Marketing yourself as a writer
I was recently on a forum when I ran across the following book marketing question from a member:
What do you do when you feel like you’ve done everything you can to let the literary world know of your existence?
For over a month I’ve been doing what I can to let people know who I am so that they’ll give my kindle book a try. Getting people to want to read my story is a challenge but to have them give a new author a try makes it almost impossible.
And immediately I understood how he felt. It’s a familiar feeling for new authors and I’m sure every new author can relate.
When I made the decision to start a publishing company, I learned that new authors typically do the majority of promotion for their book. So very early on, I understood that marketing would be my responsibility.
Whether you’re a new author signed to a big publishing company or a newly self published author, the task is always the same – getting new fans.
Marketing dollars are generally spent on the established author.
Now clearly this isn’t to say that you won’t be marketed at all by a publishing company, because you will. But it’s to make you understand that it won’t be the type of promotion you see for an established author. You’ll have to roll your sleeves up and assist your publisher. And honestly I don’t see this as a bad thing! It’s a LOT of hard work – but use it to your advantage!
Marketing is literally getting out there and letting people know about you AND your book one person at a time.
When my novel was released, I made sure book clubs knew about me. I visited websites dedicated to avid readers like Good Reads and Shelfari. I contacted the press for publicity. I vended at various events, but most of all I used social networking sites. I even had a really nice book release party (view pictures here) that introduced a lot of people to me.
Book marketing gives the author a chance to get out there and see first hand who their fanbase is. Who gravitates towards your book? What demographic are they?
It also gives the author an opportunity to establish relationships with their readers. One of the best times I’ve had as an author was talking to a book club and getting to know the people who are interested in the type of books I write.
I feel by talking to your readers in everyday life about things not related to your book you’re also able to brand yourself.
The Internet allows you so many opportunities to meet prospective readers. Aside from sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, there are sites like Ustream where you can chat with people all over the world by live video streaming. Your supporters will think its great to be able to sign on to get an opportunity to chat with their favorite author.
I see all of these as advantages that new authors must embrace in order to grow your fanbase.
Remember… you have to start somewhere!
What are you doing to market yourself as a writer? Please share in the comment section below.