On the last day of last week’s Novel Retreat at the Ridgecrest conference center (directed by Yvonne Lehman) I mentioned to Ann Tatlock that I should start a new imprint called, Dry Bones Publishing because, as I explained to Ann, “So many books have no chance of surviving in this desert wasteland called book publishing.”
Creative Marketing Ideas For Authors
Doing a job of your dreams is a reward in itself. But doing a job of your dreams and getting paid for it – well, that’s what you’d call a win!
Writers who had the luck to have their work noticed and loved by their target readership had to work very hard and very persistently to get where they are now. Nothing just came to them, be sure of that. Especially not in the world of today where celebrity gossip is much more appreciated than wisdom, literacy and true life substance coming out of a writer’s pen. Anyway, in order to stay hip and trending, writers too need some help from marketing experts. With a little help of marketing agents and a good marketing plan, almost any author will remain one of the brightest literary stars. So, the question is – how does a writer do that?
1. Secure an audience before publishing
In case you are a newcomer and you haven’t been published before, you need to spread the word about your book release as soon as possible. Most writers start out as bloggers. Once they get noticed, their blogs turn into books. Assuming you had quite a readership on your blog, you’ll need to update your followers on novelties in your professional life – be excited to share the news about your book with everyone who is willing to hear it! If you also have a Twitter and Facebook page, along with a Linked-In profile – wonderful! Make your announcement (on several occasions) and wait for everybody else to follow up!
2. Be your own brand
Every author should be a brand for him/herself. This goes for you as well. You need to be that writer who wrote that book. Nobody is interested in plain people and/or contents anymore. You and your work need to be loud. Tricky part is if you work within several genres. If this be the case, it’s advisable you use a different pen name for each genre. Why? Well, it’s like with food – once people are used to eating that chocolate souffle with vanilla icing and they absolutely love it, they’ll probably be reluctant to try it with any other flavor. Not because they aren’t risk takers. They just don’t want to be disappointed. So, stay focused on who you are and who you want to be for your readers. Proper branding is half the job done.
3. ‘Write hard and clear about what hurts’
Oh, you clever little thing! Yes, I did quote Hemingway there and it serves the purpose. Point is, when marketing yourself and your product (this product being (a) book(s)) be clear on the message you want to send, people you want to attract, the idea you want to come-across. What is it about your book and you, and not some other writer’s, that should catch the readers’ attention? Take some time and figure this out. Know exactly who you are as a person, a writer and a presenter. Yet, don’t be terrified of this mission, people that are going to read you are most probably similar to yourself – assuming you love what you write, of course.
4. Understand the market
Once your book hits the press, you’ll have it sold through variety of channels – online as ebooks, in book shops as print, maybe on news stands, in different stores that may align with the theme of your book, etc. Some channels will without a doubt earn you more money than others. So, what you need to do is calculate which channel is most suitable for your genre and the type of audience you wish to attract. Sometimes, direct sales are a win. Other times, Amazon will deliver a much bigger return for your effort, maybe even bigger than your personal author’s web page. Who knows! Well, you will – once you dedicate some time and attention to tracking figures down. Still, knowing where to put your marketing efforts will surely pay off on the long run.
Apart for having all these things mentioned above covered, you need to keep your human side, too. Yes, you are their favorite writer, but you are also their only real link to their favorite fiction and fictional characters. So, talk to your readers, engage with them and always stay polite and patient. Organizing book events, tours, theme gatherings will only score you points! An important thing is – don’t push yourself onto the reader. Wait for them to ask for you!
Damian Wolf is an entrepreneur and wannabe writer. He loves to write about small business, marketing tips and interesting life topics. Damian is also marketing assistant at Cubic Promote, and proud husband and father.
“We’re excited at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas to announce that the first author has been signed for the Bling! imprint. Author Debra Holt has brought us some great storytelling in Mercy’s Rescue, as well as a strong female lead in an interesting setting, and we’re happy to announce this project as our launch book for next year.
“Bling! continues to look for stories that jump out at us – stories with that “IT factor” set within a romance-centric, non-formulaic plot. If your an author with proposals that fit the bill, send them our way.
“And if you’d like to know more about Bling! and how we’re shaping up during these Genesis Days, I invite you to check out my feature interview on the Industry News column for October with Megan DiMaria and Novel Rocket: http://www.novelrocket.com/
“We look forward to hearing from you soon in the hope of partnering to bring some really stellar content to the LPC readers.”
Bling! | Romantic fiction with a little something extra
An Imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas