Marketing. Why does that one word creep the beegeebees out of authors? If writers don’t market and promote their books how are the readers supposed to know about them?
But, Lea, how do I market my book or myself?
I can give you a few tips – and these have been mentioned many times, but seeing how this question keeps popping up, it’s worth mentioning – on simple, online free marketing.
Get yourself a website. Don’t have a published book? That’s fine; websites promote the writer, their journey, their eventual published articles and short stories, their workshops at schools or conferences, speaking engagements on a topic they are passionate about. A website introduces you to the readers to meet and get to know you. If you want to get your name out there a good idea is to get a domain name. GoDaddy is just one area to pay for a domain name. I use my own name – Lea Schizas – because that’s who I’m trying to build, not my book, not my editing services, but who I am as a writer and editor. All the other information is within my website.
Uncomfortable with a website? Then get yourself a blog. Blogger.com and Wordpress are just two popular blog hosts for you. I, personally, like blogger.com only because I don’t have the patience to learn how to set up Wordpress. Guess I’m getting too old. On a blog you can blog about the writing process as a writer; hardships, victories, publications, and so forth. Write about your research for your work in progress (WIP), post reviews of books – anything you want to establish you as an expert in your field. However, don’t get a blog if you’re planning on posting only once a month. At least 2 – 3 times a week is preferable to build your name and get followers. Give them something of interest, something they’ll want to bookmark and come back to see what else you have in there. Same thing goes for your website. Good think about blogs is that you can add your book covers in the sidebars with direct purchase links.
Now we get to the area where it may take up most of your time if you’re not careful: Social networks/writing groups. Don’t join every single one recommended by fellow writers. Investigate. See if it has any value to your writing and career. If you write romance why would you join a children’s picture book social network? Granted, they are potential readers but I can’t see you adding excerpts and reviews on romance in a picture book setting. Get my meaning? When you join the last thing you should do is brag and post about your books. Ease into things. Respond to other members’ questions, let them get to know you before you step in with a promo. You won’t believe how many join groups, post their promo, and then disappear. This isn’t polite and members can smell you out and simply ignore you. Offer tips, helpful links for others so they know you are a worthy member to give notice to.
Another free area to market yourself is your signature after every email. Put your website link, link to your book/workshop/conference/blog. If you don’t add a link no one will visit your website.
Then we have Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Bebo, etc. All of these are helpful if you know how to handle your time. Just the way responding to emails can take up much of your time, so are many of these networks. Prioritize. I spend either a full Wednesday visiting groups, or an hour each night when I’m winding down.
Try to exchange links with other authors writing in the same genre as you. Interview each other.
BlogTalk Radio has tons of book/writing/marketing shows looking for guests. Seek them out.
These are just some FREE things you can do to begin promoting you, the writer, on the internet.
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