How to promote your own book? Think before you write it
How to promote your own book? Think before you write it
What determines the marketing potential of a book?
Certainly, the genre can make a big difference in the sale of a book. We definitely do not have a favorable time for poetry today, but in the case of good prose, there are many portals and book blogs that will be able to draw the attention of readers to a specific item.
However, it is worth being aware that we will have different promotion opportunities in the case of fiction (the so-called high fiction), different in the case of romances, fantasy or crime fiction. Each genre has its media, its audience and its specificity.
What about hybrids?
Some authors write hybrids, try to avoid throwing them into one species, but honestly, it can make it harder to sell. Imagine the reader is looking for a criminal but does not necessarily like fantasy. Thus, a criminal-fiction creation will not necessarily delight him.
If in the press release or on the cover we say “this is not a typical crime fiction”, it may turn out that the book will not interest fans of racial crime fiction, or even websites devoted to this type of literature. In fact, sticking to drawers doesn’t have to be all that bad.
The tutorials books are a different matter. Despite the fact that it is difficult to advertise, it quickly translates into sales, because if a book gives a chance to solve a specific problem of the reader, it will be easier to persuade him to pay for the solution. Or at least easier than spending money in return for the aesthetic sensations that prose promises him.
Target audience of the book
Genre and subject matter cannot be separated from the people you write for. As in almost every marketing article, sooner or later you will reach the point where there will be information about your target group. Unfortunately, authors sometimes, like artists, write only for themselves, not worrying about their readers. I know you can be passionate about writing for yourself, and it’s great if you can do it because, for example, you don’t want to sell a book. However, if you want someone to buy a book, think about it sooner. The group of recipients must be broader – wide enough to be able to “recruit” a subset of paying customers from this set.
Probably not many authors will be guided by marketing issues when choosing a genre, but at the stage of choosing the topic, it is really worth doing. Thanks to this, you will minimize the risk of spending e.g. a year on working on something that will not interest anyone.
From a marketing point of view, good topics are on the one hand universal and timeless (e.g. the fight between good and evil), but on the other hand they should relate to issues currently present in the public space (currently e.g. various forms of intolerance and discrimination, or abuse of power) . Even if you are writing a historical novel, the reader should find their own mirror in it (or at least a caricature of their neighbor). If you want to write on a topic that is not very fashionable, consider how to dress it so that it can be presented in a current context.
And when you find the one best topic, try to express the whole essence of the book in one sentence. If you do not know how to go about it, you can check, for example, descriptions of movies on Netflix, or descriptions of series in newspapers with a TV program. Note that in today’s fast-paced world, the recipient decides which series to choose based on a very short description.
The same may be true when choosing a book. Therefore, you need a one-sentence summary written in such a way as to hit the nail on the head and convince the right audience to devote their time (and money) to your piece.
Trifle? Perhaps. However, the title can also attract or deter the right audience. Personally, I don’t like when titles are “overconfigured” because they may suggest that the author is a scribbler who likes baroque ornaments. A simple title – containing one or two words gives much more hope that I am dealing with a good text. Ultimately, it may not be so, but in marketing, the first impression is very important.
Unfortunately, it’s a fairly common problem that authors – people who can think with words – have poor taste when it comes to visuals. And maybe even that wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for the fact that when they publish the book themselves, they want to do absolutely everything they want. Unfortunately, sometimes it ends badly.
Who am I to judge someone’s taste? The more that it is difficult to discuss tastes. However, know that the cover is important.
From a marketing point of view, it is safer to stick to the convention of a specific genre. Thanks to this, the reader can recognize in the first second of contact with the cover whether he is dealing, for example, with a thriller or a romance. If we give a thriller-style cover to a romance or vice versa, we only confuse the reader. No, you won’t make him stop at this particular book any longer – on the contrary, he won’t find time at all to wonder why something doesn’t suit him.
Editing and proofreading
The obvious obviousness, and yet the bad reputation of self-publishing, came from the fact that a few years ago (now a little less often) authors were flooding the market with books without any editing or even basic correction. It is better not to save on it and it is better if someone else deals with editing, and someone else with proofreading. The more experienced heads take care of your book, the better it is for you.
Very often, we would like the success of a given work to be proven only by its quality. Unfortunately, it is not and will not be. Who the author of a given work is has a huge impact on the interest in his work. For this reason, an unknown debutant will always have a harder time than a specialist recognized in a specific environment, a TV star or even a blogger with a large reach. Hence the need to add one more point.
Building an audience
Today, every writer, and especially a self-publishing author, must put a lot of emphasis on promoting himself and building an audience around what he does. For many writers (and there are also extreme introverts and people who dislike social media) this is a problem. And yet, a certain amount of exhibitionism and openness towards your readers is advisable because people today buy from those they like and know (or feel they know them).
It’s just a matter of trust – someone you are going to sell your book to must first trust that they will get something of value from you. The good news is that even if nobody knows you today, you have a good chance on the Internet to find your audience and build a community, e.g. around your book’s profile on Facebook and / or around your blog. The bad news is that it can’t be done overnight.