag about being in your book, they'll help sponsor you, so consider compensation toward them as a possible outlet of building audience.
12. Make a list of books and authors that you are similar to
and consider how they marketed their writing. What people like their writing? Where can you find them?
13. Try to get your writing connected to a book conference, to writer gatherings, to book fairs.
14. Create a book packaging that is appealing.
Don't create a too plain jane book or a too razzle dazzle cover either; you want something that attracts. Pick a good font, cover, design -- all of it.
15. Contact organizations, charities, and the like that may like the sound of your book...
and see if they would be willing to promote your book. If you write about dinosaurs -- find dinosaur fan clubs that would love to throw out some kind words for your book.
16. Think of what is cost effective and what is cost detrimental.
If you are spending more money than you would be earning on a marketing tool, then you are doing it wrong. Look for ways that you would not be spending money at all! Many places will promote your work without compensation.
17. Be bold. Did you write a poetry book?
Maybe you should send it to major celebrities in their fan mail... those that like poetry. Why not?
18. Get your book in as many stores as possible through Amazon, Barnes & Noble -- all the big outlets.
19. Do research on what is actually selling versus what sections in writing get overlooked.
As much as I might not like it, teen paranormal romance is a booming field. Science fiction too.
20. Get an editor on your book.
Do not try to publish something without another pair of eyes going through what you have written. Be open to suggestion and criticism. Do you really want your first criticisms coming from a critic?
21. Look for magazines that you can place an add about your book.
Learn how to pitch your book in as few of words as possible that will be alluring. What makes your book attractive? Dress up your book like it is going to a formal outing. Great books are all around us, but they need great marketing and connections to get out into people's hands.
22. Consider what books appeal to you. Why does those books appeal to you in FORMAT, not just content. Is it the color schemes, font, the book jacket? Look at your bookshelf and be critical -- which book catches your eye? Recreate these techniques for yourself.
23. Ask friends who are book smart, who have published before successfully, what they did. Take note.
24. Do book readings when available.
Make an event out of your book. People need to be told that this is a great product, and the way to do it is make it known. Don't be afraid to advertise and get rejected.
25. Ask your publisher for marketing strategies.
See what they will be able to offer you in the way of marketing. Ask them what should you do and what should you not do.
26. Be careful of how many free copies you give away.
You do need to give out free copies to those that helped you out and contributed in anyway whether financially, creatively, etc. Before you start handing copies away, decide how many you will give away in total.
27. Seek publishers on the coasts.
They have more potential for getting the word out there.
28. Get involved with writers to build up a fan base.
If you go to college, take as many writing classes as possible to find like minds and use them to bounce off ideas. Make Facebook friends with people you take writing classes with. It doesn't matter if you rarely contact them, you may need them when you come to the road of book marketing.
29. Before even crossing this path, get in financial peace.
You need to have your budget straightened out as much as possible, which I know is hard when you're trying to be a writer because busting out -- and making money -- won't be easy. Financial hysteria is not a good mix when trying to get your project out there, so make sure to keep yourself financially afloat. Keep credit cards in check, be careful with loans, know who you can borrow from, work two or three jobs, and make sure to manage your time to write and build a sound marketing plan.
30. Be energetic.
People will pass your work by if you some unenthused. You've got to sell your stuff even if you think it still needs work and ironing out. Sell it, dedicate yourself to it, make people want to buy it because you put your heart and soul and sweat into it. There's a message there and people need it; we can go a day without eating but we can't go a day without thinking in language.
31. Is there a way you can market your book internationally?
Do you have friends overseas who might be able to help you spread the word in a foreign market? What in the text lends itself to being overseas?
32. Don't take yourself too seriously.
Every time you start getting serious -- make yourself intentionally have a laugh session. Being too serious will ruin you. It will keep you from taking chances. A light hearted will that can take the critiques, roll with the punches, and laugh at typos will succeed. You have got to dare to suck.
33. Be honest with yourself.
Confront your writing and make sure you don't have any plagiarism.
34. Make sure that you have your work with a copyright before you find a publisher.
You can use the WGA site to get a code on your work, with some cost. This way your ideas are somewhat safe, at least will have some security if you need to go to court. Don't just spray your creative ideas without some legal protection. Read up and be informed on legalities to keep yourself safe, informed, and positive. There's nothing more that stings to write the great new idea that costs millions and have it stolen from you. It's worse than bankruptcy because good writing -- can take years, decades, etc.
35. Don't just manage your time and finances, also manage your sleep.
Stay healthy, don't neglect your health. Avoid stereotype rumors about writers not getting enough sleep, having better writing on drugs and alcohol -- if these things get in the way and make you crazy, it's going to cause you to spiral out of control.
© 2014 Andrea Lawrence