Friday, October 21, 2011

How to Market Your Book Before the Launch

Guess what Friday it is? Life List Friday! I just wanted everyone to know that we are currently looking for writers to join the hop, so if want to let me know and we'll chat :)

Today I have the awesome Gary Gauthier from Literary Snippets! I'll be hanging out at Pam Hawley's blog so don't forget to wing by there when you've finished here. Take it away Gary -


Putting the CartBefore the Horse
You’ve made the decision to publish your manuscript as an ebook. Your work is amanifestation of creative genius. Your prose is polished and the manuscript hasbeen professionally edited. Your book cover is a work of art and the contentsare all properly formatted as an ebook. You’ve got a winner! You launch yourbook with great fanfare, your friends and relatives purchase it, and after afew weeks you begin to realize that nobody is interested in your book.

In a different scenario, everybody’s heard of the author whobelieves they have a great manuscript but can’t get a publishing house to signa book deal with them. This situation can only become worse in an environmentwhere large publishers are facing mounting competitive pressure fromindependents. Publishers increasingly want the authors they sign to have arecognizable brand or a following. This helps them to reduce the risk of makinga bad investment in a new author.

In both cases, there may be nothing wrong with your book except that you didn'tcreate a market for it. Last month, I read a blog post by author, Julia King,which answers the provocative question “Who is the only person who can sellyour book?” Her answer is “Youand Only You!” Yep, that’s right, it’s YOUR job.
Here are some items to keep in mind:

o You don’t have to be among the best writers.

o Anyone can build a social-media following.

o Social media allows you to market your brand for free!

o Your followers are interested in you and your brand.

o Marketing your brand means sharing what you care about.

Let's address the first point. What’s that? Your prosedoesn’t compare favorably to that of Edith Wharton? Don’t worry about it!Download and read the free previews of Amanda Hocking’s books. You may bepleasantly surprised to find your prose does compare favorably to hers. Shesold over a million books in less than a year. Remember: You don’t have to be the best.

I am convinced that anyone canquickly build a substantial following using free social-media platforms.How do I know? Well, it's working for me and I’ve been at it fewer than threemonths.  And if someone as uninterestingas I am can build a following, just imagine what you can do!

One of the reasons theestablished publishing houses are feeling the heat of competition is thatsocial media allows anyone to market their brand essentially for free. Sure,you’ve got to be creative and work at it. No one is saying it's easy. But theupside is, it works and there are lotsof free tools.

Marketing Your Brand
All your Facebook friends and most of your twitter followers won’t buy yourbook. Sorry, I hope I didn’t disillusion you. But a percentage of them will buyit and a smaller percentage will love it. Why is that? Most likely, your bookwill touch on topics, themes and values that, in one way or another, are a partof your life. Your social media interactions should also reflect who you areand some of the things that you value. If your friends and followers love youfor who you are (your brand), some of them will love your book for the samereasons. Your social media followers areinterested in your brand. Find ways to build on that interest. Share what you care about with your followers.A worthy goal for your upcoming book career as a writer is to make asmany people as possible intimately familiar with your brand.

Do you sometimes see social-media interactions as a waste ofyour valuable time and not as an investment in your brand?

***

Gary is working on his first novel, a crime thriller set in New Orleans just beforeHurricane Katrina's landfall. His blog, Literary Snippets, gives him anopportunity to express and share his appreciation for art and literature. Heoccasionally posts articles as well. Some of his favorite writers are ThomasHardy, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe.But this changes from time to time. Stay tuned! Follow him on Twitter and  Google Plus.


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