Do you think this is true, and if so how can we make sure that the books that we are writing make it from our screen to the bookshelves and kindles of our potential audience?
We have a highly competitive market at the moment, so if you want a potential reader to pick up your book before they look at the other thousands of books that are being published how will you get noticed?
There are many different schools of thought about how writers should write and how they can make sure they market their book successfully, but so far I’ve come up with the following and would use a combination of all of them .
Stand above the crowd:
– Build your audience using blogs, social media, advertising, interviews, non fiction articles that have an author description at the bottom of the article (where you can talk about being an author of xxx book(s), hangouts/e video interviews (like You tube, or Google plus hangouts) and panel chats.
– Don’t just talk and interact with other writers. Writers tend to be voracious readers but they, like you are trying to build an audience for their book(s), not find new authors.
– Get your book edited professionally. This is a show stopper for me. If you want people to read your book it should be presented professionally and without spelling, punctuation, usage and grammar (SPUG) errors.
– Get a professional cover artist to create the cover art for your book, even if it is an e-book, the cover will be used on online sites when people go to look at and potentially buy your book. A bad, unprofessional looking cover could turn off your customer in that vital first few seconds and loose you sales
– Use many markets to sell your book. There are various online sales venues for books, including but not exclusively, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, bookbaby, smashwords and createspace. There may also be limited opportunities to promote and sell print on demand books in your local bookshop, stock in your local library or promote at a local event or store. I think the most important thing here is to not put all your eggs in one basket and to be creative, making new opportunities to promote and sell your book.
– Consider advertising,. This can be expensive and if you don’t correctly identify your market segment and effective marketing channels then it can be an unproductive use of time and resources. However a limited use of pay per click advertising is something that I am considering once I’ve precisely identified the market segment I want to target.
– Make sure that you are ready to release your book! There is nothing more exciting for an author than that feeling when their book is completed and it is all too tempting to want to get your book out onto the (virtual) shelves ready for the reading public to buy. But like in home improvements where the advise is to measure twice and cut once, so in writing you should edit twice and publish once. You don’t get a second chance at a first impression and word of mouth can be a valuable tool for increasing sales, it is therefore worth taking the time to edit and beta test your book before you publish it so any SPUG errors, continuity issues, plotting difficulties and pacing malfunctions can be addressed and corrected.
– Consider the Season. Yes, this may seem like a mad thing to say, but Christmas and Summer are the two periods (in the western world at least) when you will find people are most likely to spend money buying a book either for themselves or as a present for their nearest and dearest. If you are going to release your book, what ever the method you choose, you should give yourself six months from the time the book is going to be released to advertise and promote your book (end to end marketing campaign including all the planning and strategising time you will need). So plan ahead if you want to release your book during these peak buying times.
What do you think of my suggestions? Have you got other suggestions either to create an eclectic or single path approach?
If everyone in the world shared my view that you really can’t have too many books or cats, then as authors we would feel confident that our books had a good chance at getting noticed and bought by enough people that we could make a comfortable living from our writing alone. As it stands most authors also have a day job. The volume of books being produced and the difficulty of getting noticed in a crowded market make it feel sometime nigh on impossible to be an author in the current market. But, despite all the difficulties that we face as authors in the modern world, I am sure that if writers come together to share advise and knowledge we can learn the best way to promote and market our books.
The usual provisos of course must be tagged onto the end of this piece, there is no one right way to be successful in advertising your book, all you have to do is find the right way for you and your book. And finally (yes I started a sentence with a conjunction) ,the most important thing above all other things is to write. So, go, go on. Stop loitering here and go get writing.