So, you’ve written The Great American Novel, and it’s about to be published. What next? The whole point to writing a book is so that someone (or a lot of someones) will read it. However, it’s rare that someone will walk into a bookstore and select a book they’ve heard nothing about. With a little ingenuity and hard work, you can market your work and increase sales. Read on for some tips for marketing your book online.
Create an Audience
This is why it’s important to begin creating your audience as soon as you can. This can start as soon as you have a reasonable idea of what your book will be about and when it will be released. Start describing your writing progress on your personal blog and encourage everyone you know to visit the blog, make comments and tell others about your upcoming book.
Procrastination is not an option here! By letting anyone and everyone know about your book, you increase the possibility that your fans will line up to buy it when it’s published.
Network Your Heart Out
Writers tend to be a cliquish bunch, with poets separating themselves from fiction writers, who in turn isolate themselves from nonfiction writers, and so forth. Thankfully, readers aren’t as finicky, often buying a wide array of writings. With this in mind, it makes sense to promote your work across all genres. Be shameless about this! Not only will you develop contacts who may help you further your writing, but you may gain readers who would have otherwise been clueless about the existence of your book.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
The Internet has made marketing a lot easier than it used to be. Take advantage of technology by creating a website and opening accounts on various social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, DeviantArt, etc. This will increase your fan base exponentially, which will lead to more book sales. Not only can you update your fans about progress on your book, potential publishing dates, and so forth, but you can release “teaser” chapters to hook readers.
Integrate Search Engines into Your Efforts
One of the best ways to increase your fan base is to become visible in search engines. This can be done by incorporating specific keywords on your blog, such as the title of your work and a few descriptive words (e.g., “crime novel” or “young adult fiction”).
Also, visit Google Webmaster Central to learn how Google crawls, indexes and ranks websites. By using specific keywords and submitting a sitemap of your site, you increase the likelihood that your site (and therefore your work) will be found through search.
Keep at It (But Maintain Balance)
When it comes to marketing your work, it’s important to remember the adage, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Even the most seasoned marketing firms know this is a nuanced process that requires time and patience. Make a habit of doing a little marketing every day, and you will eventually start reaping the benefits of all of your hard work. Be sure not to burn yourself out, though, or your victory will not seem nearly as sweet.
As you can see, marketing is mostly common sense with a little strategy mixed in. Why pay someone to do it when you can do it yourself? Not only will marketing your own work save you money, but it will increase your overall confidence and help you gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to write a great book. Best of luck!
Derrick Cruise is currently writing a book of poetry, and plans to market it himself using various strategies, including email marketing.