It is now the second month of 2015. Demon’s Prize is taking people by storm, and I couldn’t be happier (well, maybe a little happier. I can only hope that more and more people continue to enjoy the book, and that soon A Cursed Soul will be finished, and added to the series). However, as time moves on, I keep getting asked, “when is the next book coming out? Is it done yet? WHY AREN’T YOU WRITING IT RIGHT NOW?!”
Soooo, I am willing to bet some readers, fans, or even aspiring writers think that being an author of a book (or a series) means you are only supposed to worry about writing the next book (and then the one after that, and the one after that). Yeah, not so much. Don’t get me wrong! Writing is very crucial. Heck, you cannot really be a writer unless you actually DO some writing. However, once you author a story, your responsibilities extend beyond just your writing skills. If you want to get out there, you have to roll up your sleeves and be willing to get to work on things you didn’t think you’d have to.
You’ve Got to Market Your Book!
Did you know that there’s a lot of marketing that goes into a book? You aren’t going to get into a bookstore by just walking in, books in hand and say, “Can you sell these?” Sure, there are some independent bookstores that do consignments and will take any book that looks properly published, but there are also those who won’t want to take a chance unless: (1) they’ve read the book and feel it is properly edited/proofread, (2) it matches their clients’ tastes, (3) has a fan base already around it, and (4) has a strong marketing team that will make sure to get the word out that the book is for sell at their store. There’s more, but I figured I’d just bring the top 4 that I’ve come across.
So, you already have #1 down, since (I assume) the book has been published after an editor already combed through it. You most likely only have to worry about #2 if you are catering to a specific store [Ex: a New Age or even a magick store would want to sell paranormal fiction moreso than a cook book). If the store accepts all types of books, then all you have to worry about is making sure to get it in the appropriate section. As for #3 and #4…Well, how are you going to get the word out to the world, get a fan base, and showcase your popularity unless you market your book? Trust me, your book isn’t going to become famous overnight by just letting it sit on Kindle, collecting electronic dust. You got to get the word out there!
With that being said, when people ask me, “Is the book done yet?”, I tell them that I expect to finish and print A Cursed Soul in 2016. Then, they ask me why it is taking so long. It’s because I am marketing my first book!
How I am Marketing My Book
I am no marketing expert, but I know there’s a lot I can do to market myself. Between writing, my regular 8-5 job, sleeping, and spending time with my loved ones (don’t become a work-aholic!), I scheduled my marketing time in between everything else.
1) I go to events. I go to conventions, attractions, etc. It costs a pretty penny to reserve a table to each event, but I make back what I spend in sales. I don’t sit back, waiting for people to come up to my booth. I talk to those walking by. I offer to personally sign the book to them. I hold a special $1 raffle for something I made relating to the book. I have friends pass the news to people in the crowd that there’s an AWESOME book over at section ____. I even do a few interviews to the press that are wandering around. Anything to get the name out there, and to get people interested in purchasing my book. If they aren’t sure they want to buy now, I give them an awesome, free bookmark that has information on the back of where they can buy online. To see what events I will be doing for 2015, go to my Upcoming Events page!
Here’s an interview I did at Comikaze, 2014!
2) I do podcast interviews. This one I found to be a little harder to do, since I am not a podcast listener. I am not sure who is hot, and who is not. I am not sure who would be up for doing an interview about a horror series, or how to get in touch with the shows to ask for an interview…At least not YET. I know podcasts are a great place to get people aware of my book, so I am now listening to podcasts. I am searching for ones that gear towards my targeted audience, while also seeing what they like to have in an interview. Then, I research on how to get in touch with them and propose an interview. I have now done two podcasts, and with a third one coming up in the next few months!
3) I do online book events and giveaways. These are mainly on Facebook, but are a lot of fun. I do teasers, mini contests, and market my book for a full hour at each event.
4) I write a blog. You’re reading it right now! 😀 Thanks for reading!
This gets out to the bloggers of the world, and also gives your fans something to read while they are waiting for your next book. They want to know what you’re doing, what you’re thinking, and what you have to say! Talk to them through your blog!
5) I use Facebook. I have a fan page for my series that I update on a daily basis. It is where I tell people to go to get the 1st scoop on any giveaways, teasers, events or whatever! I don’t ignore my fans, and you shouldn’t either.
6) I bring my book with me EVERYWHERE I go. Seriously, you’d be surprised how many times a conversation went from, “What do you do for a living?” to “Oh, what’s your book about?”
“What’s my book about? Well, here, let me show you!”
7) I research other ways I can market my book. Like I said before, I am no expert. There are times when I wonder what ELSE I could do to get people to buy my book. When that happens, I research what others do, or what they recommend. You’ll be surprised how much researching you’ll be doing before you realize, “Oh…Wait…Maybe I should do some writing.”
So yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing between my personal life and writing. I hope this helps you out! Until then, keep your chin up, remember to get some time in to write, market, and to spend time with your loved ones.