By Crave Books
For many first time writers, the idea of simply getting something written down can be a daunting task. However, once the manuscript has been approved by your publishing company, it is time to sell your writing.
Publishing your written work is a major accomplishment. While it can feel amazing to get your writing out there, it can also be stressful if you have no idea where to start. It is important to know what you’re doing so that you can prepare yourself for every potential obstacle along the way.
With that being said, many new authors fail to understand the responsibilities that come with being published. It is completely normal to make mistakes through the process, but if you’re prepared, you can alleviate some of the pressures that come with the hardest aspects of the publication journey.
Whether you are a newly published author or a seasoned pro, here are three things all authors should do before publishing their books. These tips will help you get ready for promotions, deadlines, and marketing strategies.
1. Utilize Your Connections
As awkward as it may feel, the first people you need to promote your writing to may have to be the people you know, especially if it’s your first time. This should be done as early as possible, particularly when you are working through the final stages of publication. In fact, it should be one of the very first things you do before your book even makes it on the shelves.
Start With Your Inner Circle
A great artist must promote their material for it to sell, so don’t be afraid to speak out about your writing, even if it is slightly outside of your comfort zone. Whether these people are your family, close friends, or another author, getting your work out there is an essential marketing tactic of publication.
For example, take some time to talk about your work when out to eat with friends. Make it casual, wait for an appropriate time, and ask them to spread the word. They will likely want to support you, even if they may not buy the book themselves. Chances are, they may know people or be part of a book club that could take advantage of your reading material.
Don’t be afraid to let things get a little awkward. The worst that people can say is no, but if you can even get one person to buy or promote your book, that is the ultimate goal.
Take Advantage of Social Media
You have a myriad of resources just begging to be used, so use popular social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, or Facebook.
However, keep in mind that you are still representing your own personal business when using these platforms. Maintain a professional presence, whether that be creating a separate page or interacting with potential readers in an efficient manner.
Talk To Other Authors
If you happen to know other authors, then they can be a fantastic resource for you to utilize. If you don’t, public readings or workshops may be a great place to start.
Other authors, especially ones with a lot of experience, can help promote your work by talking about it to their loyal readers. If you are also feeling overwhelmed with the publication process, they can give you advice and offer some outside support.
Don’t be afraid to put your name out there, especially when it comes to other authors. They all know what it’s like to be in your position, so they will probably want to help!
2. Develop a Marketing Plan
If it is possible, start thinking about creating a marketing plan before your book even hits the shelves. Your writing is yours alone to promote, so it’s important to take the proper steps to get there if you want any success in selling your books.
When your book is officially out there, have a launch plan ready to make sure that it is being sold immediately. This can be done by emailing some of your past or present readers, making an announcement on social reading, or signing up for a reading at your local bookstore. However you choose to market your newest work, make sure that you have a plan ready to avoid falling behind.
Prepare Marketing Resources
The moment that your first book is published, you have become your own personal business. With that in mind, consider investing in business cards or bookmarks that can be used by readers or potential buyers.
If there is an option for bookstores to invest in your public speaking skills or to talk about your writing in a promotional setting, developing a speaking presentation could greatly benefit your marketing strategy.
Create a Blog
Having all of your published pieces in one place can help you stay organized while also being an amazing marketing strategy. If you develop an array of fans who start following your writing, they may want to come back to your blog and buy more of your books.
Blogs can also be a great way to connect with your audience. The publishing process doesn’t always have to be boring, it can even mean having an FAQ page for your fans to ask questions or interact with you in a professional setting.
3. Get the Word Out
Once your book is officially published, it’s time to promote your material. At this point in the process, you may have taken the initiative to talk about your upcoming book to friends, family, or other authors.
You may also have the proper tools necessary for marketing your book and have a plan for interacting with new fans of the novel. Now you have to deal with the aftermath of being a published author, and part of that means establishing yourself as a reputable writer in the industry.
Sign Up for Promotional Opportunities
If you have a friend who runs a podcast, take the opportunity to continue promoting your novel by reaching out to their audience. It would be good to keep your book genre/topic in the same niche or very close to the podcasts audience as well. If there is someone who wants to interview you for a blog post, take the time to meet with them and answer questions that could appeal to other readers of similar interests.
Also, once you have become a published author yourself, pay it forward by reviewing or promoting some of your friends’ work. Not only does this help support your peers, but it gets your name out there. Supporting other authors establishes yourself as a possible option for readers looking for a similar style.
Have Extra Copies of Your Book Ready
While you certainly don’t need to give all of your extra copies out for free, this can be helpful as a gift for people who promote your work. For example, if your friend is kind enough to let you speak about your book on their podcast, give them a signed copy of your publication, even if you know that they have already read it.
Not only is this a gracious way of saying thank you, but it gives them the opportunity to keep promoting your work or sharing it with other people they know. This also establishes you as a professional and positive person to work with in the future.
Let Other People Review Your Work
Contact other authors you trust to write testimonials out for you. If their readers notice that they have written a positive review of your work, it may convince them to read it themselves. A person may also see your book, recognize the reviewer, and decide to buy it just because they trust their judgement.
Crave Books is a free service that helps readers discover new books, while providing a platform for authors and publishers to discover additional sales and new fans. You can take a look at their book marketing options here.