“I don’t get bothered about statistics. If somebody had pointed out to me the odds of my being a working actress getting paid for what she does, I probably would have quit early in the game.”
– Shelley Long
“How can I market my book?”, the question was so broad and general I had to lean back and try to sort through the million or so ways one could go about it.
The first place to start is by asking and answering a few key questions. Preferably on paper. You probably already know it intuitively but it’s good to get it in writing.
1) What’s the genre?
2) Who are you writing for?
3) Where do people that enjoy the genre and would enjoy my writing hang out?
Then you simply go there. Whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Goodreads, Quora, Medium or whatever.
It’s important that you know your strengths and weaknesses.
Do you shine when writing? Stick to formats that allow you to post text and a picture like Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Quora, Medium, forums etc.
Are you a great and animated speaker? Get on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, Vine and so on.
Maybe you’re a fantastic visual storyteller who’s into photography? Then it’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Flickr etc.
Do you have a great voice but aren’t that visually interesting? Get on podcasts, SoundCloud, iTunes and so forth.
If you’re writing a book about business LinkedIn could be a great way since you probably already know who the big players are and whose hands you want your book in.
Getting in touch with them might be harder but they’re easy to find and if you know their interest then you can sure as hell provide them some value.
Do you share a passion for golf? Is she into comic books too? Do you have investments in common? Whatever it is, talk about that.
You don’t go into “ask” mode immediately. You build up rapport with the people who share your passions.
Interact with them, jump into conversations on topics you actually know something about and give them something of value.
If they mention a book maybe you can recommend another author you think they’d enjoy? Ask them about tips.
If they’re aspiring authors, give them some tools you’ve found useful in your writing.
This isn’t something you do once the book is out. This begins something like 6 months to a year before that.
You give and give and give. Then you give some more. Only when you’ve earned the right to ask will you be in a position to receive.
Also, understand that not everyone will give back. It’s OK. Thank those who do and show genuine appreciation. We’re not entitled to anything. We need to provide value to our tribe before anything else.
That being said, if you’re a month from releasing it? Your best bet is to go both wide & deep.
If you can afford taking full page ads in magazines & papers relevant to your book you might want to do that. Research what format the papers want for ads (size, resolution, color etc). If you know a designer get in touch with them and ask for them to design a full page ad.
Don’t pay full price for the ad. Tell them that you have a full page ad ready to go if they need a “last minute” ad. You can get a real bargain on these, sometimes as low as 10% of the original price.
Get on relevant podcasts, YouTube channels, interviews etc. Don’t worry about whether they have an audience of 1 person or 20.000.000, just do as many as you can.
Check out something called “Facebook darkposts”. Maybe this might be better than magazines & papers since here you can get really specific about the people you’re targeting.
Want a specific version of your ad directed at women 18-25 who enjoy John Mayer, wine, yoga and fencing? You can do that. What about men 38-47 who are into Spongebob, Formula 1, UFC & musicals? No prob!
Also, if you’re visually inclined and like the Q&A format check out the apps Periscope & Meerkat.
Above all else, your book needs to be great.
That’s the best answer I could come up with at the moment.
Looking back at it the same principles apply to whatever you want to do. Just because we’re talking about marketing a book and using social media as the platform doesn’t mean that it isn’t applicable to everyday life.
Come up with a few ways you could use these principles for your next project. Hit me up on twitter or in the comments and let me know how it goes.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!