I’ll admit that after submitting my first book for publication I was naïve. I thought you just had to be a good writer to be a successful author. Wrong!
Being an author is not just putting clever words to paper and then waiting for those royalties to start flooding in. No not at all. There is so much more to this world than many can even fathom to understand.
An author needs to be Internet savvy.
Get yourself a website, a blog, and establish your online presence through different social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What I’ve found is that readers want to know you – the person behind the book. A book just doesn’t sell on its own, so as an author you need to build your profile, and not in a ‘buy my book’ way. There is a delicate balance between promoting your book, and interacting with others, blogging, commenting and networking. ‘Buy my book’ gets boring, as I have quickly learned, so we need to mix it up with clever ways to build out the author profile, grow followers and establish a strong network that will help cross promote.
Find your audience and market yourself.
Now, I’m certainly not a trained marketer, and neither are many of my author connections. Nonetheless, we have had to learn quickly the tips and techniques to different marketing strategies for our books. Depending on your book’s genre, its about targeting your audience, finding out where they buy your type of book, and getting in there. Sounds easy right? Well it’s much harder than you’d expect. It takes time, dedication and determination.
Some of my learnings so far:
- Get the right reviews, and promote what people are saying about your book.
- Read and review other books in your genre (and blog them)
- Cross-promote with other authors – there are enough readers in the world for all of us, and we should support not compete against each other.
- Enter awards, promotion deals and get your book on as many sites as possible
- Be wary of quick and cheap promotion sites – they may not deliver or will do so with tactics that may not be in your book’s best interests
- Seek advice, counsel and support from other authors. Look at their successes and learn from them.
- Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there – book signings, magazine interviews, guest blogs and anything where possible if you are offered.
With the world of self-publishing becoming much more accessible to individual writers, it is important to ensure your voice is heard above the noise. Sometimes it is just one thing, and your book hits a trigger that sparks an influx of interest and sales. I say, take that spark and keep it alight. Most of all, have fun, enjoy the journey and don’t lose hope. Every day offers a new opportunity and a new reader to inspire.