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Sunday, May 3, 2015

A2R Marketing: Book Launch, Part 2

Having certain core concepts down pat is essential for marketing your written work. Knowing your one sentence grab, audience, goal, tools, and budget allows you to take control of promotion. Marketing is about proactively reaching out to readers.

If you're lucky enough to be able to hire a someone, congratulations, but you still need to bring a clear sense of who you are and what you want to accomplish into that relationship or you risk wasting those dollars. By having a clear sense of identity for you and your book and knowing your goals will maximize the return on your investment.

The most frequent questions I receive are "When do I start marketing?" and "What are my first steps?"

The first question is easy. Start marketing even before you have a book or other written work published.

I don't care whether you are a traditionally published author, indie, or hybrid, you need to establish a presence to allow readers to find you. The biggest mistake I see is authors waiting for their book to be published before they start their marketing efforts. The reason for this is two-fold.

  1. New authors hide behind their books and think no one will be interested in them. Wrong! Readers are interested in the person behind the words. They have a deeper reading experience when they know a little bit about the author. Interesting people write interesting books. Readers are smart. They seek out voices that make them think. 
  2. New authors fear they only have one book in them. If you're reading this blog, you are more than a one trick pony. You are more than one book. You have a voice, a unique world perspective and a backbone. Use them.
And here's a dirty little secret: If you are seeking a publisher, a digital footprint matters. Twitter followers, blog subscribers, and Facebook likes say "This author is a good bet because she has reduced my financial risk by having a foundation of followers I can now leverage into book sales." The same is true for readers. Having more people interested in you reduces the risk to the reader by saying "Many people find this person interesting. The investment of my time here is a good bet." The earlier you begin your marketing efforts, the stronger your platform.

The second question is more difficult to answer. The steps you take to market yourself are dependent upon two factors:

  1. How you view "marketing." If you view marketing as an ongoing shout of "BUY MY BOOK!" you will grow hoarse, your listeners will grow deaf and everyone will become bored. 
  2. How much time and effort you will devote to you. Having a plan is worthless if you don't follow it. Creating a realistic and workable plan and sticking to it leads to success. Duh!
Marketing is about captivating the audience. It's about pulling the audience to you with interesting and engaging content. Terrific insights into creating engaging engaging content can be found on Michael Boezi's blog.

Next up? The 3F Soft Start.