By Judith Briles
Authors often don’t want to hear what works to sell books.
John Kremer, marketing expert, often responds when an author asks, How long should I market my book? with How long do you want book sales?
If you want books sales, doing repeatedly what doesn’t work is book marketing insanity. Successful book sales need some type of book marketing campaign behind them. As in what is needed to create a successful book marketing campaign—a campaign that includes the creation, the execution of pushing the book out. It’s called a plan.
What holds authors back?
- Many don’t like marketing.
- Many would rather be writing … not marketing.
- Many didn’t realize that they must do marketing.
- Many tried marketing, but what was tried didn’t work; therefore, the belief that nothing will settles in.
- It takes time.
- It takes money.
- Or, if they had cost overruns in creating the book, they refuse to do anything to support/market their book once they have all those books sitting in the garage.
Could any of the above be you?
Stop the insanity …
Start with the What’s next? question. Of course, the answer to What’s next? has to be the marketing and selling of it.
- What’s next is educating yourself—learning what other authors are doing that works …and doesn’t. Following the best-selling authors and top influencers in their blogs and social media and studying what they do and mimic where appropriate.
- What’s next could be getting help. Virtual assistants have become the right hands, eyes and fingers of many authors. Get one.
- What’s next is to stop rationalizing, making excuses and justifying why you can’t market it. My belief is, “Yes you can.”
- What’s next is connecting with others—it’s a huge shout out time. Anywhere … everywhere.
- What’s next is telling the world.
- in person
- with your connections
- with groups that you belong to
- with creating a press release and doing a push with it
So, using the town hall of marketing: social media and the appropriate platforms.
- What’s next is connecting with groups that want to “hear” your message—speaking and book clubs—both areas can be done via in-person and online.
- What’s next is for you, dear author, to commit—recommit—to your book and yourself. That is, if you want book sales.
But … you think … and say:
I’m tired… Welcome to the club. The creation of a book can lead to Book Fatigue Syndrome—you want a time out. Do it—take a week or two off … but then, it’s back to work.
I’ve already committed so much money, I can’t put another dime out… What were you thinking in the first place—that if you just held a copy of your finished book that the world would flock to the stores, the Internet, your website, your front door, you, to get a copy? That would be a rarity. You need help … starting right now. This is where “hanging out” with other authors helps—what worked for them (and didn’t)? Would it work with your book?
I just want to write… Get over that one, too. Yes, keep writing. You get better; and you need to have “new” books forward. In a recent podcast I did with agent Michael Larsen, he revealed that for fiction authors, it’s book #5 that opens the door.
I hired the wrong person to help me… It happens. The reality is: most have, including me. Lick your wounds—determine what went wrong in the process—then get back to work.
I don’t know how to do all this social media stuff… Welcome to the crowd … but there are those out there who do … and guess what—they are part of the book marketing campaign—your book marketing campaign and included in your book budget.
Book marketing takes work. Lots of it.
Yes, there is marketing overwhelm—so much to do in what seems so little time. Yet marketing is stretched over a period.
Can you get author and book marketing fatigue? Of course.
Wise authors work in projects, get help where they need it and get that it’s not an all or nothing basis. Effective marketing can be in nibbles. What needs to be consistent and a plan behind it.
Too, too many authors abandon their book early in the process. And what do they do? One of two things:
- Many start another book—maybe a variation of what they just did. And what will happen when they finish? Disappointment.
- Others walk away and become MIBAs … missing in book action, abandoning mega hours of blood, sweat and tears and what could be a successful book—desired and needed.
In effect, many authors become unfit author-parents. What were they thinking?
Part of authoring is connecting with potential and ongoing book buyers. It means:
- and more marketing
No author gets to do the ostrich bit. That is, if they want author success.
Stop the insanity.