Today we have Jim Bronyaur, author of thrillers The Devil's Weekend and In the Corner talking about MARKETING. Yes, like it or not, it's that thing we have do as authors.
But since this is the first Wednesday of the month, the theme is ANXIETY and INSECURE AUTHORS, right? We need tips to make us feel less insecure about the biggest task facing us after we publish our books-- MARKETING and PROMOTION.
Take it away, Jim.
Marketing. Okay, I’ll wait for everyone to run or yell or boo at me. *checks watch* Okay, we’re back.
Marketing. Online marketing. Social marketing.
These are all essential tools for yourself, your book, and your platform.
The first thing you need to do is understand that your book is a product. And you, as the person selling that product, are indeed a business owner. Your business is to sell your product, your book. This right off the bat is where some people fail. You need to see the big picture of the product and the business and find a plan that works for you.
So, you have your product, your book, and now you want to market it.
Traditional marketing holds its own ground, but not for books and authors. I dare you to tell me without looking what the last four sidebar ads you saw on Facebook were. I bet you can’t. Because we’ve grown accustomed to ads. They are on pages, newspapers, even on the glass of the rink on a NHL hockey game!
So to market your book, you must do so in a way that’s new, different, and effective.
Personally, and as I’ve said before, the best marketing plan is to have another book in the works, ready to sell. The more you have out there is the more you can sell. The law of numbers is actually on our side as authors. Embrace it.
Good marketing means you’re real. You’re human.
This is why Twitter is popular. You have 140 characters to share a message, and no, that doesn’t link up every ten seconds. Please don’t pester everyone with your links, over and over. I personally tell myself I’ll Tweet my book maybe once a day, maybe.
So, without linking your book, how does Twitter help?
Twitter is a giant network.
You can find people to talk to. People who you can network with, share ideas with, and find new avenues of selling books with. You can join in on conversations via hashtags such as #amwriting. For those not familiar with hashtags, these are search items on Twitter. For example, if I put in #amwriting and search it on Twitter, anyone who has tweeted that hashtag will show. This allows me to engage in conversations and find potential new people to follow and new followers.
Another trick with Twitter is to use hashtags around your book, without being pushy.
I may Tweet something like this… “Current review for my #horror #thriller #ebook available on #kindle…”
All those hashtags can help me.
Another place to be is KindleBoards. Here you will find a community of authors with open arms. They share ideas, thoughts, history, and numbers.
On KB, every month people will share their sales for the previous month. They will go into detail, discuss why the books sold may have risen or lowered. And I’m talking some heavy hitters here… people who sell twenty thousand books a month! And they are willing to share their advice and what they’ve done to get to that point.
How does that help you market?
You’re networking. You’re talking to new people, finding new places. That’s what marketing is all about.
I’ve gotten several interviews and guest posts and traffic to my blog and books from KB. Authors will hold contests and events, looking for other authors to help.
A perfect example… coming in October, I have a month long blog tour going on with several other writers I met on KB. We are all promoting each other’s books on different dates, etc.
Now, here’s possibly the best marketing plan out there… don’t market yourself.
I’ll say it again.
Don’t market yourself.
That’s right, don’t market yourself.
What does that mean?
That means just be there.
Be in the moment, in the now of writing and publishing.
Establish a blog that provides something that people want. I struggled with this for years until I finally started one. I decided to use my financial background to help analyze things. One of my firsts posts was the explaination of why Borders closed. The post still gets dozens of hits a week. I went out and tracked down other writers and brought them to my blog to talk about selling books.
I gave people a reason to come to my blog.
And yes, on my blog are links to my books, but the blog is not about my books.
I’m also active on Twitter using the hashtags (like I said above). I talk about books, publishing, and basically give people a sense of who I am, why I write, and the fact that I know what I’m talking about.
That’s my marketing plan.
I want to talk to everyone about books. I want to learn, I want to teach, and I want to enjoy.
Face it, you all know I’m a writer. So instead of trying to shove my totally awesome kick butt horror novels on you, I’m going to share everything I know about publishing. I’m going to be personable, real. I’m going to be someone you trust, and hopefully someone you enjoy to read… so once you’re done with this guest post, and my other posts, you’ll be ready to head over to Amazon and buy my book.
And that is new marketing.
So, remember, if you want to market your book… don’t.
But no seriously, like I said, posting your book on ads doesn’t work. Not anymore. You have to be face of your book, your product. You have to be out there, talking, posting, and being a human.
This is publishing, and it’s a business.
Thank you, Jim, this post was packed full of helpful information. Just like your blog! Anyone who hasn't been there, definitely go check it out. And guess where I met Jim and invited him to be a guest on my blog? Yep, Twitter!