I gave birth to a book recently. (HOORAY)! What I didn’t expect during this gestational period was that once my book was born, the work was far from over. There was the next step: Parenthood. I now had to raise this baby.
I think every author dreams that the moment their book is published, millions will mysteriously gravitate to and buy it. That’s not the case. Especially when you are new on the author scene and an indie author.
You need a game plan to self-promote and market. Personally, I was humbled. Like raising a first child, I had a LOT to learn. So in my mindset this would now become my “learning book”. This book was no longer about making money, it was about sales and exposure. At first blush, one may think, “If you have lots of sells, you’ll make lots of money.” Not necessarily so. However, I view it as an investment for my future books. I’ll build up my exposure as an author with this book, then future books will have a much easier time of being promoted.
Plus, I figured this was no big deal, as I have a background in public relations/marketing and as a journalist. Boy, was I humbled again. Books are tricky to market nowadays. If you don’t have the revenue to pay someone to promote your book, it’s all on you, and that takes a LOT of time and energy. It also takes creativity.
So I got creative. I started a blog as a promotional vehicle right away and began to learn the algorithms for social media. This may sound crazy, but if you want people to notice your posts on social media, timing is everything. Though I’m in the infancy stages of my social media campaign, I’m already seeing the benefits. Also, this is no time to be selfish, rather it’s a time to collaborate with others & cross-promote. Respectively, I started to feature guest bloggers on my site. I write mostly humor, typically about travel, wine, food and family. Therefore, I try to invite people who are from those areas of interest to join me. Why? Because I’m building a base of what my followers like. Additionally, I promote the guests blogs and visa versa. In theory we expand the amount of exposure to our sites. (Which has a link to buy my book)!
With writing my book, I never expected to write a resume for it, (aka: One Sheet), but I am. Luckily, I have several reviews on the book & it’s well liked, (WHEW!), so that helps to create this marketing tool. I will need it as I pitch the managers of my local shops and big box stores the wondrous opportunity to sell my book, not because I’m a local (and they should do that for me out of neighborly obligation), but because the book is worthy of being sold to their customers. (Simultaneously, I’ll attempt to have them host me for a signing tour also. Double-dipping!)
Finally, I’ve decided to create a big promotion for the month of July, to coincide with an article I wrote on LittleFreeLibraries.org. This will spur a “treasure hunt” promotion to get people to visit these free little libraries in nearby neighborhoods to look for my book, take photos of themselves with it, and post on my site. This boosts local exposure and is a more interesting story for the news media. Hopefully it works. Regardless, the point is I’m being creative, and that’s important, because “raising a book to adulthood” means thinking outside the box, and us indie authors need every edge we can get!
This is a reprint from it’s original posting in Chicklit Magazine: http://connect.chicklitclub.com/wp/2016/05/18/how-to-raise-a-book/