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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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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