Please don’t think that you can just write a book, launch it, and walk away. So many authors, especially Independent Authors, do that and then wonder why they have such poor book sales.
To be a successful author, you have to spend as much time marketing your book as you did writing the book. Truly.
Even before you start writing your book, think about who is going to buy your book. Then, figure out how and where they are going to be able to purchase it.
Congratulations! You have just designed a basic marketing plan. All you have to do now is fill in the blanks.
Book Marketing Schedule
A proven method for staying organized while marketing is to use a schedule. Every book and every author are different, so you do have to find the best system for you. Here is one that will be a good basis for whatever you decide to do:
- Six months prior to publishing your book: build or contract for a website. In this technological day and age, this is an absolute must for any author. On this website, you can blog, feature your new books, list purchase sources, or even sell your book through your website.Six months prior, you can even offer pre-publication specials to enhance your future sales totals. A good start to your book marketing.
Another important task is to build your email list. When people sign up, they are already interested in what you are doing; they are a natural audience. You can use your email list to announce publication, sales, and so on. Just don’t be a pest with it.
Establish a social media presence, such as Facebook and Twitter, as another aspect of your book marketing. Get the marketing snowball rolling.
- Three months prior to publication: Send out your reviewer copies and gather your reviews. They are gold when advertising your book. Also start contacting vendors. Vendors could be online or brick-n-mortar stores.
You can also start creating excitement through your social media sites by getting your fans to choose a cover (from your best choices), or even playing games.
Offer to name one of your characters after one of your fans, maybe for a charitable donation. Get creative here and have some fun. (Oh, you only have 5 friends on Facebook? You haven’t been marketing! Get going and gather your fans!)
- Just prior to your book launch: Create your media packets (electronic and hard copy) and get them out to as many sources as you can.Do author interviews along with book giveaways for radio; create a very short video for a TV news spot and YouTube; get your advertising going just before your launch; investigate every possible way to sell your book.
This is just a VERY short list to show you some ways to get going on your marketing. I personally use an excel spreadsheet and keep filling in the blanks.
Just remember that your marketing efforts need to match your personality and book.
The key in marketing, no matter what you decide to do, is to be consistent in your efforts. If you are going to have a Facebook page, then post on a regular basis. Answer phone calls and messages. Communicate to your public.