To review: I have finished True Magics, third book in my Magics Trilogy (you can buy Small Magics and Cold Magics here), I have a contract to have them published this fall, and I have time to build a proper marketing campaign.
So what do I do next?
Being a good little Communications Consultant who wants to sell lots books, I researched best practices: who sold how many books doing what when and how?
And the answer that leapt in big bold exciting letters was:
IT’S NOT JUST THE BOOK!!! IT’S ABOUT YOU!!!
Yes, you! The author! You have to be interesting! You have to be exciting! You have to reach out and let the world know about YOU! You have to get on social media! You have to blog! You have to Tweet! You have to Pin! You have to Instagram! You have to do that new exciting fifteen second-video thing! You have to make appearances! You have to go to book fairs! You have to go to conventions! You have to do signings and readings! You need to be in schools! You need to be in universities! You need to be at conferences!
YOU NEED TO SELL YOU!!!
Well, yes.... Sort of.... But, no.
Or more correctly: Yes and No.
I'd better explain.
What AreYou Really Marketing?
The first question a good marketer asks is, “What do I want people to think, feel, and do?”
A marketer has to be able to answer all three, because without all three, nothing happens. People need to know about a product (think) and they need to connect with it on an emotional level (feel) before they will purchase that product (do).
So how does that work with selling books?
NON-FICTION writers need to market the author. Whether they’ve written Integrating Lean Sigma Six into Your Home Based Marmalade Business, or Fifty-Five Ways Diaper Cream Can Improve Your Bottom Line, the non-fiction writer’s potential customers need to think that the author is a subject matter expert; they need to feel that the author can be trusted and the author’s idea is a great one, and then they will do the buying of the author’s book.
FICTION writers need to market the writing. We need people to think that our writing is entertaining and to feel our writing is worth their time and money, before they will do (by buying our book).
So does this mean that the fiction writer doesn't have to get on social media and blog or tweet or pin or instagram or do that 15 second video thing? That we can stay home from book fairs and conventions and signings and readings?
We should be so lucky.
Right now most of our potential customers have no idea how good our writing actually is. And unless we are already bestselling authors, no one except for us is going to put in the effort to let people know it.
So yes, we need to do social media, and book tours and conventions and all of that. And we need to promote it to the right people, or we’re wasting our time.
So it's not just the book, it's the writing.
So my job is to convince people that I write well and that they should buy my book.
Now, how shall I reach them?
Next week: Social Media Platforms or What Fresh Hell is This?