Please don’t put the cart before the horse. By this I mean, don’t produce a book and then start trying to figure out how to promote it. Sure, this works for someone who is savvy, flexible and willing to work hard in order to sell copies of their book. Where it doesn’t work is when the author is clueless about what it takes to promote a book and basically reluctant to go out of his way to do what it takes.
If you can write, you can write a book. Some authors can even write a worthwhile book. Anyone can publish a book, as well. There are many companies that make it super easy—just give them money and they will hand you a few copies of your bound book. Whether the book is professionally edited, has a decent cover and a look of quality might be questionable. Authors should know what they are doing when they begin to consider publishing their books. This is the area where many of them make their second batch of mistakes.
Among those authors who make it through the writing, editing and publishing of a book—no matter the quality book they now hold in their hands—there are way too many who are ill-prepared for the next crucial step on their journey. Marketing the book.
I hear from newly published authors every week who are confused, overwhelmed and/or even disheartened when they realize that they are responsible for promoting their books. They are astounded to discover that their work, up until now, was easy compared to the effort they currently face. They don’t know where to start and where they will get the time to pursue this activity. Some have a strong distaste for blatant self-promotion. And for many, their books never get a chance in the marketplace because the author just can’t do the work that is necessary.
Although the task of book promotion comes after the writing, editing and publishing of a book, it should be one of the first things an author thinks about, explores, studies, researches and even begins to pursue. You should have a very good idea about what successful book promotion for your particular book entails way before bringing it out. And you should start setting the scene for your book promotion efforts before you ever publish a book.
You’ve heard of platform, haven’t you? Your platform is made up of the things you need in order to successfully promote your book. This would include marketing ideas, connections, skills and abilities related to the successful promotion of your particular book. You need an audience. You need to know who and where this audience is. You need to become known to your audience. You must understand how to reach this audience and what will entice them to buy your book. It sounds easy, but bookselling in this fiercely competitive bookselling climate is extremely intense work that takes a lot of creativity, time and energy.
The more understanding you have about book promotion before you ever begin to write that novel, children’s book, how-to book or memoir, the better chance you will have of a successful outcome.
A good place to start your journey toward successful authorship—no matter where you are in the process—is to study my book, Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author. It’s available at Amazon.com in print and Kindle as well as most other online and downtown bookstores. Or purchase your copy here: http://www.matilijapress.com