Book Marketing for First Time Authors
You've done it! The manuscript is finished, the editing process over, proofing accomplished and those first pre-release print copies have arrived. Perhaps you have a successful book launch behind you and have hit one of Amazon's best-seller lists. WOW! You've reached the finish line. Then it all crumbles as the next question arises – Now what?
This moment has happened to most first time author. Every step of your journey to this moment was governed by getting through the process to launch, but no one prepares you for the void that looms once all the hype is over.
As a former magazine owner, editor and freelance writer, I thought marketing would be a slam dunk for me. All the work would be done ahead of time and Life Outside the Box would quickly go viral. I couldn't have been more wrong. After the cold shower of reality hit, the hard work began. What could I do within my very limited budget.
The internet offers a world of possibilities to choose from, but not all are worth the cost. Be sure to have a way to evaluate. I chose to keep a daily listing of my overall ranking on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. It's not the whole picture, but simple and quick.
1. Social Media – If you aren't involved in Social Media, then you're in a very difficult position. It's an author's #1 access to a global readership and costs nothing but time. From the moment you conceive the idea for your first book, you should begin building a presence on your chosen sites and start gathering followers. I personally use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
2. Fiverr.com – This website features a wide range discount services. Authors can access marketing, book reviews, interviews and SEO boosting. The one that garnered the biggest change in rankings for me was a blast out to top Facebook Kindle Reader Groups.
3. Book Reviews – I was fortunate that I already had access to bloggers, so my first reviews were found here. You should start connecting with bloggers from the moment you begin writing as their posts have a global reach. Another option is a Virtual Book Tour where reviews are arranged for you and spread out over a set time frame. Don't forget to add the cost of sending out free print copies into your marketing budget and remember - an honest review will not always mean a positive one. Be humble and grateful for everyone's effort There are also sites like ReadersCircle.org (book clubs) and Goodreads.com you can list on.
4. PR Agent – Most PR agents will require a pretty substantial budget if you are a regular client. However, there are many that now specialize in creating a one-time unique press release blast aimed at a target audience for a reasonable set fee. The downside? No follow up. Like all industries, you need to do your research to avoid scams. There are writer forums you can post questions and get honest feedback.
5. Personal Appearances – No one can sell your book like you. Interviews on radio, TV and Youtube are fabulous, but harder to book. Fortunately they are not the only choices. Networking groups welcome new speakers and libraries are keen to feature local authors. Sometimes you have to get really creative in finding those opportunities, but the effort is well worth it. The Social Media followers you have been building since day one can help open a few doors.
6. itunes – One of the most recent avenues I discovered from a fellow author was the large number of iTunes podcasts constantly on the hunt for new material. A link to categories is https://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/podcasts/id26?mt=2
My final note is to be sure and spread your marketing efforts out over time. Be brave, be bold – spend a little time every day. And more than anything be patient as results usually take time.
Marilyn Wilson is a freelance writer, editor and author of Life Outside The Box: The Extraordinary Journey of 10 Unique Individuals. Over the last decade she has interviewed and written on the lives of over 150 people from all walks of life, has co-owned an innovative fashion magazine from 2007-2012 and since 2006 has worked with Raine Magazine in NYC where her current role is International Associate Editor. Interviewing is a true passion for Wilson who believes it is the stories shared by REAL PEOPLE living REAL LIVES that will define our generation.
Website – www.marilynrwilson.com
Blog – www.oliobymarilyn.com
Twitter - @oliobymarilyn
Facebook – www.facebook.com/MarilynRWilsonWriter