My book, Voodoo Butterfly, comes out in Fall 2014. After working on my masterpiece for five years, I know that publication is just the start of my work as a marketer and entrepreneur. Fact is, in today’s publishing world, if you don’t spend time marketing your book, then you might as well put an R.I.P. sign on it and move onto your next book that will never see the light of day. Harsh, I know. But after reading, ad nauseam, about writers’ experiences and after hearing stories from my own writer friends that they cannot sell their books, I’m making a game plan.
In this post, I’ll share a few general pointers about marketing strategy. In following weeks, I’ll mention the individual pieces of my marketing plan, including: website, blogging, social media, print materials and swag, live events, launch parties, and PR. So let’s get started with the general principles behind your marketing strategy.
Rule#1: Sell your book. After spending months or years writing your book, you want people to actually read it. And maybe you hope to make a living being a writer. The only way to do that is to make money selling books. So how do you sell it? First, you relate your work to people(connect with their emotions and their lives). Second, make them see thevalue in your work, whether it’s informative, entertaining, etc. (connect with them intellectually). If you can do those two things well, people will take the effort to pull out their wallet or click “Buy” on Amazon.
Repeat: Everything you put out must connect to your audience (customers). So any channels that you choose to promote your book, must always bring your audience back to your book. Super secret formula for selling books is…
Emotions + Value = SOLD
Rule #2: Build a solid website. Your website is the hub of any marketing efforts you take. This is essential. You need a great site because it will be the one place where you can send all of your customers that shows who you are (your brand). My website, www.camillefaye.com, is up for major renovations in the summer of 2014. The finished product is an absolute masterpiece (as far as visuals and content goes) so I’m so thankful to my brilliant webmaster, Miranda Tyler, for her amazing work.
Rule #3: Don’t waste time or money. Focus on and use things that are FREE. People will offer to help you for free at different stages in your career. Take them up on it. This was a huge bit of advice from our very own Sandwich Lady, Margo Dill.
Rule #4: Don’t be afraid to promote yourself. I know, I know. As writers we pretty much hate doing this. But we write books so others will read them. Some tips for getting your name out there: carry books in the trunk of your car, enter contests, sponsor contests, talk to people in line at Cracker Barrel, brainstorm with successful published writers, give away damaged books (marked “for review only”).
Rule #5: Generate general PR documents (like blog posts, press releases, reviews, interview answers, and blurbs), then individualize for each media outlet. Sandwich Lady, Margo Dill, gave me that idea, too. See, I told you it’s a good idea to brainstorm with successful published writers (see Rule #4).
So those are my top five tips for beginning your marketing journey. Will my marketing plan be the secret mixture that makes my book a bestseller? I’m not a fortune teller…I just have fortune tellers in my novel. But! I feel like the marketing tools I cover in my following posts will at least help me reach readers so that my novel, Voodoo Butterfly, doesn’t die a slow death at the bottom of Amazon’s slush pile.