How to Make a Book Release Successful part 2
*This is part two of the book marketing web post*
In the first post I explained all the things you need for a successful book release. In this post I will talk about how they all work together.
How to Make a Book Release Successful part 1
*Due to the length of this Book Barista post I have split it in two. The conclusion to this post is a link at the bottom of the post*
Over the years of me figuring out how to market my books and grow fans as an author I kept coming back to a picture in my head: a spider web. The more I learn about book marketing the more I realize there is no one thing/way that will make my book a success. There are many ways, which all need to be used and promoted in many different ways. Does that make sense?
One Simple Tool Every Author Needs to Successfully Market their Book
Let me give you a hint: It’s not a pen.
The tool you need as an author to let people know you have a book out there is an email list. If you don’t have a newsletter but still expect readers to find out about your book because you mentioned it on your Facebook page, then I got some bad news for you. Expect to hear crickets. Expect to see very low numbers when you look at your sales figures.
So, you wrote a book. Congratulations! You would be surprised that most people who decide to write the novel that has been banging around in their head for years, never actually finish it. You did, so be proud of that.
With that said, what is next? There are a few things you could do. You could get an agent or enter into an open call for submissions at a publisher or self-publish (I go a little more in-depth about self-publish vs traditional publish HERE).
Some of you reading this have already published many books and are thinking you don’t need to know where and how to publish, you’ve already done all that. Well, this post is so much more than that. It is a post not just for brand new authors, but a great post for tips and reminders for experienced authors too. So, stick around and read for a while, you might learn something you didn’t know before.
You are at the computer looking at your basic query letter and about to type: Dear Sir or Madam…let me stop you right there.
What is and What isn't Book Marketing
Let’s delve into book marketing for a second, or a minute, or for however long it takes you to read this post. Most people, both some authors and readers alike, think of book marketing as those sales pitchy type posts on Facebook, Twitter or in the comment section of someone else’s blog posts that tell people to buy their book.
The 'Buy My Book' tactic isn't book marketing, sort of.
Maybe some of you have a lot of fans. Maybe some of you are just starting out and can count on your fingers the number of fans you have. Wherever you are in growing your fans, I think this post might help you even more.
First I will tell you the mistakes I made trying to build fans.
Mistake #1: Not studying the actual data of anything I sign up for.
Publishing. So Many Choices.
I am going to talk today about something I have been back and forth with for about 2 years: traditional publishing verses self-publishing. I think most of you who are reading these posts are self-published authors, with maybe a smattering of hybrid (traditional & self combined), and small or medium sized press traditionally published authors. This is my assumption of course, so I could be completely wrong.
During all my marketing research I couldn’t help but stumble upon opinions and examples of what people prefer and why they publish the way they do. I listened to some traditionally published authors, self-published authors, literary agents, and everyone in between.
There is a benefit to traditional publishing
Stand out in a sea of authors
I just read a blog post about book launches and in the first paragraph they stated that competition is fierce for physical space in brick and mortar book stores. That got me thinking. Competition is also fierce out there in ebook land for indie authors too (as well as traditionally published authors). We have to work that much harder just to get a few new eyes to glance at one of our books because there are thousands of new releases every day. We aren’t just competing with all the other indies out there, but the fancy traditionally published books that have entire marketing teams helping them out.
Being an author today is 95% marketing and 5% writing
Write. Organize. Publish. Repeat you Motha
One of the first things I noticed when I really hunkered down and began my great marketing quest was how many tips or books are out there about becoming a bestseller. If that is your goal at this moment I think that’s great. I believe that the tips and ideas I have here will help you in that process. While I can’t guarantee you 100% it will, I know that I took what I learned from already bestselling authors and it worked for them.
My goal is to grow my reach and fan base, get my books to a broader audience, and make more sales. When I say more sales, I mean a profit. I am not making a profit yet. Maybe one day I will change my goals so that I am working toward being a bestselling author, but I like to start small.
Most of my working life people always asked me what my long term goals were and I would come up with something just to make them happy. Afterwards I felt bad that I couldn’t think long term like them. I chalked it up to not liking the job I had at the time. The trouble is I can’t use that excuse anymore because I love writing. You would think I would have many long term goals but I still don’t.
I’m a baby stepper.
Let’s talk about parties. Release parties to be specific. If you are an author you have them whether you are paid enough (or have a big contract with a Top 5 publisher) to have an actual catered party at some swanky place with champagne and hors d'oeuvres or you are like the rest of the 99.999% of authors and have a Facebook or Twitter party. You need to know how to throw one for success.
Now I will admit I did the typical Facebook party or takeover (author or blog asking me to join for an hour to take over their Facebook party) with some games and a few small prizes. It was fine and I gained a few fans over the years from that.
Most of the book marketing blog posts or books I came across gave the same advice. According to them I was doing everything fine and from what I saw other authors do (even some big name authors) they did the same thing. They had a few games, small prizes, etc.
As an indie-author I was wondering what I could do to help get my books out there. So, I looked into it and that's when I realized I had a lot to learn. These posts are to help my fellow authors learn how to market and publish their book. I pass on what I found out about making a book a success.