At What Point Should You Kick-start Your Book Marketing?

At What Point Should You Kick-start Your Book Marketing?

I get around to quite a lot of festivals and expos, I love it. I was at a Sci-fi festival over the weekend, an annual event that attracts many of the cities published and aspiring authors. I found myself talking with a lovely emerging author about book marketing who is in the final stages of publishing her book.

The topic moved on to marketing and promotion and despite the few considerations made for the cover, no other book marketing planning had been done.

When should I start?” the author said.

Yesterday!!” I replied.

When it comes to marketing your book you can NEVER start soon enough. Unfortunately as in this lovely authors case as with the majority out there, up until the time of printing the focus is completely on writing their book. Then, when it’s about to be sent to the printer they start thinking about promotion and book marketing.

Now, I realise all too well that crafting your book to an acceptable final result is vital, but make no mistake there’s going to be overlap here, from writing the book to marketing the book.

If you’ve not taken any action up til the point of your book being printed having left it to the last possible minute, know that you’ve done a HUGE disservice to your book and yourself as an author. It requires time and some effort to market effectively, it takes time to build a readership and get your name out amongst the masses. Tools like social media, live networking and submitting for pre-release reviews all need some time invested to learn and use effectively for book selling and author brand building.

Ok, so now I’ve dropped the seed in your mind that this is something you need to focus on, Your probably now asking;

So what marketing do I begin with without yet having a published book?

Get started taking action with a few pointers and objectives

Here’s a few pointers with some actionable objectives to get you started. Set some time aside each and every week and when the time comes to print you’ll be better positioned to have your book be seen and heard by interested eyes and ears.

Live networking with the hustle edge

I’m talking about live events and expos. It’s best to start by finding the local events in your own city. This means you can get there in person, get comfortable using that conversational muscle and shake a few hands. We all have a natural need to connect and this method is practically free, minus the ten bucks for admission.

Tip 1: Depending on the nature of the event, try to talk to at least two other authors. Ask about their publishing journey and take some notes. If they are writing in your own genre then its an opportunity to stay in touch and even support each other with dual marketing strategies later.

Tip 2: If it’s a publishing event, don’t go seek out a publisher, go the other way and go pick the brains of publicists and book marketers. These people are in the public promotion trenches everyday, who stay current with the latest trends. Make sure you’ve got your note pad in hand. Be sure to get their business cards, don’t be quick to hand them yours first. Everyone is so busy today, that if you have their details YOU have the power to keep in contact and the conversation going.

Using Social Media for actual results

This is another free tool and is a powerful environment to start talking and building awareness about yourself and build buzz about your upcoming book. Now, this is where you don’t just spam people with what you think is your best piece of flash fiction. It’s okay to talk about that stuff, but it’s best to keep it within context and conversation with others.

Tip 1: Start by creating your account profiles to look professional and emit the type of presence you want. A professional writer that’s playing to win. This means you need a professional photo where your smiling and confident, not patting your dog in your pajamas. Have your website link, a good bio including a couple of your goals and mention on your Twitter wallpaper and Facebook profile the other ways people can connect.

Tip 2: Start connecting with other writers, authors and publishing industry professionals. Pick up and learn from conversations, engage with people. Too many writers and authors DON’T ENGAGE in conversation and instead spam links that are ‘all about them’. This only leads you to being blocked. Yes, I’ve blocked or unfollowed people who spam and offer no value to anyone else.

Then I would suggest you go searching on Twitter for ‘readers’ who are potentially your target market. If you have a cook book for example, seek out the cooking and mom blogs and websites that have a presence on Twitter and Facebook. Start engaging to see what their wanting from books, discover new ideas being shared. You can learn valuable insights here that can go into crafting a better product ‘for them’, the people soon to buy your book.

Early/Pre-release reviews oversight

It’s incredible the minority of Independent writers and emerging authors that actually do this! It’s an aspect of pre-launch buzz that gets completely neglected. Yet, these reviews have amazing power of boosting your book with credibility, that helps ‘close’ sales!

Tip: When your about three to four months out from publication, start getting your manuscript out to book bloggers and online reviewers. Select only those that are looking at the same genre’s as your own book. READ THEIR GUIDELINES about what they are taking on and how to submit. This is a time when you’ll need to disconnect from the deep personal attachment for your novel and see it as a ‘retail product’. Don’t let the fear of receiving critical reviews or feedback stop you. At this point it’s not too late to fix last minute oversights, it’s one more professional that now ‘knows about you’ and of course it’s the only way to get all those ‘good reviews’ you need.

You ideally want to spend at least an hour a day on any aspect of your book marketing plan. I suggest you don’t stay too rigid and allow yourself to be inspired about what you’ll do for any given day. Enjoying the process is going to help you stick it out for the long run and Independent publishing for profit and building an audience is about perseverance and persistence.

When the time comes to print your book, the marketing efforts you’ve been working on a little bit everyday will add up to a very healthy platform base to start your book launch from.

What marketing have you started with or what do you intend to begin with? Would you like a personal tip for where to start?

Anthony
Encouraging writers to begin marketing yesterday

9 Responses to At What Point Should You Kick-start Your Book Marketing?

    • Excellent Nicky. Doing the right things a little bit everyday and knowing why your doing them, goes along way. Thanks for the comment!

  1. I think I may have jumped too far ahead of myself. I had a few people read for reviews and then the editor made some sequence changes that makes it read almost as a new book. Did I move too fast?

    • The purpose of reviews is not to re-write your book based on feedback, especially if the editor did so without your consent. Reviews are to simply garner 3rd party appraisals for your book and taking the positive reviews and using them for promotion and social proof. This is ideal to do months ahead of release and if this was your intention, you didn’t jump ahead, you’re thinking ahead.

  2. […] Marketing is arguably the most important part of launching any new product. Regardless of whether you are traditionally published or self published, YOU are responsible for the on going promotions of your book. Oh and please don’t simply spam out messages across the web like “buy my book”, because it doesn’t work and frankly it  just annoys people. Make sure part of your marketing includes giving value to people and this is how you will make them stop, listen and hopefully care about what you have to say. Only THEN can you mention how your book is the best thing since Starbucks. […]

  3. Hi Anthony,

    I’ve been researching the need for marketing one’s book for the last two months. I am more than a bit confused now between those who say publication of your book is the first way to market yourself and your brand and those who say that you have to market yout book/brand FIRST i.e. BEFORE you publish your book. This appears to be contradictory to me. I ‘d have thought that establishing a platform in several ways ought to come before publishing. Can you please clarify these different priorities? Thanks, Jan.

    • Hi Jan, yes it can be confusing. Many authors will find their own route to success. What you have to keep in mind, is that publishing and marketing today, is different than 10 years ago. Those who were first published 30 years ago will have a different opinion to those finding success in the last 3 years. In today’s climate, more than ever, people are only listening and buying from those people and brands they ‘know, like and trust‘. As our consumer habits and economy has, and will continue to move online, it’s important that authors build their presence online first. Be where the readers are and continuing to go. You can have a book, but what good is that, if no one knows about you or where to find you? That’s why in today’s economy, building a platform and name first, get people to know who you are, enjoy the value you provide and then you have an audience that now ‘knows, likes and trusts‘ you. Then you have people ready to buy your book when it’s finally published. 🙂

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