Marketing a Book: The Writing is Done. What Do I Do Now?
CreateSpace has numerous resources and tools that can guide you along in the process of putting out your own book for very little money. They also will do a minimum amount of marketing. You must build your author pages on various web sites including your Amazon site, set up a blog and/or web site toward which to drive social media and other contacts to, and send out press releases. I provide press release services if interested as I had my own news business for more than ten years in which I wrote articles for some 40 Metropolitan Boston client newspapers and the Associated Press. Contact me at email@example.com for rates. I can also review your developing book or book plan at reasonable rates.
One of the major problems you could expect with getting your book reviewed by newspapers is the expense of providing hard copies to those media. Many newspapers want two books. You would think that, in this day of digital publishing, news editors would wake up to the needs of independent writers who aren’t usually loaded with funds-otherwise they likely would not be independent writers/publishers, right? I haven’t seen any newspapers yet that accept PDF digital copies of books for review which would cost the writer almost nothing. As happened with the major New York publishers, newspapers will, I predict, eventually incur the wrath of an increasingly powerful mass of independent writers who now are made to jump needlessly through extraneous financial and other ridiculous hurdles even though they may have a great book. Someday-and I hope it will be soon-writers won’t have to be at the mercy of book publishers, newspapers, magazines and agents to get their product to the reader. Writing-like art-should be accessible without the gatekeepers and maybe the continued development of the internet will render them all anachronisms.
The day that you publish isn’t the day that you get to sit back on your butt and say, “great, I’ve finally made it.” No, this is the time when you have to work harder so that you do justice to your creation. This is the time that an independent writer needs “to keep shooting.” If one thing doesn’t work, you need to believe in your product and try another approach. However, some approaches do not bear fruit for weeks, months or more. Social media, for instance, looks like a great vehicle through which to directly connect with your potential readership and this can happen. But it seems that everyone on Twitter or Linkedin is trying to promote their own thing and so a shotgun approach-trying multiple advertising avenues-is very likely going to be necessary. It is not enough to Twit.
Well, if you are a teacher-which I am-you can use the personal approach among other approaches. You keep a copy of your novel or other book with you and the inevitable conversations will arise when other teachers see you reading it or editing it. At least in the teaching world, this should occur at lunch hours-otherwise it can be seen as a conflict-of-interest situation. Or (I’m one of those English teachers who believe in using conjunctions to start sentences) you say to a colleague during a conversation, “Oh by the way, my new novel is being published in a week or so-would you like to check it out?” They invariably say yes. You can get the email addresses of such potential readers and send them a complimentary PDF hoping that they will purchase multiple copies or at least turn someone else onto your book People like getting things for free and often will try to be grateful in some way. The main thing, it appears to me, is to get your book into circulation so people see it and talk about and recommend it.
Another direct marketing approach to your potential audience is to develop people in your niche market from the internet and try to get email addresses. You can then send them a free PDF copy or offer them something for checking out your book.