How To Market Your First Book
So you have a story to tell? Well, you can’t just write a book and expect it to sell. First you need to spend days, maybe months scouting a publishing deal. You’d dreamt that the biggest publishers would crowd around you, begging you to let them publish your book. That didn’t happen and you are settling for whoever finally agreed to. Or, that did happen and a big publisher loved your draft. Either way, unless you are a celebrity, your book won’t sell itself and let’s accept it; there isn’t a lot that your publisher will be doing to market your book.
But, this is your book. Your baby. Now it is up to you to make it sell. Of course, the first and the most important step would be to write a good book – something people would want to read, as much as you wanted to write. Then there are a few things which only you can do, and we can call it self-marketing. I have a few suggestions you can try and to them you can add your own ideas too!
Engage in social media platforms
Digital is in and it’s here to stay. Let’s not doubt that at any point. And you need to be digital too; that too with a prominent presence. It hardly ever happens that a reader picks up a book without having heard of it or its author. So the first thing you need to do is to get people to know you, recognize your name and even know that you are writing a book which shall be launched soon. Get down to doing this from the time you are writing your draft. Long associations are good. The longer they have heard of you, the more familiar would they be with your works. And that takes us to the next point. How do they know what and how you write, when your book is yet to be published?
Gather an audience, and do this before the launch of your book
The best way to gather an audience on social media is by blogging. Write. Since you are already penning a book, we shall assume that you write well. Publish at least one blog post every week and when you do, market it. Share the link with your friends, with people who might be interested in the topic, even organisations, if the topic concerns them. And to promote your blog, you need to have an active presence on platforms like pinterest, twitter, facebook, google plus and linkedin, at least. Promote your work, interact with people, join facebook groups where you can interact with other authors, editors, reviewers, and enthusiasts.
Create a brand
As an author, you yourself are a brand. But, instead of waiting for your book to be launched, read, reviewed and then talked about, you will need to work on creating the brand first. The brand will sell the book. Having your own website (where you blog) is a brilliant step forward. In the website, you can have a section where you talk about the book, have events like cover release, and even share a chapter or two with the readers for free. This is a good way to grab the prospective readers’ attention. And oh yes, be on goodreads too. Not just as an author, but as a reader too. It’s good to know what books authors read. And remember, it is very uncool for an author to not read.
Goodreads allows you to host giveaways for your book. This will attract participants and through them, spread awareness about your book. Alternatively, you can host a giveaway on your own blog, or ask your publisher to host one for you.
Getting books reviewed by readers/reviewers is a common practice of late and you should do this too. Ask your publisher if they shall be arranging for this, or get it done at your own level. Be careful when you chose reviewers. They should have high blog hits, yes, but do also check their past reviews and the genres they read. Take suggestions from other authors if you wish to, or use your own networking. But make sure the books are reviewed by people who in turn are in the network of people who you want should read your book. The review posts too will be doing rounds of the blogosphere, marketing on your behalf.