Marketing Magic: Creative Ways to Get You and Your Book Noticed
Your new novel has arrived, those pesky typos are at a minimum, you are thrilled to thumb through the interior and feel a glow of satisfaction. Friends think it’s great; the cover is catchy. Now you have to reach out to others so someone buys your book. How do you get readers to purchase your narrative? The truth is it isn’t magic. It’s all about consistent and persistent tasks. Writing is a lonely sport. Marketing involves the world!
Get out and interact with people, especially readers. How does one do that? Here are some ideas I have tried that worked; however, I must add that there’s no one single thing that catapults your book to the top rankings for sales. You have to try everything and then do it all again!
- Enter contests with a vengeance!
Many authors have fears about being judged, yet it is one of the best ways to achieve recognition. You enter for discoverability! Readers are overwhelmed with choices. When you garner an award, it adds to your credibility. It creates interest about your topic and you can use “award-winning author” in your publicity. Search online or in Poets&Writers for lists. Tip for winning: follow the directions exactly. So many do not and they are eliminated before the book is ever read. And, when you do win, don’t paste stickers all over your cover. It is a distraction from your artwork. I write in two genres: satire and historical fiction. Sometimes I put them both together! I have entered all seven of my novels in contests. All have received some type of acknowledgment. It makes you more marketable. Send out your book until you win!
- Stage events in unconventional places.
My novels have been launched at art galleries, furniture and clothing stores, libraries, restaurants, happy hours, a hair salon, even a macaroon shop. I have sold more books at these venues than bookstores. Owners are delighted to have traffic in public places. Plus, they have lists of people to invite too! I like to give a brief talk because it introduces me to guests. We keep refreshments to a minimum. If your speaking skills aren’t up to par, join Toastmasters. Many organizations are looking for speakers who don’t charge and are knowledgeable on a subject. Write your own introduction beforehand. Don’t allow someone to describe you in a sentence. Request to sell books at the end. Standing behind a table has never brought me many sales. Place yourself in front, get people to sign up for your newsletter and greet everyone!
- Social media engagement.
It is necessary to be part of the online community. It’s a beast that must be fed! From Facebook to Linked In to specific sites that pertain to your genre or topic, readers want to know who you are and what you’re up to in the author world. Best bet is to build up sites with friends and their friends. Most of my historical fiction novels have their own page on Facebook. When HIDDEN ONES about the Inquisition in Mexico during the 17th c. was published this year, I started another page called A Sephardic Journey that covers two novels. I also have an Author Page. Start buzz early by posting relevant articles and interacting with readers.
- Create a newsletter.
Mine comes out 3-4 times a year. I share novel progress, research details, book tours, favorite books, and photos. Everywhere I speak I take a clipboard and ask them to sign with their name and email. Almost everyone does when I tell them I won’t bombard them. It is a great way to stay in touch with your readers.
- Get reviews.
A good review draws readers to you. They want to know what you have to say or be entertained. Start with local markets. Drop off a copy of your book with information in a professional looking press release. Many sites online teach you how to do this. Often smaller papers are hungry for content. Ask author friends if they’ll write and post a short review on Amazon or Goodreads. Once you have a few reviews, choose a few lines as a blurb for your next post. One hundred reviews mean you’re having an impact!
Marketing for an author can be overwhelming. If you accomplish these five steps, you are on your way! Self-expression is important. Never give up. There’s great camaraderie with other writers when you participate in groups. Support other authors and their efforts to have their voices heard. We all benefit. WE’re part of Hometown Reads!