Continued from last Thursday’s post on marketing tips for self-publishers, here are five more tips for successfully marketing your book:
Collaborate with other self-published authors
One of the things I did early on is find others who were working to promote their work in the same manner as myself. I asked them what was working for them and shared some things that worked for me. I promoted them on an Author Links page on my website. Many did the same for me.
In time you begin working to establish a relationship and possibly even collaborate on projects that in the end will only help gather a fan base for both of you. I have met many people from various parts of the country that have become friends to share in personal accomplishments that began as simple collaborated efforts to promote my own work.
Join writing groups and online writing communities
In building on your efforts when collaborating with other writers, writing groups and online writing communities are an excellent place to begin. When I started sharing my writing I could not afford a website and because I didn’t have a novel to promote, I didn’t feel the cost and time associated with maintaining a website was justified.
I did join a few communities right about the time my novel was coming to a close and I have used those contacts to help establish relationships and build a potential audience for my work. Here are a few to consider and they are free.• Gather.com• WritersCafe.org• MySpace.com
Contact local organizations
I have always said, if you are going to be successful, you must first learn to be successful in your own backyard. Yes, in the end we all want to be noticed, recognized and honored in cities like Los Angeles and New York but what good is it if you can’t conquer the streets of your own city?
There possibilities for promotion in your own hometown are endless! There are libraries, city community centers, schools and local papers you can contact to begin the stages to establishing a following.
One of the things I did early on is contact teachers from my former ISD—the Fort Worth Independent School District—and I offered my time (freely) to speak to students about tapping into their artistic side. I contacted local writing groups to share my experiences and book clubs to share my work.
There are independent journalists who write articles for your city paper and even the organizations you have joined in the past. And being that you are local, you will be surprised how excited people will be to help contribute to your successes if you take a moment to introduce yourself and share your project (and complimentary copy of your book).
Offer classes to help others
This can be done online or in person. One of the things I did was contact my local community center to offer my own “I-Not-Author” creative writing course, to help inspire others to write. Being I am so passionate about writing and also the fact that I have released a title to the mass-market, it is easy to forget how timid I was years ago and how worried I was that I couldn’t make it.
This class is my opportunity to share some insightful information into the methodical process I undergo to create my characters and storylines to (as I say), draw my stories with words. Giving back what is yours is the number one way to reap the harvest of giving in your favor. Speaking and sharing with others in person validates your expertise and helps build the confidence you will need as your caree
Commit to promote, collaborate and network on a daily basis
This has to be the most critical (and mentally exhausting) aspect of successful self-publication. I made a commitment to my work to promote, publish, network and collaborate my novel at all costs on a daily basis.
With work and kids and coaching baseball, you can only imagine how hard it is to justify this personal goal. But in the end, it has been worth it. In only 2 months on the Amazon.com storefront Proud Souls has sold in 16 states and is being reviewed presently by as many as 10 organizations or individuals in the US and the UK, with requests from professional reviews in Croatia, Greece and Canada.
None of these things would have come into play if I had not worked daily to connect with others online using simple tools of networking. If I can do it, you can do it. It will take time and commitment but again, if you don’t believe in your work more than anyone else, how can you expect others to take a chance with you?
Best of luck to you this year! Remember, I believe…because you believe.