Step Seven: Market
Authors are not done once their manuscript has been accepted! Now it’s time to market the novel—some publishers will do it, but others won’t, and self-publishers are usually on their own. Get the books out there by distributing them to stores. Set up book signings, tours, and places to present. Sign up for conferences, writers groups, and reading clubs. A good way to do this is by creating buzz before the book is officially published, using social media, a website, friends, fellow authors, and attending conferences.
Book Signings & Tours
The most obvious step after publication is to set up book signings and tours. Approaching a book store, library, or community event is a good place to start. This is a good time for authors to work on creating a unique autograph signature for readers and fans to recognize. The usual set-up for a book signing features multiple copies of the published book for readers to purchase and have signed, posters of the book and author advertising the signing, themed decorations, and merchandise associated with the author or book.
The essentials needed for a website:
- About the Author—tell the world who you are
- About the Book—a summary of the book and where readers can purchase it (book stores, online through Amazon or Nook)
- Events/Tour Schedule—let readers know where you’ll be for book signings or conference appearances
- Updates—additional information including book promotions, future books or sequels to the first, movie deals, new editions, and writing progress
In this new digital world, having an author website with information about the book, updates, tour schedule, and a list of upcoming events is necessary to gain a good readership. Traditional publishers sometimes include designing and managing a website, and there are freelance website designers who can maintain and update an author’s blog or website for self-publishers.
7 Book Marketing Tips
Making a Facebook fan page for the novel, book series, or author is a good way to let readers keep up-to-date on the author’s progress or book information. Twitter is also a good way to send out quick blurbs about the book, interact with readers, and let them know about book signings and events. Other social media sites, like Tumblr, Google +, Instagram, and YouTube are good ways for authors to reach their audience and gain fans. John Green has a tumblr account where he interacts with fans and blogs about his books and adventures.
Presentations & Conferences
There are thousands of literary conferences, both academic and otherwise, for publishers, authors, and readers to attend, present, and network. In Florida alone, there is almost a conference or book fair in every city (and in some instances, several). The Miami Book Fair is the largest book fair in the country, and there are also several literary conferences in other parts of the world, such as England and France. Conferences and book festivals allow readers and writers to come together with publishers and successful authors to present panels and sessions focusing on literature. Authors talk about their chosen genre, fiction to nonfiction, present topics about crime or fantasy novels, vampires versus zombies, how to write novels or short stories, poetry, etc. Publishers present on publishing trends, tips for succeeding, self-publishing versus traditional publishing, and more. Other speakers may present on how to market books as an author or mastering the ability to speak in front of a crowd.
Once the book is published, authors and publishers can submit the novel for awards based on certain criteria. As the awards are granted, authors gain respect from the community, sometimes prizes, and can show off their success to readers. Awards usually come with badges or stickers which are applied to the book when printing new editions for bookstores.
Awards are granted for various genres of literature, from fiction to nonfiction, short stories, novels, children’s books, poetry chapbooks, self-publishers, and more. There is the Mom’s Choice Award for children’s and young adult literature as well as the coveted Pulitzer Prize for exceptional literature and journalism.
Authors can also receive reviews from friends, fellow authors, or literary critics once the book is published. Kirkus Review is a large reviewer network. Goodreads is also a way for readers to review and recommend books to each other. Reviews can be added to the back matter of a printed book, serving to entice readers. However, not all reviews will praise the book or author, just like not all editors are nice, and the path to publishing success is hard and narrow.
How do you plan to market your novel?
Know any other ways to market your novel? Comment below!