The way the landscape of publishing has developed it has become an exciting and invigorating time to not only be an avid reader but also an author. More books are being read, written and published than ever before and the availability in being able to produce a physical book or eBook and have it distributed is at our fingertips. With this comes the challenge in figuring out how the author is to effectively have their published works reach its audience in such a cluttered and massive environment.
For a book to successfully reach an audience, there are two major factors that need to be given immense respect and focus; marketing and discovery. How do we inform our audience and how can readers find our work? Traditionally, bookstores have had a very large part to play in both of these exercises however the landscape has changed with such a massive online presence and audience. So for the new age author, marketing is primarily focused on building a strong online presence and strategy. Marketing needs to be addressed as more of a progressive and staged activity incorporating a variety of different strategies for each level of the staged campaign and these stages are to be revisited constantly.
Whether you are a new or currently published author there is a five pronged approach you can take with this new age of book marketing;
Education. Learn all you can about the industry. For example, connect with publishing executives online, start following them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social medias so you are getting the key messages these people have to share. Connect with groups that are in the process of marketing so you can become familiar with the mindset needed to promote and connect. Look for the common trends and developments and strategically see which you can implement.
Platform. Building a platform is essential. Along with a personal website embrace the ‘fab five’ of Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ Instagram and YouTube) and also connect them with a Goodreads account. The goal here is have a substantial and strong web presence and following.
Engage. Pre-engage your audience. Once your social media is active and you’re building your following, start connecting with the readers and writers groups on each of the platforms. On a fortnightly basis leading up to the release of your book, share key information to keep your followers and connections engaged. Mix it up with other information so not to be swamping your feeds.
Launch. From the moment your book becomes available the key focus switches from building a following to selling books. Along with informing your existing database of contacts (family, friends, colleagues) you will want to capitalise on your social media build by running online competitions, submitting the book to book bloggers and online reviewers in line with physical marketing efforts.
Ongoing. Marketing lasts for as long as you want it to. As an indie author you decide when it stops. There is a variety of opportunities that will appear and need to be nurtured as you get into the marketing process. Keeping your online audience engaged, reaching out to libraries for public speaking events, appearing at book related events, set up stalls at general events. Continue writing and connecting through online groups such as Goodreads and WattPad, among others.
We have just scratched the surface on each of these and there is a wealth of information available in the marketplace that addresses each of them; however the key factor we need to see here is that each stage will require a dedicated and focused strategy that will be constantly progressing and developing. Fundamentally, you can’t promote your book without establishing a community physically or online first. Marketing begins with the moment you decide to commit to writing the book.