All too often, marketing a self-published book comes as an afterthought. Only when a writer sees the page selling their book go up on Amazon.com – and usually after a week or two of nonexistent sales on that page – does an earnest effort to promote the title begin.
Yet, to ensure sales, marketing should begin long before the title even is published…and probably even before you’ve finished writing the book.
That’s because the most important step you can take in promoting a book is building a network of potential buyers for it.
Usually this network is created via social media. Construct an author’s platform, using a website, blog, and social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Goodreads, LinkedIn and Pinterest, to connect with like-minded authors, particularly those who write and purchase books in your genre. You want to follow/friend them and have them reciprocate. This list also can include anyone who you come into contact with about the book, such as people you tap for your research. Spend a few minutes everyday building this group.
Keep this ever expanding network informed about your book, such as when you’ve completed the manuscript, when the cover is finished (maybe even have them help you select the cover illustration), when the book is actually published, and so on.
Once your book is available for sale, this group can be the targets of your invites to an online blog tour or for special promotions such as a contest to win a free book.
If you wait to build this network until after your book is published, you’re largely promoting a book that has been released long ago. By the time your network of potential buyers grows to a size that can result in a few book sales, you’ll be pushing a book that is several months or maybe even a year old. You’ve then lost some potential milestones that could be used to attract interest in your book.
So, the moment you’ve decided that the novel or nonfiction book you’re working on will be the one that you plan to release by a specific date, immediately develop a marketing campaign centered on that day…and start building the network of potential buyers who will be the target of that campaign! You book sales stats will appreciate it in the days after you book comes out.
My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.