Thanks to author/blogger Cassie Phillips for this guest contribution.
For any self-published author, the marketing process is nearly as important as the actual writing. Without the support of a publishing house team around you, getting your work out to the public is very often a one-man mission.
There are countless fantastic marketing tutorials available on the web, which can teach you all the tried-and-tested methods for attracting readers. However, as the internet continues to flood with new creatives and innovative ideas, sometimes you have to start thinking outside the box!
1. Add Visuals
Vision is the king of the senses. According to statistics, when given a piece of information, there is a 90 percent chance you’ll forget it in three days. However, if that information is presented with a relevant image, this drops to 35 percent. Obviously, visuals play a significant role in successful marketing.
While many simply add a picture of the book cover to a line of text, getting creative in this area will significantly increase your buzz online. Try coming up with a video trailer for your book or produce a photo collection based on the content. Similarly, releasing YouTube videos where you, as the author, reads snippets, will increase your reach even further.
2. Workshops In Schools/Colleges
Education is a fantastic way to broaden your reach as a writer. When most authors market their work, they very often promote the product and not their skill set. However, the vast wealth of knowledge that comes from writing is equally as valuable as the finished book.
Creating workshops to take into schools is a relatively simple task. Just target the appropriate age group, plan tasks based around developing character/storyline, etc. and use your book as an example. Then you can market directly to your ideal audience and impart wisdom on the next generation in the process!
3. Fan Photos
Connecting with fans is your number one way of increasing sales. An excellent way to do this is via fan photos. Not only does it allow you to interact with readers, it substantially increases the number of people who see your book. By tagging fans, who will subsequently share with their friends, you can harness the most powerful marketing channel – word of mouth.
Another key point here is to remember to explore as many social media options as possible. Facebook and Twitter are a good start, but Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat are also fantastic photo-based platforms that can be a powerful marketing force.
4. Go International
Though authors aren’t as tied to a physical destination as many other artists, there is still a tendency to stay local when it comes to the target market. Even if this is merely restricting your readership by only printing in English, it’s always the case that writers can reach further.
There is a cost to hiring translators but it’s relatively inexpensive given it affords you a whole new potential audience! However, it’s not enough just to change the language and expect it to sell.
One of the best cheat tricks when selling overseas is to render the help of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Most use this software either for privacy or to watch Netflix overseas. However, it can be just as handy to help you aim your international marketing.
By setting the VPN for the country you’re targeting and entering searches for social media/book blogs, you can learn a lot about your destination. This way, you can find the most successful marketing platforms in that region and target them directly!
5. Virtual Signings
It’s safe to say that the internet has revolutionized books. Now, the classic book signing has been digitalized as well!! Thanks to Margaret Atwood, who found a way to develop a pen that could sign books in one place when she was elsewhere completely.
While not all authors will be able to access this advanced technology, there are plenty of other low-tech options. Most tablets and smartphones have available apps which allow you to create and sign electronic signatures. Then, by using Skype or an alternative, you can distribute these to fans all over the world!
It’s possible to extend this concept even further; you can have an entire virtual book tour and make the thing into a huge event that is bound to attract attention!
Marketing successfully will always be a challenge for self-publishers. However, if you’re willing to put the work in, then the information is out there!
If you’re still sticking to the generic book promotion routes, then give this five creative solutions some consideration and see if they can work for you!
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About the Author: Cassie is veteran writer, blogger and marketing expert. She has helped authors all over the world find success in their self-publishing endeavors and is now finally finishing up her very first full-length novel!