Over the past few weeks, we ran a series called “Writer’s Toolbox” aimed at revealing some of the more useful tools a writer can utilize to improve their productivity. There are other programs writers use but we’ll have to consider those another time. Today we’re looking at marketing your book.
If you’d like to read the Writer’s Toolbox series, you can find them here:
Selling your book (or books) can be as challenging, or even more challenging, than writing. There are a number of specific things you can do as a self-published and independent author to promote your work, but there is never a guarantee any of these will result in sales. So many factors go into selling a book, and transitioning initial sales into regular sales, that laying out a definitive plan is almost impossible. The genre you write in, the style you write with, the people you know, the time you have to spend on marketing, the appetite of readers, the price you set, the design of your cover…I could go on and on listing factors that play into how well your book sells.
In an effort to be useful to our readers, I’m not going to advocate for a specific or definitive plan. I don’t think there can be one. Your marketing strategy will have to be unique to you, your goals, and your work. What we can do with this series is examine some best practices and consider the ways others have found success in marketing their books, while retaining the understanding that anything I suggest (or anyone giving market advice suggests) should be taken as broad suggestions based on past experience.
That said, let’s think about marketing in three phases:
- Planning – developing a plan based on your book, your goals, and your audience
- Acting – following through on the plan
- Maintaining – retaining readers through consistent efforts after the initial release of your work
This week we’re going to focus entirely on the first phase. Let’s develop a marketing plan!