Book Marketing: Love it or hate it, every writer needs it

It’s another installment of The Marketing Minute!  If you’re unfamiliar with how this type of blog post works, you can visit the first installment, and the rules, here.notime

Today we’re discussing how to fit in your book marketing when you’re a busy writer, worker, mom, dad, grandparent, sibling, spouse, etc. What is book marketing, when should you start paying attention to it, and how can you incorporate it in small, manageable doses?

Here’s the take-away:

Book marketing is code for relationship-building. While it tends to include self-promotion, you are NOT to yell at the world to continuously buy your books. That’s doing it wrong. You should begin building a following of fans/readers the moment you have an idea to write a novel, and do so by scheduling weekly tasks you can fit in between everything else going on in your life.

Here are the two most common statements I hear from writers:
1. I barely have time to write; fitting in any type of marketing is impossible.
2. My book isn’t out yet; I can’t do any marketing.

Sound familiar? We’ve all been there, and if you haven’t been yet, you will be at some point. You should probably know that both statements are untrue. You can ALWAYS fit in book marketing, and you can start book marketing long before you’ve got a published book in your hands.

1. I barely have time to write; fitting in any type of marketing is impossible.
You have the same number of hours in a day as everyone else. The difference between you having time and someone else having time is simply making it. Carve out a small chunk daily, or even weekly, for your book marketing. After all, if you write a bestseller and no one knows about it… it’s never going to hit bestseller status. You have to find your readers — often one at a time, and this requires time to find them.

Just because there is a lot to do when it comes to your book marketing, doesn’t mean you need to overwhelm yourself and do it all. Focus on three things a week and do them. Examples I do are: spend 20 minutes on Sunday on Twitter following 25-50 new people, spend 5 minutes a day on Facebook searching for and connecting with a new group, spend 10 minutes on Tuesdays and Saturdays sharing 3-5 teaser graphics in groups. As you get comfortable with your three things, it’ll take less time to do them and then you can add one more thing. Or, like I do, switch tasks every week. In other words, don’t try to be everywhere and do everything. That’s when you give up and say you have no time. Instead, focus your book marketing efforts and tackle small things weekly.

2. My book isn’t out yet, I can’t do any marketing.no book
If you think this is true, you most likely also think book marketing is pure self-promotion with a message of, “my book is out, buy it!”. Book marketing is about finding your readers and fans and connecting with them. It’s relationship-building, and that doesn’t happen if you come off as a spammy robot. Not having a book to promote is the best practice for book marketing because you can’t hard-sell a book that isn’t out yet. Instead, show the world your face, let them hear your voice. Then, when your book comes out, you won’t have to shove it down your fans’ throats, they will already like and follow you and want to buy it because you’ve given them an opportunity to get to know you.

I’m not saying don’t promote your book, but first promote yourself as an author — establish YOUR brand. You are your brand, your book is not. Not sure how to start? Pick a hobby or interest and start there. Connect with like-minded people and find friends. Do you write historical romance? Blog about the country in your book, or popular recipes or clothing from the time period. Erotica your thing? Blog about relationships or give tips on how to spice up your love life. If you consider your book your main meal, consider blogging and relationship-building as the table setting. Lay down a solid foundation, and the sales will happen.

The thing about book marketing is that while everyone needs it, it’s not for everyone. You can hire a marketing assistant to help. They can be a godsend and are quite affordable. Some require a monthly contract while others are perfectly happy with spending an hour here and there when you need it and on what you need it on. They are also very good at knowing where to spend your time most wisely. If you’re interested in this service, and the more writing time that it provides, send a message to marketing@pagecurl.net. You can learn more by visiting PageCurl Publishing and Promotion.

What about book marketing seems intimidating to you? Do you make time for your marketing and growing your brand? Would you ever consider hiring an assistant?

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