I’ll start off with a big confession: I have zero practical marketing experience. And I’m not
that thrilled to learn. Like most of the writers I’ve come to know through social media, all I really want to do is write, hang my book out there, and have it magically appear in the hands of countless readers. To my chagrin, there’s a step in between “hanging the book out there” and it being read by those throngs of soon to be adoring fans. I have to do stuff. Some of it seems fun. Some of it, well, not so much. But I’m a big boy. I know that there’s a business aspect to being a writer. So I’ve been trying to figure out how to balance spreading the word about my upcoming novella without embarrassing myself and looking desperate.
Almost everything I’ve read about marketing books has been clear that I need to be active promoting my novel when it comes out. BUT I have to be careful not to wear out my welcome. I’ve been on Twitter for a year now, but most of my friends and followers are also writers. While that is very cool, and very constructive, we want to target readers, right?
The reality of the situation is that I do not have a lot of money to sink into a marketing plan. To complicate things further, I have a full time job that inexplicably expects me to do the labor it hired me for, which is not writing fantasy novels. Oh, and I also have to keep writing new stuff. So I have to develop a plan to apply scarce funds over a narrow time frame. Sounds pretty daunting to me.
So this is what I’m doing. Note, this is not me giving advice, since I have no idea how successful I’m going to be.
Yes, I will use Twitter, and I will use Facebook. But the fact of the matter is, I’ve come to know and like a lot of my twitter followers. I don’t want to turn them off by bombarding them with yet another plea to buy a book. So I’ll use that sparingly.
Book review sites. I’ve been researching sites that accept indie works, and that review fantasy. I have a handful identified. If anyone knows of any sites that review fantasy, I would appreciate the tip.
Facebook and Goodreads advertising. I’ve read some underwhelming reports on the success of Facebooks ads. I’ve heard nothing about Goodreads advertising (although that looks more expensive). The good thing about Facebook advertising is that you can actually visit some sites (like facebookadscoupon.com) that will sell you a $50 voucher for less than $8. So if the ads don’t turn up much, you’re not out too much cash.
If there is anything at all clever about my strategy, it’s that I’m releasing my novella about six months before my first novel, which is set in the same fantasy world. My hope is that the lessons I learn over the course of this next half a year will teach me a thing or two that will help when I finally release SHADOWS AND BONES. And maybe I’ll have convinced some readers that the followup to The Prince of Graves will be a must read. After all, the best marketing tool is writing a good novel, right?
Do you have any tips that you’d like to share?
Keep talking to people– word of mouth is the most powerful.
That sounds like good advice. And it definitely works for some of the writers I’ve come to admire the most. Thanks!
I’m in the same boat – and hitting the marketing just feel a bit wrong!
One small tip for you. I did see it suggested that entering your Cover Art in competitions can be good for both your Cover Artist (if you have one), and for getting the word out.
And Pinterest seems to be getting a lot of attention recently, but I haven’t had time to check it out yet. 🙂
Wow, that’s a great suggestion! I appreciate that suggestion. It sounds fun, unlike some other marketing options. Thank you!
You’re most welcome. I’ll be very interested to see what others come up with!
I have no marketing experience either, but I also recommend word of mouth and networking. I wouldn’t put too much behind ads on Facebook and such.
I may experiment with Facebook and Goodreads, then post the results here so others can see. But I do agree with you, word of mouth seems to be the best. Thanks Nick!
Never underestimate the power of networking. For me it’s about having the confidence to say I am a writer, to friends family and then work colleagues. Some of my work colleagues have read my short stories and it’s great to get feedback that way. They even tell other people who then read them. I haven’t tried to sell a book yet but I have one that I’m currently editing so I have yet to cross the marketing bridge. Don’t forget writers read too and they talk to their friends. You never know. What about approaching local reading groups or WI (WI’s changed a lot these days), and seeing if they’d like you to come and talk to them, or getting a stall at a local village fair in the Summer, or what about local radio stations see if they are interested in interviewing you. Good luck!
I’ve thought about the readers groups. I’ve even heard of people who have spoken to book clubs through local libraries. I think those are great ideas. My only hesitation is that I’m new to the whole process, so I’m a bit timid. I’ll be looking for those opportunities though. Thanks for the comments and suggestions!
Just another thought, Have you got a village magazine? Perhaps you could put an advert in there promoting the book? :o)
No, I actually haven’t thought through that angle. I will now, though. Thanks for the suggestion!