Marketing

How to Best Choose Your Book’s Marketing Plan: Part 1

This blog is by Archway authors for fellow authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Sharoq AlMalki, author of “A Tale of Two Beehives”. For more info about her, check out her website, Twitter and Instagram. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

So, you’ve finally finished that book that’s been inside you all those years. The sacrifices you’ve made; the hours spent staring at the blinking cursor and the mocking empty white page; the endless rewrites and edits – have all been worth it. You’ve finished. The End. Unfortunately for the vast majority of writers, that is where the real work begins. Because, unless the only people you want to read your magnum opus are your long suffering partner and parents, you need to get it out there into the big wide world.

SKU-001061073 This is the bit where a lot of people come unstuck. They are writers, not marketers or PR professionals. This isn’t why they picked up that pen or started banging away on that keyboard all those weeks, months and years ago. At first it can appear to be a minefield, and you are going to have to quickly learn new skills, embrace new techniques and more than likely spend a lot of time outside your comfort zone.But there is help out there.

The methods and techniques below are predominantly designed for those going down the self-publishing route. However even those who have been fortunate enough to get a publisher on board, the reality is that in today’s publishing world the majority of the effort still has to be undertaken by the author themselves, albeit from a considerably better position.

The first thing that will strike you – well it certainly did me – when you start to dip your toe into the world of promoting your book is just how many people out there who have done the exact same thing. Hidden away in your dark room, bleary eyed from the artificial light and caffeine, it is easy to think that you are, maybe not unique, but certainly in a small club of like-minded individuals pouring your heart, soul and very being into your book, for an eagerly waiting public, desperate to devour your words.

Sadly this isn’t the case. The fact that now everyone has a computer, and that it has never been easier to get your book published is very much a double edged sword for the writer. Yes it makes the process so much easier, with the route to the potentially massive marketplaces such as Amazon relatively simple – and free. But that comes with the obvious drawback. The world and his wife (and very often his pet cat too) have gone down that route as well. Suddenly it becomes a case of those staples of every marketing textbook – differentiation and promotion. And that, my friends is where the problems begin. But rest assured here are the best techniques for you to market your book.

  1. It’s not all about the book

Though the ultimate aim is to get as many people to see and then buy your book as possible, you need to start thinking of yourself as a marketable product too. This is easier for some people than others, but more often than not it is easier for people to buy into us and who we are than a random book. So you need to create a presence for yourself. Don’t forget, this is going to be a presence that you are going to have to maintain for the foreseeable future. Plus, once things are on the internet it is very hard for them not to be on the internet. So, despite the temptation to make yourself out to be some uber smart, buzzy, personality with your finger on every pulse and trend out there, resist it. Be yourself. It will be much easier to maintain, and at the end of the day, you’ve finished a book – you have things to say, you have achieved something millions couldn’t. You have a story to tell, and not just the one in your latest (soon to be!) blockbuster.Sharoq-27MAR2016-017

  1. Start before the end

You can never start too early to build up your profile, and raise the awareness of this fresh new author on the block and their book. It can often take a while to go from zero presence to one where you can do some damage, so if you are able to start while writing your book, you will be in position to go when you complete the manuscript.

You can even use your progress in your book as a method to get followers and their attention. Problems you are facing and how you overcome them are something that are common among writers, and everyone is always keen to know how others cope with those issues.

You could even run competitions or polls on how your novel should progress, or on the names of characters etc. Any way to get people to engage is a massive plus point.

 

Read Part 2 of this blog here>>>

 

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Marketing

Meet Max!: Marketing My Book

This blog is by Archway authors for fellow authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Elizabeth Rosso, author of “Meet Max”. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

Welcome back!  So far you’ve stuck with me (thanks!) through coming up with the idea for “Meet Max!,” shaping that idea into a manuscript, editing my bookfinding illustrations, and deciding to self-publish.  Success!  Right?  Well, not so fast… I mean, yes, I have a book, and yes, I love Max, but I’m just one person.  Now it’s time to tell the world about Max and his adventures!  Which led me back to my recurring question: how do I do that?

Through pure dumb luck, I started out by identifying my audience.  At its most basic, my audience is children.  But it’s also adults with children in their lives, and children with dogs, and people of all ages who love dogs, and people who love reading.

SKU-001051763Next I started to think about ways to reach those audiences.  Bookstores seemed to be the most obvious choice, but I also thought that any store with a connection to any of my audience segments, or with a focus on local products, might be a good target.  So, I started cold-calling all those types of places.  One of my sales calls took me to a national retailer with fairly detailed requirements for requesting that they carry my book.  One of those requirements was to submit a marketing plan.

I hadn’t realized it (I don’t have any business training or experience), but building my marketing plan was exactly what I had been doing.  I sat down to write out a more formal plan, and it became obvious that bookstores needed to be my primary target.  All those other outlets were fine if an opportunity presented itself, but they wouldn’t give me the kind of return on my effort that I had been looking for.

Okay, lesson learned the hard way!  But while I had been expending a lot of effort for small (but exciting!) returns, I was also using some of the marketing services available through Archway.  Currently I’m at the beginning of my social media campaign, setting up a web site, a Twitter account , and a Facebook page.  Some of that technology is new to me, so there’s a bit of a learning curve, but I recently doubled my Twitter followers, and am working to get the web site and Facebook page to take off as well.

It’s been a lot of work and I’m still hoping for my “big breakthrough,” but the small successes have been energizing and I’m definitely learning a lot along the way.  I hope that you’ve been able to learn something from my experiences too.  And if you need a great children’s book about a curious dog with a bushy tail, I know just the one!

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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