So you're an author...

PART 1 of the Marketing for authors series

So you’ve written your masterpiece – 90,000 plus words, formatted, cover designed and you’re just getting ready to publish it to the world’s hungry eyes… when all of the sudden fear grasps you and you start to wonder how will people know and what if they don’t buy. Yes, we’ve all been there, whether traditional or self-published, that moment that makes us turn ghost white wondering how people are going to find out about our book. That moment when we realize that no matter what the publisher does to promote, we will have to brand ourselves and market our books. Oh, the horror!

About a decade ago, before the social media and the Internet became like food for everyone, marketing a book would mean buying advertising space, getting on popular radio shows and begging local and regional newspapers for reviews of your book. That all changed with the digital generation, where with the right tools, you can spend very little and get huge results. That’s IF you know how to use the right tools. This new series is designed to help authors of all shapes and experience understand how to select and use the right tools to build their brand and market their books to the largest possible audience.

Let’s start with the basics, there are things that you must have as an author in today’s digital world, if you even hope to achieve a modicum of success. Those things are:

·        - An author website
·        - A Facebook page for either your book or yourself as an author
·        - A Twitter account
·        - A Goodreads author account

I know, not rocket science right? Actually, it is. The four things above are essential to any author, not having any weakens your efforts and limits the access that potential readers have to your work. This is what I call the proverbial “author platform.” Each piece of the platform caters to specific groups of readers and all work closely together to deliver what we call in the marketing world a strong user experience, but I’ll go into that later.

Remember, as an author, you need to create an inviting place for potential readers to come and get to know you. You also have to take into account that the attention span of some readers has slimmed down to 30 seconds. Oh yeah, and some will want to read more about your writing before they buy your book since you’re not a recognized name. And there are hundreds of other things you must take into account about the characteristics of your potential audience that you realize that you can’t do that on any single platform alone, which is why there are four parts.

The one thing that you need to focus the most on is your author website. This is the central nervous system of your entire marketing efforts. If done wrong, you will not achieve the success that you could potentially have. If done right, you will have a fantastic platform that will feed all of your other tools with content that engages and encourages them to want to buy your book.

We will be covering each of these points in detail over the course of this series. My objective is to help you build the pieces that will showcase your work and drive traffic to sell your book. If you have questions, please do reach out to me in the comments here or via any of my social media pages, which are listed below.
Khalid Muhammad is an accomplished professional marketer, entrepreneur, technology specialist and recently published novelist. You can contact him via @AgencyRulesPK on twitter, on Facebook ( or his website (


  1. Hello Jo! Thanks for posting Part I :) I'll be back on Wednesday with Part II where we will take on the differences between marketing, promotions and sales to talk about why each is required at its own time. Things we will be talking about:

    - Do I give my book away for free?
    - What is the difference between a promotion and marketing? Why are they both important to sales?
    - Using marketing to build awareness and buzz around your book

    I hope your readers will join me for that discussion.

    In the meantime, if you have any questions related to the marketing of your book (published or not), please feel free to post them here, on my Facebook page or tweet me. The links are above.


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