It’s a lot of hard work writing that first eBook. But have you given consideration to what happens next? It’s easy to get caught up in the art of writing. After all, that’s the fun part and what drives us to be writers.
But unless you’ve cracked it and have a publishing and distribution deal already lined up, you’re going to need to do this yourself.
The savvy independent writer should always be thinking 3 steps ahead of the creative process. That means you should be devoting about 30% of your time to marketing your book.
Your marketing should start well before you’ve finished your eBook. That may sound counter intuitive, but in this social media age you need to embrace social media as a tool to grow your audience and promote your eBook.
You have to plan ahead for that happy day when your eBook is finally out of your head and out in the marketplace.
This is really something every writer who intends to publish an eBook should be thinking about right now. If you don’t yet have your platform, you should be building it. That’s true whether you’re trying to secure a traditional book deal with a publisher or going it alone as an independent. It’s sad but true that publishers are increasingly reluctant to take a punt on new writers unless they come with their own fan base.
This is where savvy writers have used internet marketers’ tactics to boost fans and sales.
Here’s my 8 marketing tips to launch your book that will help you build a fan base and maybe propel your new eBook into the Amazon best seller list.
ONE: Create a blog.
Besides being a great tool to sharpen your writing chops (there’s nothing like a weekly deadline to focus your mind), a blog lets you create your writers ‘brand’. That’s you! You can’t escape the fact that readers are curious about writers. The most effective use of a writers blog is bringing your potential readers along the launch journey with you. Talk about why you write, the writers who have influenced you, your writing routine and importantly, share information about your new eBook. Start generating some buzz. You can setup a blog in 10 minutes using sites like WordPress. But, of course a blog is no good without readers so…
TWO: Set up a social media network.
Make sure the persona you create for your brand is consistent across your social channel. Create a new Facebook authors profile. Do the same thing with Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+ and Instagram. If you’re already using these platforms, you’ve got a ready-made audience to kick-start your Writers Platform. Start hanging out in writers forums, add intelligent comments. Join forums. Get known in writer’s circles. Start promoting. Don’t be spammy though! Be a good member of the community. Share what you’re doing. Talk to people you meet about your book, promote your profile and your book.
THREE: Make sure all your new social channels are self referring.
Imagine your Writer’s Blog is the axle of a wheel, and the social channels are the spokes. Everything’s connected, so if someone discovers you on one channel, they’re easily able to link through to your other social channels.
FOUR: Create and share content across your social channels.
This could be quotes from writers you find inspiring to actually sharing drafts of your book for comment. Create a teaser trailer for your book and put it on YouTube. You can get someone on Fiverr.com to do this for $10, so price is no barrier. You want to engage your fans and take them along on your journey. You want to turn your fans into readers and you do this by creating a sense of community. Build the buzz about your book. Give your potential fans a reason to visit your blog so they can…
FIVE: Create a mailing list.
Internet marketers have a mantra, ‘The money’s in the list’. By building a mailing list continually, you are building a tribe of people who are tuned into your message. People join mailing lists in exchange for something else. So they are trading an email address for a free report or eBook. Why not give away a short story? Hold a free webinar on Google Hangouts to talk about an aspect of your writing. If your writing a fantasy novel, why not invite some other fantasy authors to join you in a Q&A session about writing fantasy? You have to have a list, because having thousands of ‘likes’ on Facebook is useless if you cannot contact your fans direct. If you own the list, you have a channel to communicate directly to your fans. The best part is you can keep growing it and no-one can ever take it away from you by changing an algorithm. You can create a mailing list for free with services like MailChimp.
SIX: Turn your list into raving fans.
As your platform grows you should be focused on growing the buzz for your upcoming release. Get the readers on your list to be part of the process. Ask for feedback on the story and the cover design. Get them involved and they will be loyal. You could invite people on your list to be Beta readers. You’re really only limited by your imagination. Try the wisdom of the crowd. Build the buzz.
SEVEN: When you’ve got a release date scheduled on Amazon, give your list a reward that will reward you.
Offer your fans a massive pre-order discount on your eBook. Maybe give it away for free. You want to reward them for their loyalty and simultaneously build the buzz for your release. This can massively increase your chance of hitting bestseller status on Amazon. If you have your tribes excited and they’ve ordered the book on pre-sales you could find your eBook propelled to best seller status in your category. This is because Amazon counts all pre-sales as sales on launch day. Get the picture?
EIGHT: Follow up your fans with review requests.
This is another technique that will ensure your book has a great chance at cracking the bestseller list. Marketers understand that people make buying decisions based on social proof. Think of the books you’ve read because of a recommendation through a friend or book review. Amazon is no different. Books with reviews outsell those without. Your fan platform can help get reviews when you launch.
So there it is. 8 marketing tips to launch your book. Of course, it doesn’t all stop there. Your first launch is just the beginning. You keep building your tribe, building the relationship, building trust until your NEXT book comes out. The process will grow and grow. Ideally, you should be writing a series. What better way to ensure your raving fans stay raving fans then by letting them know there is more to come…
So, don’t be afraid to put on your marketing hat. As you can see, you could have a huge payoff at the end when you release your first eBook. If you are serious about publishing an eBook, you cannot ignore what marketers have known for years. Grow a tribe, build a list. Share real value with your tribe and they will repay in spades.
If you are serious about publishing an eBook this year, the best time to start building your platform is…yesterday. Don’t waste another day. You’ll have enormous fun in the process as well.
I hope these 8 marketing tips to launch your book are useful.
Do you have a platform already? What’s been the most satisfying thing for you building your tribe?
Please leave a comment below.