The Basics of Marketing Your BookPosted: July 13, 2010
Last week my friend and fellow author, Chris Keys gave us a guest blog post on the basics of marketing your book, filled with so much information that it had to be broken into two parts. This week I bring you the second part of that post from a modest guy, that doesn’t give himself near enough credit as a writer, or as a marketing professional. So here is the rest of his excellent advice on how to sell that book and I thank him kindly for sharing it with us.
The Basics of Marketing Your Book (Part 2)
by Chris Keys-Author of The Fishing Trip-A Ghost Story and Reprisal! The Eagle Rises!
You will next need to develop your own website. Yep, you need a website. It’s not as hard as it seems. There are several free website building sites and many, when they do charge for hosting are very inexpensive. Mine currently is only five dollars a month. I’m using Intuit-Homestead.com.
There are dos and don’ts, to having a website. A few of the major things to keep in mind: Your website needs to be user friendly and it needs ask the reader to buy your book(s), blog collections and /or your branded collectables. Yes, your website will be your book store, where you’ll sell your books and maybe posters, coffee cups, ball caps, pen sets etc. plus you’ll post excerpts from your books, info about yourself, maybe links with other authors and ads from Google and Yahoo to help pay for your host fees.
There are going to be some expenses in promoting yourself and your book for things like travel to book signings, book trailer video, book marks with your info, picture, book title and or other info you see fit to put on it, editing, book covers and listings on the right lists to insure that your book(s) are available to libraries and the major booksellers.
Now some of these costs you’ll avoid if you are lucky enough to get a traditional publishing contract, but if your like the vast majority of us new writers, you’ll be self publishing until you develop enough of a following to ensure a strong likelihood that the publishers will make money off your book. By then though, you may not want to be with a publisher who is only willing to pay you 20% of the profit when you can get 85% of the profit when self publishing. Just a little something to remember as your writing career develops.
You’ll also want to learn all you can about virtual book tours, developing links with other authors by helping to promote them with blurbs about them and their books. Most of the other authors will gladly trade blurbs, which helps both of you. You need to develop friendly relationships with as many other authors as possible. Your success, as well as theirs, is dependent upon getting as many other people talking about you and your work as possible. Don’t worry if the other authors are new or old pro’s, because you never know who someone else knows, and who they might introduce to your writing, and where that might go.
I’ve mentioned a number of things so far and none of it is too taxing on your time or your wallet, but you still have couple of things to do. The last clear marketing item you need to be aware of needing to do, is also the first thing that you need to do — ask for the sale! Ask on your blog, on your website, on your book marks, your book covers your email, your social interaction sites, everywhere. If you don’t ask, you won’t get. There are a few ways to ask for the sale, and it takes a mix of the methods to be successful in making the sale. Those ways are, directly, indirectly and the stealth way. To be honest, the stealth way is part of the indirect way. The direct way is when you come out and just ask some to buy your book. You know, “Hey, you should buy my book.” The indirect way is showing the picture of your book cover with a note about how you can use pay pal to buy it. The stealth way is showing a picture of your book cover and have a person reading it with a big smile on their face. You don’t actually ask them to buy it, but infer they will be happy if they do. Which if you have really good vision, that’s exactly what I’m doing in the background of this very page. There is a good looking man or woman, which ever works for you and their reading my newest story, The Fishing Trip-A Ghost Story and they’re wearing a great big smile. Well ok that’s not quite true, well actually it’s a lie but you get the general idea right?
So now you have the very basics for developing your self promotion and marketing plan, destined to make you a household name and get your books read by the largest possible number of readers, except for the actual book itself. When you get ready to publish, you need to be sure you are offering the very best possible product you can. Make sure you have had the work professionally edited, that the cover art is very professional, that the books layout is crisp clean and easy to read and that story itself is one that’s worth while for someone other than you to read. Five hundred pages about how your pet frog likes to eat fruit flies, instead of house flies just won’t draw as many readers as a rags to riches story of a handicapped individual who overcomes impossible odds to become the President, and then the U.N.’s leader, when all hostilities ended between Arabs and Israelis. If the work you’re selling isn’t very well written, or the story isn’t compelling, then at best you’ll only sell a few copies even if you have the absolute greatest marketing campaign ever conceived. The word of mouth of how bad it is will kill it. Unless of course that’s the niche you’re trying to fill, then maybe by telling people it’s so bad they need to read it, just might be the best way to market it.
Thanks for enduring, Chris Keys the author of Reprisal! The Eagle Rises!, The Fishing Trip-A Ghost Story and The Motor Home-God Does Work in Mysterious Ways! Look for all three books this summer as Ebooks and POD’s. Follow Chris on Blogspot, Facebook and Twitter, as well as, Writer’s World.
Books are what is meant to fill the space between your ears! You should read one or all of mine!