We writers wear many hats these days. In addition to writing proposals, queries, and manuscripts, we’re expected to market and promote our books through social media, speaking, radio/television interviews, and book-related events. Whew! What’s a busy author to do?
First, don’t get too overwhelmed. No one can do everything, so take that expectation off your shoulders. Take deep breaths. Now…don’t you feel better? Let’s do our part, and leave the rest in the hands of the Author of our life stories.
Second, after you write it but before your book releases, experiment with different marketing ideas to find out what you enjoy and are good at naturally—Facebook parties? Speaking engagements? Library visits?—and concentrate on those things. The fun you experience will come through, and you’ll sell more books (and even if you don’t, you’ll have more joy. And who doesn’t want that?).
Third, pray for wisdom, discipline, and creativity. After all, God gave us the idea and the opportunity to write a book, and He cares about the people who will read the message we’re sharing.
Finally, clear a few minutes in your schedule and write “marketing” on your calendar in a small window of time. This way, you’ll do a little bit every day. (It’s like the old question, How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!)
To help you get started, here are a few book marketing tasks that take 15 or 20 minutes, tops (just make sure each is related in some way—via a hashtag, link, or text—to the volume you’re promoting):
- Write a short blog post
- Draft a newsletter for your email list
- Brainstorm a free resource to offer your list
- Update a social media profile to reflect your new release details
- Write a Facebook status or Twitter update
- Take an Instagram picture and upload it
- Read a blog post on another author’s site and comment on it (thanks to Michele Niefert for this idea)
- Rate/review a similar book you’ve read on one of the major bookseller’s sites
- Ask friends on Facebook or Twitter to review your book for you
- Share another author’s book, which is related in some way to yours, on a social media platform
- Update your website or blog in some way
- Draft a query letter to a magazine on a subject related to your book
- Ask other bloggers to review your book (Elizabeth Evans shared this tip with me)
- Create an image on Canva or PicMonkey with a reviewer’s blurb on it and Tweet it (a terrific idea from journalist and author Simran Sethi)
- Write a thank-you note to a book reviewer, librarian or bookseller
- Follow-up with a meeting planner or editor you pitched but haven’t heard back from
- Set up an Eventbrite page for a future workshop or seminar you’ll lead on the book topic
- Read a book marketing article on line or in The Writer, Poets and Writers or Writer’s Digest
Now it’s your turn: share in the comments. What are your favorite—or most effective—quick marketing tasks?