First I want to say happy New Year to all of you! I hope you’ve had a great holiday season. I’ll be glad to say goodbye to 2014, myself. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year with ups and downs all over the place. I think many people have had a stressful year, so let’s all take a big breath and hope next year is a little less hectic.
Now – in regards to marketing! I encountered someone from one of the many writing groups I’m part of who was talking about how trying to market their book on all the various platforms and trying to keep up with social media was destroying their writing time. Many people were telling the author to “just write and ignore the rest; it’ll fall into place”. Others were saying to automate their marketing using platforms like Hootsuite. They also suggested using cross-platform posts to just post the same thing on all their social media networks.
Unfortunately, none of those suggestions are going to work for a writer who wants to sell books.
I have said it before, and I will say it again: do not automate your marketing strategy. While, yes, this blog will automatically post to my Facebook page I do more than just that. You should not pre-write tweets and posts on social media because that robs it of the interactive feel which is what social media is about: interaction. While you don’t have to have long conversations on social media every day you should keep your commentary and interaction conversational. You aren’t writing advertisements there – you’re providing people with interesting, interactive things that they can enjoy.
That said, you don’t need to spend every minute of every day marketing and playing on social media.
Instead of stressing and drowning in social media to the detriment of your writing dedicate about twenty minutes a day to social media to make sure everything is caught up, and choose which platforms you really want to focus on. There are so many that you can’t possibly keep up with everything. You also want to make sure that your social media presence reflects you. Do you do a lot of photography? Then hang out on Instagram rather than Twitter, perhaps. Are you writing books that are more professional than fiction? Maybe LinkedIn is more your speed than Facebook. There are so many options out there that you need to evaluate which you think are most important.
To me I tend to focus on Facebook and Twitter. While I have an Instagram and post to it regularly I don’t view that as a large part of my platform. I also have LinkedIn which I use on a semi-regular basis for networking, but it isn’t my primary marketing channel. Of course, the change in Facebook’s policy regarding business may change how I use Facebook to some extent, but you will want to really consider what your plans and needs are and then use the channels that will best suit you.
Outside of social media marketing you have blogging which is something I strongly recommend for every author. Don’t tell me you don’t know what to write about – you are a writer. Find something. My blog is about writing and the craft (as you obviously know). Yours can be about whatever you want. Are you passionate about fantasy football? Write blogs about that. Are you passionate about gardening? Write about that! You aren’t limited to just writing about your writing. In fact you should talk more about other topics that will interest people than just your writing because you’re marketing to readers, not writers.
If you have your blog, author website, and social media squared away that will be a huge step in the right direction toward marketing your book. From there you can start talking to local radio stations, newspapers, bookstores, and arrange interviews and signings. You could even try to get on local access television (or bigger TV if you can!) to let people know about your book and what you do. That kind of thing, however, is another blog entirely.
These techniques should give you a strong basis to start marketing your book without losing your hair because your writing time is sacrosanct. But you can’t just use a ‘set it and forget it’ method of authorship if you want to make sales. You can do this, I promise. It’s not as hard or as scary as you think even if you’re an introvert like me.
Well? What are you waiting for? Share this post with folks, start writing posts of your own, and enjoy your New Year’s Eve!
5 thoughts on “How To Market Without Losing Your Mind”
Another great blog about the demanding World of Professional Writing!
I loved all of your advice, which you clearly acknowledge could (and should) change with the ever changing shifts in the winds and tides of modern book publishing.
Great to hear from you! I’m glad you are finding my posts helpful. Indeed, things can change as publishing evolves, but some things won’t: the concepts of building a platform, interactivity, and not spamming aren’t likely to go anywhere soon!
You have updated me on what to pay attention to, but do you know how to get said interviews with radio, print, or television?
Print interviews are likely the easiest. Approach local papers and find the editor and writers in charge of the arts section of the paper or the “local news” section of the paper. They love positive stories, and are often struggling for content (particularly if you live in a non-metro area). You can also contact your local NPR stations, college stations, or talk radio stations that cover things like what you are writing. I advise NPR since they often do local author spotlights. It may take awhile to do, but it’s worth it.
For television I’d start the same route: find your local access network and see what shows they have and pitch to get a spot on one of them. If it doesn’t work… try again! You can also do things like talks or readings at local libraries, schools (depending on your book) or talk at local colleges or universities with writing programs. Of course your venues are limited by what kind of area you live in, but hopefully this will give you a start to exploring these venues of marketing. Good luck!
Thank you! There is a Internet Radio Show called The Author’s Show They do Author Interviews about their book that is out. Very easy to get on the review waiting list. http://www.wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow.html