Writing a book is difficult. But, you knew that. You’re reading a blog about writing for writers. But, what happens after you’re done? You’ve put in the hours and hours of work, Beethoven’s Fifth turned all the way up, a glass of port wine collecting rain from the thunderstorm outside – or however you write.
Now comes a part not all of us are familiar with. Marketing! Not as illustrious, but a necessary part of being a professional author nonetheless. Like your investment portfolio (someone here has one, right?), your approach to marketing your new book should be diversified. Here are some online and offline ways of pushing your book into the eye of the public:
This is the event you see authors doing in the movies. You read an excerpt of your book, do a Q&A session, and sign books. Frankly, this is not the best way to sell book or make your books known. More often than not, these events are held as a way for authors to give back to bookstores. You find many top-selling authors doing these events still, but it’s not the most effective.
Some bookstores are holding these events in bars and venues as a way to beef up attendance and interaction—to make it more of an event. Taking the book tour across the country in bookstores is going the way of the dodo. But, independent bookstores are taking on these events more and more. Even if this isn’t the best marketing strategy, it’s still better than nothing!
This is still the one of the holy grails for marketing authors and their books. And, like the Holy Grail, it’s really difficult to find (i.e. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). But, if you can get over the wall that separates traditional media and you, it pays off effectively.
Many authors leave this work up to their publishers. But, if you want to take matters into your own hands, or don’t have any other choice, it can be done. It’s all about your pitch. I’m not going to get into the ins and outs of the art of the pitch here, but there are plenty of resources online to teach you effective ways to pitch your books to television, print publications, and radio. I suggest you read them, especially if you’ve tried and have not found success. You may just need to look at it from a different angle.
Old School vs. New School. The New School of Online Marketing can be a scary place. But, it is full of resources and avenues for you to take to market your book. The dreaded social media presence, blogs, e-mail newsletters, and so forth.
I personally believe writers should have some sort of social media presence. When a reader finds an author they like, they will often turn to social media to find out more about that author and their books. I don’t think every writer should try to produce viral content or click traps. But, they should provide some avenue for these readers for follow you and become lifelong fans of your work.
How deep you go with your online presence is up to you and whatever you have time and patience for. The face of marketing is changing every day and it’s probably a good idea to have your hands in many baskets to let the maximum number to readers find you. Good luck!