How Do I Market Myself Pre-book Release?

Marketing.

The very word sends ice into the bones of authors, infuses even the strongest with liquid fear, brings the shadow of doom upon the most hopeful heart…

You think I’m being dramatic? 😉

A couple weeks ago, I invited my readers — aka. you — to ask me anything. While the questions were few (feel free to add your own!) they were full-bodied. I’ll be answering those questions to the best of my ability over the next few posts.

This week’s question came from Isaiah T:

“Since you have a more traditional publisher, how have you decided to market? Aside from this blog, of course.”

 

I could probably answer this differently every other month. It’s tough to market my book when it’s not yet released, so I’ve been viewing marketing in two ways:

Community 2

Pre-book marketing: Until my book’s release, I will continue reaching out to fellow authors and bloggers. They are my current community and, even when I have a following of readers, the authors will always be my behind-the-scenes support group. [grin]

Post-book marketing: This is when I’ll really be able to reach out to readers. I expect some of my blog focus to change a little (don’t panic!)

Even with a more traditional publisher a lot of marketing is up to the author.  I’m one of the few authors who hears the word marketing and gets a bit giddy instead of petrified. I love figuring out how to connect with people who share my passions.

Right now, I’ve chosen to focus my marketing on online presence. I do this in five ways:

My blog

This is my favorite way to connect with people, because it’s the closest thing to a conversation I can get via cyberspace. There are so many great blogs and books about blogging, but I focus mostly on sharing  my thoughts and parts of my story so that people can get to know me better.

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook is the social media site I use the most. I’m still figuring out Twitter, but building a fanbase and community early is crucial for when my books actually come out! You can never start too early.

I use both of these to ask questions and engage conversation. I share news about my books and meet new people by finding their pages or following them. It really comes down to community.

Guest blogs

This past year, I’ve been invited several times to post as a guest on someone else’s blog. I do this about once a month. To be honest, this can be very intimidating.  It’s twice as hard writing a piece for someone else than it is to write for your own blog. But it brings us back to…community. Just getting to know people — other bloggers, authors, readers, etc. — is enough to start spreading the word.

Writer’s Conferences

This is a biggie. Ever since I decided to call myself a serious author, conferences have become a priority. Nothing can beat real personal interaction. The first writer’s conference I went to after being signed on with Enclave Publishing (formerly Marcher Lord Press,) I’d marketed myself in the ways listed above for about six months. I forced myself to step out into cyberspace and meet others, blog better, join new circles, and when I went to the conference…people knew me.

I didn’t know who they were, but several of them knew my name, knew about my book. It took me days to figure out how and even then I didn’t find all the answers. Somehow, someone read a blog post by me on someone else’s blog which led them to my site, etc, etc, etc. The only way I could connect the dots was through community.

Conferences are a huge one, especially pre-book. Authors are the ones who will to spread word about my book at the start because those are the biggest circles I’m a part of right now. After they spread the word, hopefully some readers will jump on board and the word will spread outside of the circles.

Prayer

To some, this will sound a little cheesy or “Christianese,” but God is truly my expert marketer. I’m not as consistent in praying as I’d like to be, but when I do turn to His guidance, it’s with intentionality. My writing is a calling and I try to treat every side of it as such. Asking Him to help me spread my name feels backward a lot of the time. In doing so I’m continually forced to examine the reasons behind my prayer.

It’s very good for me, good for my writing, and He works through it.

 

I could probably write another full post on how I hope to market after A Time to Die comes out, but we’ll save that until I’ve tried my plans and have some better feedback for you.

 

Is there a more specific marketing question you’d like me to answer? Anything I missed?

 

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About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.
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4 Comments

  1. Thank you. 🙂 I love learning as much as I can from different authors. Especially on how they try to market. I say try because that is all I feel I am doing. But the community is important like you said. I love my blogging community. I think blogging is my favorite part of cyber marketing because I get to choose what I post and can make my blog uniquely my own. Thank you again Nadine. I look forward to your next post.

    • Marketing is a perpetual state of “try.” 🙂 There is always something new to do. I’ve found that blogging is my most fun way of connecting with people. I’m glad to hear you enjoy blogging so much. Many people see it as a chore. Marketing is so much more worthwhile when you’re invested emotionally in what you’re doing.

  2. Pamela Wrigley Schneider

    I am curious as to how I can actively participate with you on your blog site so as to learn by osmosis (and willingness) how to write stories I know I have within.
    Warning! I have little to no experience with blogging.
    ~ Pam Schneider

    • Hello Pamela!

      You can do this in a couple ways. You can sign up to get my blog posts via e-mail every time I post (right column of this page.) You can ask any specific questions on this page and I’ll answer them in blog-post form. You can also send me a private message through my contact page with any specific questions you’d like to discuss. 🙂

      For the most part, signing up to get my blog posts would probably show you, at least weekly, my blogging habits. Does that answer your question? 🙂

      And fear not, I had very little to no experience with blogging either until about a year ago.

I love hearing from you!