Thank you all for your comments and congratulations! Winners of the Historical Holiday Hop are:
Theresa Newbury & Donna McCabe
Please email me your mailing addresses at HeatherWebb (dot)writes(at)gmail(dot)com.
And now, on with the show!
All authors are looking for that magic marketing formula. How much money should we spend on ads? What should our websites look like? How much time should be spent on social media? How do we distinguish ourselves amidst all of the white noise? But these are the wrong questions. The best way to establish oneself as an author, to be an effective marketing guru, isn’t quantifiable. *rips out hair* So what should an author focus on for promotion?
CULTIVATE YOUR VOICE Be yourself, which is to say, be unique! Don’t try to rip off another author’s style. It will not only feel phony to you, your readers will see that you’re trying too hard. Don’t assume they can’t tell. Give them more credit than that! Also keep in mind that online articles are more informal in voice. You don’t want to sound like a stiff or a nag or you’ll bore your readers.
BE CREATIVE Start your own writing-related services, writer group, or hashtag. Set up a bookstand with your novels at a soccer match, purchase inexpensive paraphernalia with your cover on it or maybe your character’s names. Sell it on your website, distribute it at conferences. People like stuff! Make cupcakes with your book cover on them and bring them to the day job, the community center, or the library. You get the idea. Think outside of the box.
GET INVOLVED We’re all busy with our lives outside of writing, but it’s imperative you make time to get involved. Volunteer for your favorite writing group(s) or writer forums, agree to guest blog appearances, critique others’ pages, post industry-related articles. See and be seen. You’ll meet great people this way, not to mention, you may discover what you’re good at or what doesn’t work for you. You may meet your agent this way!
RESEARCH A writer’s research is never finished. Pay attention to what is selling in the book market. Listen to what readers want. Track the changes happening in the industry. How will this information affect your current platform? How can you change to incorporate new trends and more importantly, to reach MORE readers? Do your research, if not daily, weekly.
ENGAGE Reach out! Find ways to connect to different groups of people, both in person and online. Attend conferences, book fairs, and author signings. Cheer on your fellow writers in their quest to publication. Form relationships with people. When your agent tells you to get on Twitter, what they mean to say is, TALK TO PEOPLE. Make friends. Swap anecdotes, swap recipes. Anything! What you’re actually doing is forming your tribe. Your tribe will gladly help promote your works because THEY LIKE YOU. Because they’re your friends. Never underestimate the power of banding together to spread the word.
WRITE AMAZING, DROOL-WORTHY BOOKS The best way to gain more readers, to harness your success is to write more books. The kind of books that send readers on a journey, that wrench open minds with a crow bar, that break hearts.
So get writing! And remember that being yourself and building relationships are the most effective marketing tools.