The notion that you have to market your book is daunting. The first thing that comes to mind might be, yeah right, when pigs fly. Well the truth is, if we can hook a reader on the first page, build up a saggy middle and fill in plot holes, we are certainly qualified to teach pigs the art of flying.
Just as you started your novel within your comfort zone, and yes some of us are comfortable with shape shifters and demons, you have to begin your marketing plan the same way. I highly recommend going online and finding a free market plan template. The options are endless and you’ll find one that’s right for you.
Before you market your book, market yourself. You are newsworthy in your own hometown. Contact your local paper and ask about a local people interest story. It's great exposure, especially if you can get it in the weekend edition. Ask if they would like to review the book. Word of advice; always offer to send them the electronic version of their choice. It’s easier on the budget. Contact your old schools and ask if they would run an article on you in the Alumni newsletter. Research these outlets on Facebook and Twitter and then add them to your friends. But remember to use your Social Media tools with discretion. When you spend too much time shouting from the rooftop, you become white noise.
Know your market. Well that’s easy; my market is anyone who reads. It goes well beyond that. Take out your manuscript and a highlighter. Trust me this exercise is worth the paper and the ink. I want you to go through your book and mark off all sub markets.
Where does your book take place? Is it a real destination on a map? Contact newspapers local to that area and ask if they will review your book. Ask if they have a column that might run a people interest piece or interview on you.
Does the town have a University? Universities often have their own newspaper and radio station…. Contact local bookstores and gift shops and ask if they will carry your book. Contact websites that promote that destination and let them know your book features their city (town, state or country) and offer to share links. You can always have a page on your site “friends of” . You can contact fairs and festivals that may take place around that destination. See if you can promote your book on your website. Offer to work their event into a blog you’re writing for cross promotions. The option to buy advertising is always there; however, we barely have money for the daily caffeine and chocolate requirements recommended for most writers. Always go for free first. Understand that your book is a promotional device for them. You are bringing value to the table
What hobbies or interests do your characters have? Someone likes knitting? …contact knitting groups organizations events etc., cooking….same thing, motorcycles… Well you get the picture. Your book is full of untapped markets. When you contact all these groups/organizations, you can also ask for reviews
Reviews are something we live and die by--it’s that whole sword thing taken to a new level. Not everyone is going to like your book and that’s okay. I recently saw a review that made me LMAO. The review was awful; however, the author wrote a response that was witty and clever. She totally turned the tide and elicited lots of positive comments from people who tweeted about the review and the author’s response. The review went viral. Bottom-line, bad publicity is better than no publicity, because it gives you something to work with. Words are our tools and we do know how to use them.
So, our pig is not yet airborne. He does look cute in his aviations suit though. Next month, we’ll work through more of the details. Meanwhile if anyone wants to name the pig…
Owner, Marketing Director
Crescent Moon Press