There’s no shortage of opportunities to promote your book. In fact, the many methods for marketing can often feel daunting. The truth is that the art of true promotion is less in the tools and more in the mindset. You have to believe in and bolster your book like a warrior, regardless of which channel you’re using. That can often take training and practice before it’s perfected and repeated success before you rule the arena.
Know Yourself (and Your Product)
A lot of power is derived from knowing who you are (and what you’re selling). Now after writing a book, you may think “no one knows this better than me,” but unfortunately, many authors bring a book into the world without understanding where it belongs.
What genre does it fit in? Who are your readers? What are some comparable titles?
Before you start to promote anything, you have to know the product. Understanding where your book fits in the market will help the way you target a Facebook ad, submit to awards and even write copy in a newsletter.
There are very few authors who are also natural born marketers. Most writers look at marketing as a painful chore that has to be done briefly leading up to and following the release of the book. However, successful marketing is ongoing and to some degree unending.
No one became a champion after one try or even ten. Finding your inner marketing warrior takes training and routine. The same way you had to sit yourself down and do the writing to produce a book, you also have to be willing to sit down and promote.
Designate a time when you will put your marketing hat on. Set a schedule for what you’re doing and when. Like reps at the gym, you’ll need to force a pattern in order for one to form.
Do For Others
Warriors aren’t extraordinary because they operate for themselves. Warriors become what they are doing for others. When you’re bringing your book to market, you’re in self-promotion mode which inevitably is very internal (whether you enjoy doing it or not). But often, getting the word out for your book means relying on others to help you. And the easiest ways to get the help of others is to start first by giving.
A few ways you can start the cycle of giving as an author:
- Make sure your readers know they are appreciated. Whether you’re able to give away copies of your book or you’re just engaging on social media, make sure the people who matter most to your writing career know that they are important. Never let Twitter messages and thoughtful Facebook comments go without response. Embrace opportunities to say “thank you.”
- Promote fellow authors. As an author, you’re definitely reading. Are you reviewing on Amazon? Writing a post about great books on your blog? Snapping a picture on Instagram of your current TBR (to be read) pile? It’s important to have a team so start building one by giving some of the things you would one day love to receive.
- Invite instead of insist. Even the most humble of authors can struggle with how to bring in readers and fans. Frequently the marketing tactics of new authors involve a lot of “buy my book,” “review after you read,” “sign up for my newsletter.” And the results go nowhere. Instead of insisting (even politely) authors have to invite and often entice people into their inner circle. Offer free ebooks. Create a giveaway. Develop community. Just make sure that when you ask for something, it’s an invitation to get closer.
Build Upon Your Strengths
Once you’ve reached warrior status, don’t stop. It’s momentum that skyrockets authors and so when you start to understand your brand, and you’ve trained yourself to market, and you’ve given to your audience and fellow writers, keep going.
For some that means adding new channels and revenue streams like audiobooks and speaking engagements. For others, it just means continuing to grow what you’ve already cultivated. Taking your newsletter subscriber list from 100 to 1000 or continuing to apply for BookBub after BookBub until you land one. Persistence and practiced focus is the only real secret to truly championing your book. So go be the warrior you are!