This post is the fiftieth in a series about writing a novel. You can check out the list of past topics at the end of this post.
Some authors think that once they have written and published their book, their job is over, and it is time to begin the next one. While it is true that you should begin work on your next book as nothing makes an author more appealing than a list of books they have written, you aren’t done with the one you just published. It is now time to market your book.
While marketing usually starts BEFORE the book comes out (see cover reveal/pre-orders), you must continually market your book. Because while you may have written an awesome story, there are millions of other available titles out there, and you need to help readers to find yours.
Marketing takes time. Not just the time to do it but the time to see results. You have to keep working at marketing to be successful. Remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint. You need to be in it for the long haul.
There really is no sure-fire method for marketing. What works for one author may or may not work for you. But there are two main keys to marketing.
YOU are the BRAND.
The first thing you need to realize is that you are marketing yourself and not your book. Your marketing efforts are building recognition of your brand, which is YOU.
By working on name recognition, your marketing efforts will eventually lead to sales. The key word is “eventually.”
It works the same way as a company running TV commercials. The viewer of the commercial is not often in the position to buy that product right at that moment, but the company wants the viewer to remember their name so when they are at the store, they will see and buy their product.
You need to apply this principle to your marketing. You want people to recognize your name so that when they see your book, they want to buy it (or at least be interested enough to click the button and read the book description.)
That takes me to my second key to marketing….
Marketing takes TIME
So, you began marketing – a Twitter campaign, a guest post, a contest or even an ad on a website – and then there is no spike in sales. That does not mean that your promotion failed. You should not expect instant results.
People typically need to see a name (or book title) many times before they take the time and effort to learn more. So, you need to look at this from a long-haul marketing plan.
This means you always need to be advertising – not just when a new book is released. You may choose to do something once a week or once a month, but you need to consistently work to get your name out there.
And of course, the best bet would not be to pick an activity at random but to look for something that will reach your target market, which we will address next week.
#1 – Deciding to write a novel – Writing Myths
#2 – Three areas to develop before starting to write a novel
#3 – Finding a Story Idea and How to Know if it “good enough”
#4 – Developing Characters for your Novel
#5 – Major characters? Minor Characters? Where does everyone fit in?
#6 – Developing the Setting for your Novel
#7 – The importance of developing conflict in your novel plot
#8 – To Outline or not to outline
#9 – The importance of a story arc
#10 – The importance of tension and pace
#11 – Prologue and opening scenes
#12 – Beginning and ending scenes in a novel
#13 – The importance of dialogue…and a few tips on how to write it
#14 – Using Internal Dialogue in your novel
#15 – More dialogue tips and help with dialogue tags
#16 – Knowing and incorporating back story into your novel
#17 – Hinting at what is to come with foreshadowing
#18 – Tips for writing different scenes in your novel
#19 – Dealing with Writer’s Block
#20 – Killing a Character in your Novel
#21 – Keeping things realistic in your novel
#22 – Establishing Writing Goals and Developing Good Writing Habits
#23 – Using the five senses and passive voice in your novel
#24 – The benefit of research in fiction writing
#25 – Novella or Novel, Trilogy or Series – decisions for writers
#26 – Avoiding Plot and Character Clichés
#27 – Novel Writing – Endings and Epilogues
#28 – Fantasy Novel Writing – World Building, Dragons, Magic and More
#29 – Finishing your First Draft
#30 – Your Second Draft and Beyond
#31 – Picking Stronger Words and Watching out for Homonyms
#32 – Omitting unnecessary words in your novel
#33 – Beta Reader, Proofreaders and Copy Editors
#34 – Knowing your grammar or at least using a grammar checking program
#35 – Using a Revision Outline during your Novel Editing
#36 – Editing Techniques: Taking a Break and Reading Aloud
#37 – Publishing Options for your book
#38 – Self-publishing an ebook decisions
#39 – Picking Your Book Title and Your Pen Name
#40 – Investing in an eye-catching book cover
#41 – Writing an awesome book blurb
#42 – Deciding on Front Matter for your novel
#43 – Deciding on Back Matter for your novel
#44 – Formatting your eBook for publication
#45 – Pricing your e-book
#46 – Selecting Categories and Keywords to improve your Novel’s visibility
#47 – Book Promotions: Cover Reveal and Pre-Orders
#48 – Publishing your novel with Amazon and KDP Select
$29 – Publishing your e-book with Smashwords or Draft2Digital