By: Marcia King-Gamble
Maybe you’re a new author venturing into this crazy world of publishing, or maybe you’re established, and the pitiful advances you’ve been receiving, have you throwing your hands in the air, and wailing. Perhaps, you’re thinking of breaking into this crazy writing world and wondering how you can get some exposure. No one knows who you are. You have no name. How can you sell books?
Well, I’m here to tell you, marketing yourself can be free, or you can do so on a minuscule budget. Even a newbie can create a buzz if you’re willing to do a little work.
Let’s say you’re thinking of writing that book, or you’ve written one and need to get the word out, but you’re clueless about the steps you need to take. You’ve put all your attention and energy into writing that book, and if you’re an Indie you may even have spent some money to publish it. You need readers to buy that book, so you’ll need to promote, and I don’t want to hear the excuse you’re not good with technology, because that's what nieces and nephews, or that failing, neighbors are for. Just think, you may not even have to pay them minimum wage. That young, age group grew up using an iPad or laptop, and they’re fearless.
Now that we’re ready to go, you’ll need to find fans, and the best place to search for them is on good old Facebook. So, you’ll need to create that Facebook page. You’ll want to share with your readers and fans a bit about you. You’ll want to post your best picture or upload and emoji, as some authors do. Don't be shy about reaching out. Connect with groups. “Friend” authors, Make friends with book lovers, get chatting on sites, but be sure to “friend” those who read in the genre you wrote, or your hard work might be pointless .
Now, you’re probably wondering why even go through the trouble to reach out to these people. Established authors have followers, and they’re doing the same thing you’re doing. They’re looking to connect any way they can. Readers groups are always looking for new authors. These groups often have dates on which you can promote. And all that is free. You can market yourself by participating in online discussions, and that’s before the book’s even released. You can post excerpts of your work and your attractive cover. You can sign up to be a guest blogger, and you can build your mailing list. there's Instagram and Twitter. This is a great way to encourage everyone you know and meet to join that ever expanding mailing list. It doesn’t hurt to give away a book or two.
Why would you need a mailing list? You’d want to send out a newsletter. That newsletter need only be one page long. Still, it’s a place to promote. Here you can tell readers about your book. You can post that attractive book cover. You can run contests. Give something away to build reader excitement. People like free. And you can do all of that before your new book is even published.
Another marketing opportunity that is entirely free is Pinterest. Creating storyboards are fun. In pictures, you can tell the reader all about your book. You can describe the town the book is set in, you can post character look-a-likes, you can show the reader the town’s buildings and introduce them to new hobbies. Pinterest is a great place to build reader buzz.
Say you’ve allotted a small budget for advertising, and you have to be careful as to where it would be better spent. Try Facebook Ads. I once set my spend at $12 a week and saw a substantial uptick in reader purchases. Another suggestion would be to invest a little money in building the readership of your newsletter. There are companies out there who specialize in getting you names and email addresses. This helps get readers on your list.
Make librarians your best friends. Libraries are often looking for speakers and workshop presenters, and libraries carry books. The more visible you are in the cyber or real world, the more likely you are to get your books bought. Build a following, and always remain personable. If going the traditional publishing route, visit the brick and mortar stores and make the sales associates your best friend. Sales people are asked for recommendations. They hand sell books.
Last, and not least, do not underestimate the power of author friends; those you have made in person or online. Authors are great resources and support each other. We know how tough it is out there. You just might pilfer a fan or two, and get yourself a mentor while you're at it.
These are opportunities that cost nothing. Get out there and make yourself known, and those books will fly off the shelves, cyber or otherwise! And don't forget to Tweet!
About Marcia King-Gamble
Romance writer, Marcia King-Gamble originally hails from a sunny Caribbean island where the sky and ocean are the same mesmerizing shade of blue. This travel industry executive and current world traveler has spent most of life in the United States. A National Bestselling author, Marcia has penned over 34 books and 8 novellas. Her free time is spent at the gym, traveling to exotic locales, and caring for her animal family.
Visit Marcia at www.lovemarcia.com or “friend” her on Facebook: http://bit.ly/1MlnrIS
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