I don’t claim to be an expert, by any means, but I have watched / read / attended many a marketing seminar, and I listen closely to those I deem successful. I’m constantly learning more, but there seem to be a few things that make success a whole lot more likely.
Write a decent book.
Note that it doesn’t say a brilliant book, or an awe-inspiring book, or even a great book. Just a decent book. The narrative is sound, it’s been edited properly, and the characters have a bit of roundness. Of course, all props to you if you can do better!
Write more books
If you look at the people who have consistently done well in the writing arena, most of them have several books out. The more prolific have tens, or even hundreds of books out. Obviously, we can only start with one, but I’ve chosen to ensure that the one is closely followed by the two, three and four.
Word of mouth sells
No matter what you’re selling, the marketing advice tells us that word of mouth is the biggie (I wrote a post related to this on D.C. Grant’s blog: How to Work the Rule of Seven). There are two main prongs I see here.
Firstly, if word of mouth means ‘people talking about you or your book’, well, give them something to talk about! This is one reason I had a physical launch party.
Secondly, are the ever-coveted reviews. These are a more permanent form of word of mouth, and I personally think the low ratings are just as important as the high ones – as long as they’re honest. I’ve put a link in the back of my book, and in my next newsletter I’m going to write a little blurb about why reviews are important. I’m also in the process of listing review sites and magazines that I’ll request a review at.
Know your audience
Who is the book for? Who do you resonate with as an author? Getting your book out in front of a million people is useless if none of them actually like your genre.
This is something I’m still fine-tuning, because I really do have a wide readership for both What Stars Are Made Of and The Caretaker of Imagination. They’re both sort of for children and sort of not, and I’m still making this clearer in my head. I think it’s because, as I said to a friend on launch day, they’re not for a certain age, but for a certain type of person.
What would you change on this list? Or, do you have any strategies that fall in these principles and I haven’t thought of? Sharing is caring, so let’s all work together to get our books in the right hands 🙂