The joys of book marketing
When I found a home for DUE DATE, I naively thought my work was done. I could rest on my laurels and move on to book two. Ha! I had no idea what lay ahead: marketing. Book marketing, no less.
I don’t know what I was thinking: that the book would magically find its way into readers’ hearts on its own. That, after all the hard work of writing it, I would be okay with no one reading it! I had a harsh reality check and put my nose to the marketing grindstone.
My first step was to sign up for classes: I found the World Literary Café (http://www.worldliterarycafe.com/), a site dedicated to connecting readers and authors. I signed up for the social media classes, taught by Melissa Foster (http://www.melissafoster.com/). In two very full class sessions, I learned about branding yourself: creating a website, a Twitter account, an author Facebook page, and a blog. I learned about book promotion, through reviews, book trailers, events, Goodreads, Shelfari, The Library Thing. I learned about connecting with readers by way of interviews, book club visits, and events at local libraries and bookstores. (If you’re a newly published author or want to learn more about book marketing, I to urge you to check out these classes!)
But Melissa urged us to keep three things in mind when embarking on this marketing journey:
- Make it fun. Melissa encouraged us to figure out a way to make marketing something you like doing. And I have. I concentrate on all the amazing people I’ve met since I launched into book marketing. The readers I’ve had the opportunity to talk to are wonderful: passionate about books and enthusiastic about authors. And I’ve met so many authors in the last six months, all generous with their time and energy. It’s been a real joy.
- Find ways to engage, enlighten, entertain. These words are Melissa’s three take-aways for any communication you have with readers. Wise words. You want your readers to be engaged, so they’ll read your current communications and any future ones they might receive from you. You want to enlighten them, educate them. Talk about something new. And be entertaining, to boot!
- Keep writing. Melissa’s best advice was along the lines of don’t forget what you love. Don’t forget why you’re marketing. I have managed to keep writing, though not as consistently as I would like. I’m well into the second book of the Shelby McDougall series, and can see my way to the end of the first draft, though I’m not there yet.
Now, I have a Facebook author page, I tweet on a regular basis, and I maintain a website with a blog that I post to on a regular basis. I started an author interview feature on my website. (Check out the interview with my host, Nancy, here: http://nancywood-books.com/7/post/2012/09/first-post.html. Nancy was kind enough to be my first interviewee!) I’m still trying to figure out other marketing aspects: a book trailer, ongoing events, Goodreads and The Library Thing.
When DUE DATE hit the virtual world at the end of May, I promised myself a six month marketing effort. But now that the six months have come and gone, I find that I enjoy the marketing angle. I love connecting with readers. And just as much, I love connecting with other authors and writers. So all-in-all, this process has been a positive experience, one that I’ll keep moving forward with.
Late-breaking news: In mid-December, I received an email from Melissa Miller, CEO of Solstice. She’d received an Amazon email blast, featuring DUE DATE as the first book in the list. That was a thrill!
Connect with Nancy here: