Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The process of marketing a book... mine at least!

Before you start reading, bear a thought for the poor, struggling author that wrote this.... me!
Leap of Faith is available this week only at 99p as an eBook from Amazon at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Leap-Faith-Richard-Hardie-ebook/dp/B00GQHXSHS/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1436268407


So, once you've finished your book and it's with the publisher, that's your job as the author over and done with. So on to the next book!

Not a bit of it!

You may have written the world's greatest masterpiece, but if people don't know about it, unfortunately sales will reflect that. Someone has to go out to the big wide world of potential readers / buyers and tell them time and time again that your new bestseller is available and ready for them to enjoy on their book shelves or Kindle device.

Who do you shout at and what do you shout?
 - Social metworking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Many authors have multiple FB pages (personal, author and sometimes one for each book). I have three FB pages one of wich is hosted by one of the characters from my Temporal Detective Agency series. I also use Linkedin, which is primarily a business network, however like most authors, I used to be in business and still maintain my links. It also has useful groups I've joined.
 - Target your audience. My readers are primarily Young Adults, so advertising in The Oldie magazine is probably not the best use of my marketing time! Equally, think like your audience. 
- Don't shout "buy my books" at the same people day in, day out. That's a great way NOT to sell books. By variable, be interesting.
 - A blog is an excellent tool. Again, be interesting. Interviews are good, but don't keep interviewing the same people everyone else is interviewing, i.e. friends who are also authors. I started approaching well-known people (actors, broadcasters and authors) and found them very helpful and more than happy to spend time online with me. You need to create your audience though. Word of mouth / internet is a prime way and is really a recommendation to a new follower, but linking the blog to your website, if you have one, is key. Make sure also that each blog post is also linked to Facebook pages and Twitter..... and ask people to share!
- Your website is the window into your life by which the world can see who you are and what you're doing. It can be your key tool and should be aimed at you target age group and genre. Mine at www.rhardie.com is geared to the Young Adults among us and has lots of little surprises! Above all keep it relevant and up to date with lots of links to Amazon, your publisher and any other site your prospective reader might be interested in.
 - Goodreads and Authorsden.com and the two largest book review sites. Of the two I prefer Authorsden, even though it's mainly American. It's author biography and book pages are professional and easy to create and the statistics it provides on the number of views and strike throughs to sites such as Amazon give you a great idea on traffic and potential sales. It also shows a top 10 list of books by views for each genre. I have to mention that, because my second book in the Temporal Detective Agency series (Trouble With Swords) is #3 in the Young Adults chart!
- Local press and radio and usually happy to help local authors. They're only a phone call away, but have something interesting to say, such as a new book release, or a local book signing.
- I love doing book signings in independent bookshops. They're fun and if promoted well and organised correctly can be great fun, as well as rewarding. Bookshops are also only a phone call away and are usually happy to talk.

- Don't ignore libraries, both local council and those in schools if your market is YA. I work with the Schools Library Service for each county to stock school libraries and organise school talks. J K Rawling's Harry Potter books really only took off through "playground marketing", in other words kids telling their friends about these great new books they've just read. 
- There are different distributors for independent bookshops, chain bookshops, ocean cruise liners, schools and county libraries. They're specialists in their repective markets and not to be ignored.

The main thing is to fun and to enjoy what you're doing. If you do, then it's highly likely your readers will enjoy your books that much more. And that is the name of the game!

Blog on, Dudes!

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