As I continue striving for work related to writing, I become more disillusioned with my attempted writing degree. Attempted because I didn’t finish my capstone of writing a novel. Or did I? Arabian epic fantasy with a djinn assassin would have never flown. Buy it today. In your face one course away major!
The reason I became disillusioned was because they did not spend time on the marketing aspect. I also don’t think this is just my school, but creative arts overall. In a world filled with indie artists, small press publishers who do little more than tweet about you every couple days, and having millions of books readily available, we need to know how to make our books pretty.
LTUE (do I ever get tired of tooting their horn? Answer is now.) had a new professional development track, and I went to all of them. You can find what I all learned from LTUE in a post from two days ago.
So here are my marketing tips, which some will slide over from the writer conference post. Linked above. Some of these marketing tips are utilized in my own job as well.
1. Ask for the sale
This is huge in my line of work. I have to ask for opportunities. Whether or not I can make them stick is another issue, but I ask. I’m selling equipment that can be $10,000 and there are ten other competitors. They can only buy one every five to ten years.
You’re selling a book. Mine is $18 soft cover or $4 digital. There are some out there for 99¢. Ask your friend to buy the book. If they’re hesitant remind them it will barely chip into their coffee addiction. If they don’t like the book, you know better for next time. If it’s not their genre, you get it. Ask for the sale.
2. Have a pitch
Ten seconds. Have a ten second pitch. Period. This is needed. Required. Have it. I spoke about this the other day.
3. Remind people you exist
Notice all the links? Notice all the links from my last post? Maybe even the product placement above. Make people remember you exist. Make it easy for people to access your stuff. I’ve littered my last two posts with links to my novel. Yeah. I just posted it again. Please buy it (both making it easy to buy and asking for the sale).
People buy from people they know. In this time of social media it’s really easy to reach out to people. I have a group of 100 writer friends. They have been in touch with Anne Rice, J.K. Rowling, and other famous writers. My friend feels like the writer really cares about them. The writer took a matter of minutes out of their day and convinced a swath of people that they care. Two days later, if that, they don’t remember. Rowling might, but she seems to be one of the sweetest women ever to walk this planet.
People buy from people they feel they know. Make people feel they know you buy caring about those around you. Legitimately. You may both forget each other, or only remember the face, but, as a friend said, “You don’t lose anything by being nice.”
5. Social Media
I was taught social media often doesn’t bring in new readers, but it keeps old ones. It also strengthens your “tribe” or group of readers, which increases word of mouth. Once you get started, all you need to do is hold on tight. It just takes a lot of pushing for the train to move down the tracks.
For advice on which type of social media, I was told whatever you enjoy doing. If you have an outlet, people will join. I do Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, and Tumblr. Most of those are automated through WordPress.
6. Book reviews
I was basically told to just keep going to people asking for book reviews. Change up who you talk to, follow up when you get a positive response, never quit. At first it will be hard, and after a while, if you can start rolling along, the reviewers will come to you.
That’s what I’ve got. Hope the marketing goes well, along with the writing!