They say that sometimes the journey is more interesting than the destination. This couldn’t have been truer for Buddha. The world today knows him as
How should I market my book?
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Well the hard part is over, you finished writing the book , now you have some kind of a contract and the book will be published. So then the question is, will it find its readers automatically. Well every book has its fate that is true. But leaving everything on fate may not be the right approach either. So let us try to figure out how can we go about it.
1. When to start ?
If you are a first time author then definitely start early. Contract signing, a ready cover or finishing of the first draft all could be a good start. Just remember it is never too late nor too early to start talking about your book. Important thing is to sustain it. A minimum 3-6 months would be a good time frame. Keep about a month to prepare for pre orders, creating a pre release buzz, giveaways, sending ARCs then sustain the promotions post release to 6 months or even more.
2. What to say?
This is difficult especially if you want to keep talking about your book for 3-6months. But lets start with the basics :
- Press Kit : A must have, includes book cover(front & back) a professional photo, short bio, synopsis, any early praise of your book & social media links. Make sure the text in the email body is not too long and start by sending this to all your email contacts. Yes people do open their emails! Don’t miss out on this one.
- Social Media Kit : Similar to the press kit but here think short and sweet and more importantly the QUANTITY. Yes, as much as you hate this, a daily posting or even more frequently is what the algorithms expect from you. That is roughly 20-30 posts for a month. So select your social media platform wisely. There is no harm in picking just one and focussing on building that first before moving to the others.
- Content ideas : You can try different formats to talk about your book. Some of the very popular things are , trailer video, a short intro video of you holding the book and talking about it, doing a cover reveal, post the initial reviews, praise for the book, introduce the chratacters, give some BTS. The potential here is endless if you plan, schedule and execute well. Be you, be interesting and authentic.
But remember, social media used to be social networking in the good old days, so use this networking scope wisely. Just posting pictures and posting content from your book will not connect you with readers and fellow writers. Connect & talk to them like a human.
So don’t be shy, keep pitching yourself and your book for reviews, author interviews, guest posts, articles & even for screen ! Why not ? Keep doing the work. There is no short cut to this really. Also support other authors and creators, cheer them up, read their work.
3. What ‘offline’ platforms can I use ?
In today’s day and age very few things are offline only. So everything you do offline will feed into your online channel. But if you get any chance to physically meet your readers or fellow authors, just go for it.
- Book store visits & launches : This is perhaps not the best option for new authors mainly because you can only expect your friends and family to show up. Bookstores may not be stocking your books, or giving you any prominent displays but again, it is good content for social media.
- Public relations (PR) : The landscape of PR is changing with digital. So yes you can pay your way into the mainstream newspaper’s digital or print (less likely) edition. You will be surprised how affordable and less reliable things are getting there.
- But still a good coverage can do a lot to your reputation as an author. So try to be part of relevant conversations, reach out to journalists directly if possible or ask people you know to introduce you. Meet people at events, exchange ideas.
I know there are still more questions about promoting your book, especially if you are a new author. Here are a few more that we keep getting. Do share your questions in the comments section and I we will address them as soon as we can
To sum up, the ways you can promote your book today are endless but equally difficult to create an impact or differentiate yourself. So it can get very frustrating and overwhelming. Protect your sanity, you are bigger than your book & your social media handle.
In the end your craft matters, how much you learn from each book matters and the genuine connections you build along the way will stay.
Is it ok to have a zero marketing budget for the first book?
Yes ! Absolutely. There are lot of activities you can do for free. In fact all that I mentioned above can be done by you. All you need is time, patience and very basic knowledge.
Should I do the marketing alone or hire some professionals?
If you have a day job and some disposable income, do hire an intern or experts like us. It just gets you going and your author brand will start building.
How much marketing support can I expecting to get from the publishers?
Very little, almost negligible. Depending upon how you got published – Self or Traditional, you can expect distribution support for your book. But involvement of publisher in the marketing campaign is very subjective.
I hope this article helps, we have a series of workshops and live sessions to help you navigate through your publishing journey.
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