So, I’ve written this book, and it’s published . . . Think I’ll move on to the next one.
Okay, that’s a great plan. One book out there in the big, bad reading world, and you’re going for the next one. Yay for you!
But . . .
Whether you’re a newbie author or have a few published works under your belt, your baby may have launched but you’re far from finished with it. Even if you’ve been on a few blogs, promoted it on your favorite social network, you can’t abandon it now, allowing it to sink or swim. Your baby needs to be, well . . . babied.
I’m always surprised at the authors who publish, in ebook form or even paperback, and then after that first purchasing rush, their books drop out of sight. Maybe it’s because these authors figure if somebody wants to find their books badly enough, it’s easy to do. Maybe they think Amazon—or B&N or any other online bookstore—will do all the work for them. Or their agent or publisher will.
Unfortunately that’s not the way it works. Promotion and marketing is ongoing and lasts for the life of your book. And how long your book lives is all up to you.
I’m sure this isn’t anything you haven’t already heard not only from agents and publishers but from other authors, too. And yet when I go out to Amazon, I see a lot of books languishing there. Maybe all they need from their creator is a little push now and then.
For a lot of authors, promotion can get expensive and it’s the expense that stops them in their tracks. Let’s face it, unless you’re multi-published and high-profile, you might not make enough money off your releases to be able to dish out moolah for promo. The phrase, “it takes money to make money” can certainly be adjusted to fit the publishing biz: “it takes money to promote a book enough, that it makes money.”
If you can afford the money up front, paying for promotion can get you kick-started. Virtual book tours, feature packages at different book sites like Coffeetime Romance and Book & Trailer Showcase can really put you front and center. Add it to your free promo such as a Facebook fan page or Twittering, and you should see your baby easily hold its own.
Goodreads is another awesome place to promote. But one of the best places to start is within your own “backyard”: your local RWA chapter, whether a local chapter or one you belong to online.
There are so many ways to promote and market these days, it can make your head spin. If you’re not sure what’s best for you, ask your chapter for ideas at the next meeting you attend. Chances are excellent you’ve got seasoned authors in your chapter who are multi-published and have been working the game a long time. I guarantee they love to have their brains picked, and they’re more than willing to help.
Don’t have an RWA chapter nearby, one you can drive to? Join a chapter online. You might never get to a meeting but you’ll feel the love, nonetheless. Look for specialty chapters that might work for you, and join one. You’ll feel a whole lotta specialty love.
Promote on Facebook and Twitter whenever you can. Don’t think about sounding like a broken record, just get your info out there. Provide links each and every time you post. Never let anyone guess where to find you. Facebook really works, and it’s free. Free is good, right? Take advantage of free every chance you get.
Put your information in your email signature line. Where you’re available, a link to your book trailer if you have one, etc.
Keep a business card with your book info and buy links all handily displayed, and always have a supply with you. Give them out freely. Same with bookmarks. These are things you can make yourself without having to take an in-depth class first, and personally, I love bookmarks.
Again, I’m sure none of this is news to any of you. And I’m sure you can add to my short list; in fact, I encourage it. But it’s one thing to know what you need to do to promote your book, and another thing to actually do it.
So, do it. Don’t wait until your baby languishes. Diaper that sucker, now!
Er, that might have come out wrong, but you know what I mean. And next time I’m out at Amazon, I’ll be looking at you, Baby.
I hope I see you soar instead of languish.