Monday, February 6, 2012

Lost at Sea or Thrown to the Sharks

Admit it, neither one sounds like an ideal situation…yet it is a good analogy of what it feels like after you come down from the high of holding your book for the first time. Regardless of how your book came into print, if you don’t have a marketing plan, you’ll quickly find yourself lost at sea…holding your book.
Who knows about it? Well, you have certainly shared the news with friends and family. You might have asked them to do so as well. So, now what? How can you tell the world about the amazing creation in your hand? Were you simply planning on sharing your book with a small group, or were you hoping to awe the world?

If you have read my earlier post about marketing, and followed some of the suggestions, you should have a facebook page, a blog or website and maybe even a book trailer. Good, things are rolling. Now you need traffic. You need to reach out continue letting people know about the book. If you have the budget (but not the time), then hire a publicist or purchase a marketing package. Between time and money, time is the one thing you must invest (hence the publicist if you are too busy…and if your mom is free, get her to do it ;o)).

Go to local your library and offer them a book. Go back to your former school, and do the same. Give time for presentations in schools, bookstores and libraries. Join local author groups. (They often have activities that give you the chance to promote your book).

Local bookstores are often more open and have the ability to allow you and your book in their store, not like large chain operations where everything has to go through the head office. If you stop here, maybe 100, or even 500 people have now heard about you book, but if you think of it, it’s just a drop in the bucket.

If you haven’t already joined Goodreads, stop what you’re doing and get to it. Make an author page, set up a giveaway and join communities. You’ll be amazed at the boost in traffic. From here you are given the chance to meet more authors, get some visibility, have your book reviewed and more. The more reviews you can get, the better.

A word of advice, don’t be afraid to give a few books away. If it’s to friends, give it in exchange of a review and some word of mouth, or even a facebook post. Give some away for reviewing on blogs and other sites, and if they share it with friends, then good. You want the most people possible to read it, see it, and hear about it.

Oh, the shark analogy…trust me, if you can’t get it out there, your hard work will have been swallowed up as fast as a bit of fish at feeding time, and will be sitting on a shelf somewhere collecting dust.

Look up the Author Learning Center, Writer’s Digest and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

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