I think I know the reason for this perception. Writers are storytellers, great at creating new detailed worlds that draw the reader in before immersing them in the plot and character development. However most writers are not experienced marketers, or sales people, so when it comes to telling people how great their story is, or making sure
everyone knows about it, they often fall short. This is why so many go down the traditional publishing route, as exposure is one of the main benefits a traditional publisher can bring.
However marketing is not something to fear. As a writer, if you have made sure your work has been edited properly, then you should not hold back in trying to get every single person you come across to read your book. Sure some people won’t like it, that’s life, but the more people you get to read your work, the more fans you will find.
So where do you start?
There are numerous ways to market, and there are merits for each depending on you, your time and resources. In this article I will go through some of the ones I am currently using to hopefully act as a guide and a starting point.
The first one is via twitter. If you have read my previous blogs then you will have been building a brand and a following as you have progressed with other likeminded writers and readers. Twitter is vast, and you need to break your tweets up to be able to manage them and maximise effectiveness. This is where sites such as www.hootsuite.co.uk come in. This lets you plan your tweets in advance, in essence automating them, so you can plan when they are sent to optimise the response they receive. Remember throughout the world there are different time zones, so don’t arrange every tweet you send for 1pm, as those on the other side of the world will still be sleeping! The other key point is to put some variety in your tweets. Don’t constantly replicate the same tweet with the link to your amazon page, as this will turn your followersoff. Remember to engage with your followers, publish things that will interest them such as links to your blog such as this (if you don’t have one, then go and create it now for free at www.weebly.com ), inspirational quotes, snappy writing tips or reviews your work has received.
The other key thing to maximise every tweet you send is to use the correct #hastags, and vary them. This will help when people who don’t follow you search for similar tweets and expand your following. Again you need to mix these up – use some hastags referring to writing such as #amwriting or #writerslife, some for tips such as #writetip or #writingtips, some to readers such as #amreading or #bookworms, as well as others for indie authors like #indie and #ian1. Another key thing I have done is contacted select people I am connected with to request them doing a review and/or RT my link. Don’t bombard people or groups you have never spoken with, be selective, and again don’t expect the majority of them to respond or reciprocate! What you are after are reviews – these are vital in bringing in new readers, and also getting your foot on the ladder with some of the established book review sites which you can then approach
Another key part I am using as my marketing strategy is independent websites that promote books, such as www.look4books.co.uk by Gary Walker, andhttp://marsocial.com/ .
These can be great to get your book some quick attention, and spending the time promoting yourself in the forums and community areas, along with the ones on amazon’s site, are worthwhile exercises.
Hopefully the above has given you some food for thought; as I progress through the marketing stages I will post further updates, including when I (hopefully) get some formal reviews and on established book review sites. The key thing to remember is that marketing is a marathon, not a sprint; be in it for the long run, and don’t be disheartened if success is not instant. This is when all the determination and resolve you built up as a writer comes to the fore and pays dividends!