A lot of authors want to write and just keep writing. They don’t want to market their books. They hate the idea of marketing or don’t know where to begin. It’s true. Marketing can be hard, especially if you still have a full time job and want to focus on your next book. Here’s the rub: If you don’t market, no one will know about your book.
The simple act of putting your book on Amazon does not equate to a marketing plan. Plus, contrary to what your mom, family and friends may think, or perhaps what you’ve been told in your writers group: your book is not the field of dreams. Just the mere act of publishing won’t cause droves of people to beat a path to your door.
What’s an author to do? Simple! Build your fan base.
How to Build a Fan Base
Fans, and Super Fans in particular, help you to market your book. In fact, if you engage with your Super Fans, they may often help you sell your book.
Wouldn’t that be great?
Here’s how to build this fan base: Put a letter in the back of your book, something engaging, inviting, something that encourages readers to contact you. Building a loyal base is worth its weight in gold. And if you want to spend your life writing—rather than marketing—your books, you must invest in the fans that find you organically.
I have a longer Super Fan article on this topic if you want to dig in further,. You can see it here.
Pitch Book Reviewers
Pitching book reviewers can be a tedious task, but if you pitch just five bloggers a week that’s twenty new blog pitches in a month. And this activity adds up.
You should always pitch your book consistently to bloggers, readers, Amazon reviewers, etc. If you feel uncertain about how to find them. Check out these links for a list of bloggers you can pitch:
Boost Amazon Visibility with Keyword Strings
It’s hard not to venture onto our blog without seeing a post about Amazon Optimization. I’m a huge fan of Amazon Optimization not just because I wrote a book on the topic but because it works.
If you want Amazon to (almost) market your book for you, check your keyword strings and categories. If you have single keywords replace them with actual keyword strings. If you want to dig deeper, check out this piece on how to find keywords.
Blog and Social Media Essentials
I get that blogging and social media are turn offs for most authors. You already have another book you want to write and now you need to blog and be on social media, too? Well, yes, but don’t overthink this.
Be interesting, or be funny, or “open the Kimono,” as they say, and share a glimpse of a writer’s life. Your posts don’t have to be long; in fact, some of the best posts aren’t. But they should be interesting, insightful, even funny if being humorous is your thing.
How often should you blog? Twice a week, once at a bare minimum.
In terms of social media, keep in mind that it’s not about being everywhere but everywhere that matters. If you only have time for one site then do just one site. Post one piece of content a day, that’s it. It literally takes less than 5 minutes, and it’s free.
Engage, build fans, and network. Whatever you do, whether it’s one of these things or all of them (rock star!) do it consistently. One blog post every once in a while, one social media update or one pitch to a blogger will not move the needle. Done consistently, this will have an effect on your success. All of these tasks are easy to work into a schedule, and some (like the Amazon keywords) only have to be done one time, or a couple times a year if you’re in a popular genre with lots of new competition entering the space.
If you wrote a book, you owe it to yourself and the book you spent so much time on to do some marketing, even if it’s at the smallest level.
It’s easy to throw your hands up and say: I don’t get it!
And believe me when I say that I see authors giving up, walking away, often.
When I first entered into business, I hated a lot about what I was required to do. Taxes and accounting are great examples. I did these jobs myself for a while, and it wasn’t pretty. But I did it, and it got me through. When I finally had the means. I outsourced these tasks. I’m glad I didn’t walk away from my business just because I sort of suck at math. Why am I telling you this story? To emphasize the fact that we all have parts of our jobs we hate to do, but if this journey and your book are important to you, you’ll make time to do them or learn how.
You only fail if you fail to try!
About the Author
Penny Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. She is the author of five books, including From Book to Bestseller, which has been called the “road map to publishing success.” AME is the first marketing and publicity firm to use Internet promotion to its full impact through The Virtual Author Tour™, which strategically works with social networking sites, blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, YouTube, and relevant sites to push an author’s message into the virtual community and connect with sites related to the book’s topic, positioning the author in his or her market. To learn more about Penny’s books or promotional services, visit her website at amarketingexpert.com.
Hyperlinks to books and resources may contain my affiliate code.
This article originally appeared on AMarketingExpert.com.
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