This is by far the best thing you could ever do for the reception and life span of your book.
Cliché but true, that if you fail to plan your promotional strategy then you do indeed plan to fail.
I am always surprised to come across authors at this time who still publish their books in absolute online silence.
They seem to anticipate that we, the reading audience have nothing to do but wait in great anticipation for their little baby whose impending birth we know nothing about.
These authors are mostly in for a rude awakening when they realize there are no readers gagging to splash their cash on another book of non-descript reputation.
So my advice is plan well ahead how you will get word about your book out there. This is also most definitely one of those things that are easier said than done but the sooner you start the more productive your strategy will be, the smoother the running there of.
So this is how you might want to approach this.
To be specific about what you want to achieve and what needs to be done.Think of this as your business plan: (Vision, Mission, Strategy)
- Ideally what do you want to achieve with your promotion,
- How do you plan to achieve it and
- What will you use to do so?
Have a concrete action plan laid out in black and white with deadlines, milestones, cues, you name it, it must be there.
Your marketing plan does not have to be a complex professional document but it must have your end goal in mind and from there, steps on how you will achieve that.
You want to have a road map to work from that you can either keep referring to as you get sidetracked or tweak and even use to measure your progress.
Consider what promotional methods and activities to include in your plan
- What will you main medium of communication be (if you asked me I would insist you blog. I explain why HERE)
- Are you going to run a blog tour? What kind?
- Will you be engaging a company to run your social media campaign or
- Are you going to do your own social media campaign at which point you must start to familiarize yourself with social media platforms and their management systems
- Decide which social media platforms will you focus on (I suggest plan to conquer these three that yield maximum results and stick with them. Read about those HERE)
- Will you be giving readers freebies, prizes, etc (if money is included will it be cash via Paypal or gift cards)
- How much are you prepared to spend, consider cost of:
- blog tours (will you be organizing these yourself to save cost, consider time investment but starting early allows you to recruit bloggers a little at a time or will you hire a company?,
- prizes (you don’t only have to give away books, what about book accessories related to you book (aka) book swag.
- postage (it’s lovely to make your physical prizes available internationally but can you afford to postage costs to international destinations? Consider limiting swag and printed books to your country)
- cash and gift card prizes (If you will spend money on anything I suggest you save it for here, giving cash helps readers participate more vigorously in your campaigns _bottom line)
- social media management tools (if you plan to use paid instead of opting for free versions _ I don’t recommend this). There are far too many free tools to start off with. Ask me when you need pointers.
All of the above is not mandatory but it is essential to consider them when planning in terms of long term benefit. Also so that you do not make spur of the moment decisions that can cost you dearly in the long run.
Start implementing your action plan earlyStart on this before or right at the beginning of writing your book. Failure to do this places unnecessary pressure on you and takes away from celebrating you accomplishments at the time you write THE END in your book or sign your publishing contract.
Therefore make up your mind to start early.
Word of mouth is what you really want to get going because in the cyberworld most people buy the person as a first, not the book itself. So you really want to start getting word out about yourself and writing talents.
So bearing in mind that it takes time to build you want to get to know your future readers and start developing your fan base with snippets of your writing.
That’s also why I am a firm proponent for blogging writers and will keep punting this until the end of my blogging years.
Remember you don’t have to do any of this alone. There are many book promotion companies out there who can help you and as many will even offer free services that you can maximize on. Services I also offer by the way if you ever feel you need the help but cannot afford the cost. Just ask me and I’ll help where I can. My preferred genres take precedence of course. You can get a list of what those are those HERE.
And that’s all she wrote folks.
As always, I love your feedback and questions so don’t ever hesitate to ask.