Good Morning authors and welcome to another #WriterWednesday where we talk about the ins and outs of the writing business, lift the curtain to peak at the industry as a whole, and try to offer a bit of guidance here and there. The writing business is a lot to wade through, and the bulk of responsibility falls on you, the author, to make things happen. Whether that is finding in person venues, putting yourself out there to reviewers and readers, or the beast that is marketing, you will find you have only scratched the surface of what needs to be done once you've found a publishing avenue. Today we are going to poke at the iceberg that is marketing.
Marketing is tricky. There are some so called tried and true methods to pursue, but a great deal of marketing really is hit or miss. There are factors of genre, exposure, trends, and hitting the right notes at the right time. Yes, luck, there is luck in the mix too, because all the algorithms in the world don't account for the human factor. Despite all the marketing advice out there, there will be a level of experimentation when it comes to marketing. Even if you find something that does work, you might discover ways to improve on it, or something better. It is a constant learning and change up process. And remember, all advice is offered with a grain of salt.
5 Quick Tips When Tackling Marketing
Keep Your Budget Flexible but Hold the Line: When it comes to marketing on a budget, this will always be a case by case basis. Having a flexible number is great, but reality, most of us go in to marketing with maybe a small sum set aside if we are lucky. If you do have the means to set aside some funds for marketing, set a firm limit to what you will spend, because it is very easy to spend more on marketing a book than the returns. This is where some tried and true marketing tactics would be feasible but it important to see if those suggestions work well with your genre. Science Fiction and horror use very different tactics than romance or young adult fiction. Before you spend any money at all, see what services others in your genre recommend to get a better idea of where your marketing funds would be better invested.
No Budget? Switch Tactics: Some of us go into marketing with nothing. There are ways to market your book without spamming links on various platforms. There are several review sites that have sign up options that cost nothing. While this means you might have to wait longer or have no guarantee of a review, if you go in knowing this might be the case, you can sign up on a number of review sites with an arc as far in advance as you can. Research popular bookstagrammers. Many of them have a sign up for review on their websites. Many up and coming bookstagrammers are open to ARCS from new authors. Reaching out to inquire about potential interest never hurts, and you may gain some new loyal readers in the process. Reach out to fellow authors or your favorite authors to see if they would be interested in reviewing and blurbing your book. Preorder campaigns are a hot commodity, but they don't have to break you financially. What swag can you offer digitally? Things like character art can be made into cell phone wallpapers, digital book marks, etc.
Interact with Readers: Following up that advice, word of mouth is probably the most under rated sales tool for authors. This is a start small and build process. You could start a reader group on social media. Reach out in comments on social media posts. Thank them for sharing your work. Keep your interactions friendly and civil, though I recommend do not interact with negative reviews. Not everyone will like your book and that is okay. That is the nature of art but the readers who do love your book could love your next one. They could be fans of your body of work as a whole.
Team Up With Other Authors: I can't stress this enough. Authors are a great resource to one another. Readers read more than one book. They read multiple authors. Heck, if authors write in the same genre, chances are, readers will recommend your book alongside an author you know. And there are myriad ways you can help one another. You can co-launch books together. Host reader parties. Create reader groups in a genre you all write in together. Recommend each other. Share each other's books in your newsletters. Blurb for each other. This business is rough and often lonely. Building a community and lifting each other up is a way to help everyone find their footing.
Find Your Niche: This ties into some of the other advice. Different genres sell differently. Even within a genre, there is a vast scope of differences. Romance is a massive sprawling genre with more sub genres than you can shake a suggestively shaped stick at. Marketing contemporary is night and day to marketing paranormal. And top of that, you must find what about your book breaks through the noise of that subgenre. What does your book offer that fits it into the sub genre groove, but also makes it different from the other series out there? This feeds off of building your brand, finding a way to make yourself stand out above the noise. Tweaking the wording of your ads and promotions to reflect what makes your stories unique will help you catch the passing reader's interest.