I missed Week Two of the Authors Blog Challenge, but as part of the third week, I’m here to give out some book marketing tips to help budding writers and authors on their way.
First, before I get started, let me say that none of these are set in stone or foolproof. However, I’ve learned some of these by experience and others from those who have experience. I’m still a little new to the author world myself, but before long, if you immerse yourself in “author culture” (and yes, that is absolutely a real thing), I think you’ll find these things are generally true.
Tip #1: Get a great book cover.
People will absolutely judge your book by its cover. Why? Because it’s their first impression of your work. Just like you buy cereal at the grocery store based on the box, people will buy your book based on the cover. I know because I’m guilty of one-clicking books solely due to the cover art as well. Make sure it accurately represents the key components of your story, such as the looks of the characters, the mood, and any key elements, such as weather, a weapon, etc. Having a professional cover designer create the wrap for your masterpiece is absolutely crucial. Selling a badly covered book is going to be nearly impossible.
Tip #2: Connect with other authors.
Your biggest source of support and knowledge is going to be your peers in the writing industry. Authors will often team up by putting their books together in bundles for giveaways. They’ll also share each other’s work because they know how hard it is to be seen and believe the success of each author counts toward the whole. Other authors will also share critical articles and tips you can use to improve your writing and marketing strategy.
Tip #3: Connect with book bloggers.
Even with the turmoil that has besieged indie authors courtesy of Amazon lately, blogger book reviews are still a wonderful way to get noticed and get feedback on your work. Purchasing or organizing a blog tour will get you new followers and put your name in front of a crowd of readers just dying for that next great read. Going on tour may or may not boost your sales, but every chance you have to get out there in the public eye is a chance to show your talent and build your fan base.
Tip #4: Find your audience.
Romance or erotica author? Facebook has thousands of readers looking for your next steamy teaser. Young adult author? Instagram is where the teens are hanging out these days, and they’ll absolutely love your “bookstagrams.” Mystery, thriller, or horror author? Look for blogs that list your genre as one of their favorites and compile a list. No matter what you write, there’s an audience out there somewhere with your name on it. You just need to find it and immerse yourself in it.
Tip #5: Finish your series before you publish Book 1.
This is something I’m currently learning the hard way. People don’t want to buy book one of a series–especially if it contains a cliffhanger–without knowing the next two or more books are right around the corner. It’s painful to wait months on end for a continuation of a series. Think about how your readers will feel at the end of your first book. Will everything be wrapped up neatly in a standalone? Or will they be pumped with adrenaline, dying to see what happens next? If it’s the latter, definitely wait to publish until the series is complete. Then you can release your books in quick succession so you can feed the readers’ hunger and keep them interested in your work.
Tip #6: If you’re still writing your book, tailor your content to your intended audience.
For example, romance readers love alpha males, HEAs, and series of standalones. If you’re aiming to please the romance crowd, you might also want to consider keeping your characters faithful to each other (a.k.a. no cheating). Tell the readers in the book description what they can expect so they won’t have to be afraid of buying it. People will be more willing to invest their money if they’re sure they won’t be disappointed.
If you’re writing for young adults and teens, pick names that sound trendy and/or unique. Teens love books with main characters that have fresh, original names and plenty of flaws to endear them to the reader.
Hope this blog post was informative and helpful to you! Stop by this blog next week to hear about Character Inspiration.