If you’re a writer (published or unpublished), I’m sure you’ve heard about or experienced the difficulty of marketing a book. It’s hard to draw attention to your book when there are thousands of other books competing for readers’ attention. I’ve blogged about this topic before, so I know I’m not the only one who struggles to shine the spotlight on my book. There’s no single magical, free, easy way to sell books, but for those of you who have time, energy, and very thick skin, here is a list of marketing strategies that have been very effective for many authors:
Some of you are probably bookmarking this post, ready to dive headfirst into marketing.
Some of you have already figured this out on your own and are waiting to hear back from the editor at your local newspaper.
Others might be shaking their heads, wondering how they’ll ever have the time or money to follow up on these suggestions.
Still others are recoiling in horror at the thought of visiting their local bookshop or writing a press release.
For those who are shaking your head or recoiling in horror, I understand. I’m with you. I have zero marketing budget and no backbone. I have heart palpitations at the thought of picking up the phone to order a pizza, so the very idea of waltzing into a bookstore with a stack of books to sell fills me with terror. The list of marketing strategies above have worked for some authors, but they might not work for you. This list if for those who are ready to take a fearless approach to marketing. It’s for those who have the time and resources to invest in their books.
For the rest of us–the introverts, the writers with full-time jobs, the author with four kids, the novelist battling health problems–this list might not offer much comfort. So, what do I have to offer you?
I offer you unconditional love, acceptance, and understanding. I understand why you’re terrified at the idea of showing up at your local bookstore with an armload of books and a stack of business cards. I understand why you don’t have time to contact reviewers. I understand why you can’t spend this month’s grocery money on a Goodreads ad. I understand.
We all do what we can. Sometimes we have to step outside our comfort zone. Sometimes we have to take risks. I challenge everyone to try just one tip on the list above. Send one Tweet. If you don’t want to tell everyone how great your book is, I’ll do it for you. If you don’t have time to contact a list of bloggers, send me an email. I’ll promote your book on Authors to Watch. It might not make an immediate difference in terms of sales, but that one Tweet might be the start of something. That one feature on Authors to Watch might give you the incentive to reach for more.
I’ve recently decided to promote myself on Twitter once a day. For some authors, this might sound like nothing, but for me, this is a big step. Maybe one day I’ll work up the nerve to contact a local bookshop, but for now, I do what I can. I believe in myself even if I might not be in a position to act on some of the marketing tips I listed above. I haven’t given up. Neither should you.
I believe in you. I have faith in you. Your books deserve to sell. Even though marketing can be expensive, time-consuming, and frightening, we owe it to ourselves to do what we can, even if it’s only one Tweet per week. At least it’s something. So, don’t give up. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be featured on Authors to Watch, or if you just want to talk. If you have any marketing tips, leave a comment and I’ll update the list above.