So you’ve published your novel, distributed copies and are reclining back in your chair, awaiting the big fat royalty checks to come in. Then your first month’s check comes in… but only 25 books have sold. Sure, this looks like small potatoes, but selling your book involves doing the one thing that most writer’s dread: marketing. But don’t fret, my five tips to get you started on marketing your novel will pay off in book sales.
Marketing Starts on Social Media
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram represent more than 30% of the time Americans spend on the Internet every day, and nearly everyone is on one of those social platforms. As an author, you have an edge into your audience as a mini-celebrity. Get on social and write about your inspiration, quotes from your book and even your process for writing.
Get a Website
Think of a website as having a “storefront” for your book. As you spread the word and tell people about your novel, your website is great place to get prospective buyers excited and make a purchase. Use a website to inform where your book can be purchased, allow members of the press to reach you and enable customers to give you their contact info to send them email newsletters. Be sure to have the website in your name rather than your book title so that you can promote your next book on the site.
At first it may appear that blogging is how amateurs aspire to be published, but it’s really helpful to provide digestible pieces of content (like this article) to engage your prospects. If you write fiction, consider how J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Silmarilion to breathe more life into his universe; it’s a compendium but it doesn’t replace the actual book. These pieces of content should be on your own website and you can also write for other sites as well to increase your exposure.
Ask your friends and family to share your book
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways to increase your buyers, and your friends and family are a great way to get the word out there. Provide them with an email to send to their friends, or even give them complimentary copies of your book to hand out. Getting people to talk about your book is the best marketing tool there is.
Reach out to Book Clubs
Malcom Gladwell wrote an expose on author Rebecca Wells in his novel The Tipping Point highlighting how she traveled around to several book clubs to promote Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood that started a word of mouth “epidemic.” Consider your own outreach to book clubs as means of getting new buyers. Offer group discounts to help sway book clubs in your favor.
Finally, understand that building a robust market for your book is a long-term project. Keep at it and you’ll find your royalty checks getting bigger and bigger each month.