Why All Authors Must Be Marketers, Too
Posted on 01/31/2017 Evan Swensen
If you want to sell your book, you must become a marketing expert. Here’s how.
If you’re a writer, you probably feel like writing and marketing are worlds apart. While writers toil away at keyboards, reach into their inner selves and ignite each page with sparks of emotion and inspiration, marketers are more formulaic, strategically communicating with the masses whittled down and sell-able versions of your masterpieces. It’s a simple case of left brain versus right brain. Creativity versus logic.
Actually, writing and marketing are two sides of the same coin–if you want to sell your book, you’re going to have to learn how to do both.
Assuming you have already published your book, here’s why you have to become an expert at marketing, too.
Marketing starts at inception
Marketing requires creativity the same way that writing requires structure. Perhaps it’s less than romantic to recognize the planning that goes into constructing your book. After all, it’s important to have a purpose for writing your book other than success. However, there are preliminary steps you can take to create a more marketable piece.
Before you even start writing your book, think about how to answer the question, “what is your book about?” If it takes more than one sentence to answer your question, or worse, if your answer is “it’s not really about anything,” you need to revise your plan. Granted, this step takes time to get right and condensing your ideas can be potentially overwhelming. To help, practice talking to others about your book. The more concise your answer gets, the more likely you are to pique their interest and gain a future reader.
Your book should add something new to the zeitgeist
The second question you should ask yourself is, “why are you writing this book?” While the answer to this second question can be answered in pages, the important thing to consider is that you 1. have a reason and 2. have a good reason. Simply put, your book needs to be relevant to both yourself and others.
Read contemporary books often and follow current trends. Saving interesting articles and even keeping up with popular shows is a great way to get inspired and learn what is marketable.
Network, network, network
After you’ve published your ultra-relevant book, it’s time to network, network, network. Unlike the old days when you had to go door-to-door to be heard, you now have access to the worldwide web. Create a website for your book, and post periodically to social media. Follow others on professional sites such as LinkedIn, and follow up with connections regularly. Most importantly, don’t give up–even famous authors like JK Rowling and Stephen King were rejected multiple times before finding success.
At Publication Consultants we call this building your platform. Some folks refer to this as your brand. It doesn’t matter too much what label you put on the process, but to paraphrase an old adage; the more marketing you do the luckier you will become.