Books usually don’t sell themselves.
All the time you spend writing, rewriting and editing your book can result in little more than a few hundred dusty copies in the attic if you don’t put yourself on the map (and stay there).
Authors are small business owners.
Being an author is a busines. It requires a plan, forecasts and an excellent marketing strategy. Questions such as:
- Who am I writing for (or to)?
- Are they likely to read my book?
- Where do they spend their time now?
- How and where do they socialize?
- Does reading play a big role in their lives?
- How much do they value a good book?
- Would they prefer other mediums, such as ebooks or audiobooks?
These questions and others are crucial to the success of your book. Of course, you could get lucky and become a bestseller overnight with minimal effort. But I wouldn’t count on that happening.
Getting to any level of success with your book usually requires dedication, commitment and, hard work. Depending on your answers to those questions, you may or may not be surprised that your book has not created the buzz you thought it would.
Promote yourself every day.
If you use social media, you know how quickly information comes and goes. Unless you save that thing you liked, you will lose it forever (or spend hours going through your feed to find it).
How have you promoted in the past? Did you post only a couple of times a week? Did you share a simple link to your author page, or did you add an irresistible reason for anyone to care? Did you show your audience how your book is relevant to them?
People usually have no idea what they need until you tell them. So tell them. Constantly.
Build up anticipation
Ever wonder why event tickets sell out so quickly? The coordinators spend months creating hype and advertising ticket sale dates. They use strategies such as lower prices for the first batch of buyers up to a certain date or number to get that sales ball rolling. People like to be first, and so there is a rush of people trying to be the first to get their tickets.
Start promoting your book before it’s complete. Join groups and get involved with what’s going on with others and their projects before promoting yours. Once you are more of a regular member, share what you are working on and ask for reactions. See how people feel. Share your ups and downs with your writing.
You can even start an author blog detailing your progress and moods as you write. People love to hear other people open up about the “behind the scenes” aspects of their work and thwyay follow you just to see what happens next. You become the living story that leads them to buy the book you’re writing.
Being an author is rarely a matter of dropping a title and watching the dollars roll in. It has to become a way of life and something you are always marketing.
Don’t expect your book to sell itself. You may get lucky, and you might not. It is up to you to let people know what you have to say.