The role of a writer/author in this 21st century is one of hard work and fabulous rewards–not necessarily monetary rewards unless you are exceedingly fortunate, but your life will change as you attend meetings, readings, conferences etc., and meet hundreds, perhaps thousands of people who are in awe of you for even completing a book. Of course, you will also meet those who laugh with scorn (perhaps thinking why you bother because they don’t even read and can’t understand) or envy (believing you are now rich!). But trust me, your journey will be fascinating and anything but dull, for if you face the challenge squarely, it will enrich your life and also that of your readers … and best of all, they will tell you about it!
1. Decide what YOU can do to market your own book and do it well. No matter how you choose to market your book, you have to do something … so you might as well do a good job of it. You will have a major investment in this book through time, and eventually, money. Don’t allow your book to stagnate on a shelf/ a website or in your basement.
2. Learn the “3 Foot” Rule – talk to everyone who comes within 3 feet of you. Always carry a book, bookmark, business card or info. sheet. If they don’t buy a book, don’t be disappointed, you will be surprised how else they might help you. Don’t expect anything. Be yourself.
3. Buy, or at the very least, read a few well-known marketing books … visit your local library or download an ebook copy to always have with you! I’m a huge fan of ebooks (2011) and all our books are available in all formats at Smashwords.com Here are a few of the classics to start you off:
Marketing Without Megabucks by Shel Horowitz www.frugalfun.com
How To Promote Your Book by Dan Poynter www.PARApublishing.com
The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Marilyn and Tom Ross www.about-books.com
4. On the internet, you’ll be deluged by thousands of sites with marketing tips. A small selection are on our links page found to the right (in category list). Facebook has many groups and joining Twitter has been known to be a great way to get free promotion, just don’t overdo it or your friends will untweet you 🙂
5. Join a ‘useful’ Internet Email List (Yahoo group, etc) and subscribe to topical newsletters but be careful not to get sucked into their own marketing endeavours to sell you the BEST marketing plan ever!! Most of what they sell can be found free if you search the web.
6. Networking with local groups is a great way to advertise for little money but membership fees need to be assessed first. Make sure the group is suitable to your needs.
7. Trade books with other willing self-published authors. A good way to pick up gifts and get your books out there.
Now get out there yourself, write, plan and then, if you decide ‘to go for it’, market that book you’ve dreamed about.
Good luck and all the best.