Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.
QUESTION: We recently asked you what questions you’d like answered in our Friday Fun post. Today, we’re answering the following reader question:
Jamie Wallace: Hi, Maria. Congrats on finishing your first book! That’s very exciting. As Lisa and I mentioned in our responses to your original comment, this is a Big Question that requires more space than a Friday Fun post. The mechanics and dynamics of book promotion are complex and vary greatly depending on the type of book, audience, etc.
What I can offer as a starting point is a series of posts I wrote on the writer platform:
- The Writer’s Platform – Part 1: What It Is and the 5 Steps to Build One
- The Writer’s Platform – Part 2: Where and When to Build It
- The Writer’s Platform – Part 3: How It All Works Together
- The Writer’s Platform – Part 4: Using It Wisely
I hope this is helpful. Good luck!
Lisa J. Jackson: My advice is to do more than simply tell people your book is available for sale. Enter into conversations (or start your own) that relate to the subject matter of (or in some way to) your book. Let people get to know you and your thoughts around the topic(s) and then it will become natural to offer the book.
You can also have a link in your email signature line – have the title of your book hyperlinked to your Amazon page (or wherever you want people to go to to purchase). On your Facebook page, you can have “Author of name-of-your-book” as part of your profile that appears on the left side of your personal page. Also include details about it on your “About” page on Facebook. In other words, have the information visible at every turn, but avoid saying “buy my book.”
Diane MacKinnon: Hey Maria, congratulations on publishing your first book! Go, you! Unfortunately, I’m not a published book author, so I don’t have a lot to add. I will say that I plan to be a published book author in the not-too-distant future, and I started my life coaching blog, Healing Choices, hoping eventually it would become a part of my author’s platform. That’s still the plan. 🙂 I’m also planning to follow Lisa and Jamie’s advice. 🙂 🙂
Deborah Lee Luskin: Congratulations on writing and publishing your first book. I hope it was a joyful process, and that you’re pleased with it. Now the hard work begins: Marketing. There’s lots of good information out there about marketing (and also a lot of people who will do it for you for a price). No one can market your book as you can, and unless you have high-volume sales or other money to invest, no one else can market it for you, either.
Part of the agreement with the original publisher of my novel, Into the Wilderness, was that I’d be responsible for the marketing. It was a Mount Everest of a learning curve, and for most of a year, it’s what I did: reviews in any newspaper, magazine, or blog that would run one (often at the cost of a hard-copy of the book, plus postage), over fifty author events (bookstores, libraries, historical societies, book groups, wherever I was invited). I drove 10,000 miles in one summer; even in a Prius, the gas and time added up.
I invested in a website with web-extras: the backstory to writing the novel (including a video of me), a playlist for the music the characters listen to, links to reviews and praise from readers.
In return? I sold a lot of hard copies, and the book won a national award before I ended my relationship with the publisher and the book went out of print. Since I’d retained the electronic rights, I was able to bring out an electronic copy, which is still for sale and still sells a few copies a month.
I no longer market the book, but I do still mention it whenever it’s appropriate. (Here, for instance.) There’s still a page for it on my website. Best of all, I still hear from new readers who write to me and tell me how much they enjoyed reading it. That’s the best.