1. Plan A Marketing Budget – It’s counter-intuitive for a writer, but it’s absolutely critical to set aside money on a regular basis for marketing purposes. You do want to sell it, right? Then start treating it as a business and plan a budget to help you fund a successful marketing campaign. Even as you’re penning your memoir, fleshing out fictional characters, developing an outline, or finalizing your plot, you ought to be setting aside as much as you can on a regular basis specifically for marketing expenses. Then, when the time comes to tell the world about your book you’ll be ready. Check out Writestream Publishing’s affordable packages here. Whether you choose Aspiring Star, Rising Star, Shooting Star, Super Star or Rock Star, we can help you find your readers, develop relationships with them, and promote/sell your book.
2. Manage Expectations – As I’ve learned from experience with clients (not to mention my own book), this is a tough one! Whether you hire Writestream Publishing or promote and market on your own, please maintain realistic expectations. Just because you regularly speak in front of a live audience, appear as a guest on internet radio, and communicate with thousands of twitter followers every day, there’s no guarantee you’ll sell 100,000, 2,000, or even 20 copies of your book as a direct consequent of each and every effort you make — no matter how important. This is a long-term process so be prepared to actively market and discuss you work for a minimum of two years and a maximum of….well, let’s just say it’s a never-ending process. On the bright side, it can be a lot of fun if you resolve to simply enjoy every interaction for the experience it offers.
3. Use Social Media Platforms – Fearful of putting your name out there on Facebook and Twitter? Get over it! New media is here to stay and it’s a highly effective and low-cost means of finding your readers. I highly recommend using a third-party application like Hoot Suite for ease and efficiency.
4. Identify Your Audience – Many writers struggle with this, believing everyone on the planet will fall in love their book. At the very least, they’re concerned about eliminating anyone because hey, you don’t want to prejudge anyone now, do you? Here’s a reality check: you must focus on your primary demographic (once you identify it) because these are the readers with the strongest interest in your product, which means many of them will likely purchase it. Might others outside of this demo like your book, too? Of course, but why waste your marketing dollars and energy on them? Use your budget wisely to get the most bang for the buck; focus on engaging with those who want what you’re selling.
5. Join Targeted Groups on Social Media and Interact with Others – Once you’ve identified your main audience, find them on Twitter and Facebook by conducting a search for hashtags and groups. For example, if your main demographic is married Christian women, look for hashtags and groups comprised by and for married Christian women. Follow them, like them and most importantly engage them. Ask them questions about themselves and their interests. Talk to them, not at them. And by all means, avoid the hard-sell. The idea here is to get them to like and trust you as someone who genuinely shares their interests. If you do that, the book sales will follow. No one likes to be “sold” after all.
6. Create A Book Trailer – I defer to my business partner Lisa Tarves, whose expertise in creating book trailers is amazing. But whether you hire Lisa or go it alone, creating an enticing book trailer is a huge component in generating interest and sales.
7. Get A Blog -Don’t be a snob, get a blog! You can use a free platform or use some of your marketing budget for a paid one but by all means, set up a blog in your name and post something there of value to your readers every day — or at least several times per week. Don’t want to do it yourself? We can help!
8. Publish in All Formats – Are you partial to paperback? That’s nice, but as my friend and marketing professional Bev often reminds me “It’s not all about you.” You may not like Kindle, but the fact is, it has been outselling paperbacks for quite some time now, so why not capture as much of your audience as possible? Offer your work in all available formats because more methods of publishing = more sales. And I think we can all agree that’s a good thing!
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