In this ever-changing world, one thing remains constant: we have to fight for what we want. For an author in the publishing world, this means promoting yourself. Fight for your book. The battlefield? Whatever works. Mostly, though, it’s on some form of social media, book tour, or email blast. Whatever sticks to consumers in order to sell books.
New York Times bestselling author Barbara Freethy writes about authors marketing their books. “In 2017, I see career-minded authors settling in for the long haul. It’s not a quick and easy game anymore. Authors are now focusing on plotting out strategies that will sustain and advance their writing careers beyond the explosive growth of the past five years. It’s not just about writing and publishing quickly but also about building a unique brand/platform, engaging and re-engaging the core audience and exploring ways to diversify income.”
To reach an audience, one must find an audience, and that is where help comes in. Ricardo Fayet of Reedsy says, “A profession I see emerging more and more is that of ‘book marketers,’ i.e., people with strong digital marketing skills (often authors themselves) who know about Amazon, SEO, lead generation, email marketing, and social advertising. They’re more than VAs in that they work with the author to draw a marketing plan and then teach them how to execute it.” No one really knows everything about why consumers buy what they buy, really. But with marketing, you can use everything at your disposal, whether that be print ads, social media, or hiring a “book marketer” to sell books.
Another option is for authors to stick together and help one another. Jason Freeman of Instafreebie comments on marketing in publishing, “My prediction for 2017 is that we’ll continue to see a trend of authors supporting other authors through collaboration on promotions. Whether it’s through group giveaways, anthologies, and samplers, authors will continue to find success when they understand that promoting their book is not a zero-sum game.”
There is no clear answer to selling. What works for one author might not for another. This is where the author reaches out to other authors and “book marketers” to help sell their books. As with anything in life, you need to be your own best advocate. Arm yourself with knowledge about how to sell your book. There are many avenues to take with marketing—pick up a sword and fight!