Why Do We Have to Market, Anyway?

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Just saying the word marketing is often enough to send a chill through most independent authors. Some liken it to a carnival thrill ride that spins you ’round and ’round endlessly.

It can be scary. But I assure you it needs to be done.

Where to Begin?
Take an objective look at your website (you do have one, don’t you?). Also look at other social media presences you have (The Twitter, Book of Face, Goodreads Author Pages, Amazon Author Pages).

Pretend you’re seeing them for the first time.

Then answer these questions:
~ Do your sites clearly communicate who you are?
~ Are they similar enough to make them recognizable as yours?
~ Do they make the reader want to open his wallet and buy a book?
~ How easy is it to make the purchase, if they do?

Your web site is who you are to the online world, but I find it amazing how many indie-authors don’t have a web site at all or, if they do, have one that looks and functions like an afterthought.

Make sure you’re set up so potential readers can find you online. The first step to book-marketing success is really that simple: make sure people can find you.

It’s also important to have a social media presence other than a web site … but don’t get so wrapped up in it you forget what you really want to do … write books.

Narrow Your Audience
Step two is narrowing your audience. Take a good look at the genre your book really fits, and pitch it accordingly.

When you pitch, make sure they like you. Don’t oversell. Give them something they can use and tell them something about yourself they’re not going to find anywhere else.

Readers love to know their favorite authors are human, too.

If you can increase your online coverage, you have a good chance to add other selling opportunities as well, such as visits to schools and book clubs.

What Do I Have That’s Interesting?
You don’t have to create something new. More often than not you already have what you need. When in doubt, try an excerpt of your latest work … or a work in progress.

If you’ve already had some success with a book, what better way to entice someone than to let them see a tiny piece of the next one?

* * * * *
Draft copy from my novel-in-progress
“Dead End Street”

Six weeks to the day after I’d returned from Randy and Janice’s wedding, Jim and Eva dropped by again, totally unannounced.

I didn’t think much about it, even though that, all by itself, was strange. They were about as straight-laced and Ann Landers proper as they come, and they would usually call before dropping by.

That afternoon they just showed up at the gate.

Of course, I opened it to let them in as soon as I heard their voices on the speaker. I was looking forward to seeing them.

I watched their car come up the drive until it was just outside the front porch. When they came up on the steps I already had the door open.

Once inside, the first thing Jim did was show me a chilled bottle of white wine. “I’ve had this in the cooler since yesterday, just so I could open it here with you,” he said, tapping the bottle, “so don’t you even think of saying no.”

Eva smiled her shy-little-girl smile and gave me the quick hug and perfunctory kiss on the cheek everyone in the Rancho Santa Fe area used to greet each other.

Jim, despite his words, didn’t even hold out his hand.

Instead, he cocked his head from one side to the other. As he looked at me that way, his right eyebrow shot up with his question.

“Have you been sleeping all right, Paul?”

“Sure,” I lied, thinking he’d never notice.

“Well, you look like shit,” he muttered.

* * * * *

Try a Goodreads Giveaway. All you need is one copy of your already-printed work to set one up, and a site for known readers is a great place to get your work seen and known.

When you do land some coverage for your book, like I did recently when Blood Lake was selected as a Readers’ Favorite 2016 Bronze Medal Winner, amplify that publicity … even though your budget for the effort may be like mine … practically non-existent.

Targeted Audiences
Use the “Boost Post” feature of your Book of Face posts. You’ll find an array of options when you select “Create New Audience” such as location, gender and interests.

The Twitter has an ad platform that functions much the same way, and with a small targeted audience the more affordable it is to reach it. You can do wonders with a micro-budget under $20.

Your platform will grow as you continue to raise awareness about yourself. With any luck at all, you’ll become the author other indie-authors are emulating with their efforts.

Assuming, of course, you’ve written a good book to begin with.

**********

My book-signing at the “Books & Authors” event at Leon & Lulu in Clawson, on October 23 was a rousing success. Thanks to everyone who came by.

On November 19, 2016, I’ll be at the Readers Favorite award ceremony at the Regency Hotel in Miami, receiving my Bronze Medal.

On December 3, 2016, I’ll be signing books from 1:00-4:00 pm at the annual “Giving Season” event at the Orion Township Public Library (825 Joslyn Rd).

**********

My books have all garnered some terrific reviews and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below. Look for them. Better yet, buy one and read it. You just might like it.

buy now amazon

You’re invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or
like my Book of Face page. You can find me on Goodreads, or follow
some of my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.

**********

Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

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