“I need a steam shovel, mama, to keep away the dead / I need a dump truck, baby, to unload my head.”
Sometimes these days we all feel like the guy in today’s photo, right? A head full of books—both paper and electronic—and a million tasks that need our attention right now. Who has time to market a book?
But you know what? That’s exactly what you have to do, whether you’re an indie author or traditionally published. No one is going to do it all for you. That’s just not the way the business works anymore.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been publishing a video series called From Manuscript to Publication on my YouTube channel. The first three parts were about editing, proofreading, cover design and interior design.
This week’s video will be all about marketing, though. And it stands to reason I know a bit about this topic, since I’ve earned most of my living as a writer since 2001 doing what’s known as marketing writing.
Marketing in a Glutted Market
I’m a creative, so I’m always wanting to make something. Thing is, people don’t always want to pay you for what you’ve made, so you do what you have to do to earn a living. Hence, the marketing writing trajectory.
The good news is that when you spend much of your time creating content designed to make sales, you learn a little about how to create similar content for your own stuff. You learn how to market to readers—your readers.
And when it comes to marketing in a glutted market like today’s, where thousands of new books come out every day, you learn something invaluable. Recognizing the importance of different strategies is priority number one in setting up your book’s marketing plan.
You can do a lot of things, but here are a couple I’ve found crucial in marketing my own stuff:
1) Take a targeted approach, not a scattershot one. Not everyone is your reader. Talk to your readers, not everyone’s readers.
2) Use different strategies. I have my monthly newsletter; a GeniusLink for my latest book which gets almost 1K clicks per month; and a social media management software. And that’s just for starters!
If you’re new to the publishing world and have some questions, let me know in the comments below. And if you’re a seasoned professional who would like to add your two cents about book marketing, I welcome your comments, too!