May 18, 2014
As soon as I started thinking about what goes into publishing a book, I discovered I had a lot of homework to do.
On top of time spent at your day job, you have to write, edit and rewrite your novel. When you think it’s ready for the world to read, you then have to MARKET it. Well, you should consider marketing it even BEFORE you finish writing.
I think about marketing in terms of Six Sigma. For those of you who may not be familiar with this term, in general it’s a simple, practical way to solve problems. I recently finished a training course on this process. The first rule of Six Sigma is to define your problem. Then you gather information, perform analyses, and finally propose a solution.
So, how does this relate to marketing? Simple. You have a problem, and you want to come up with a solution. Start with a statement defining your problem.
Problem Statement: I have an idea for a book. I’ve written it, or I’m in the process of writing it, or I’ve even finished writing it. The problem is that I want to publish and sell as many copies of this wonderful book as possible. How do I go about marketing it so people will want to buy it?
A simple formula could be written as follows, with the question marks indicating the missing piece of the solution. The arrows designate that one event follows the other.
Write Book (Input) > ??? > Sell Books (Output) > Sell More Books
The initial input is your book, regardless of its state of completion. The end result or output is to sell the book. How do you fill in the missing information in the middle, to get from writing the book to selling the book? You need to build a BRIDGE.
To build the bridge, you need TOOLS. Now all you have to do is find those tools. The good news is, many of these tools and resources are FREE.
Once I started looking into possible marketing tools, my list grew long in a short time. I was amazed at the marketing possibilities and resources available.
Social Media: Start building social profiles on major networks. Interact with readers and writers alike. Allocate at least one hour a day to be socially active online. Build your visibility and brand. I will write more about building your online brand in a later post.
Your Family: YES, your family. Let them know you’re writing a book. They can help you and support you. Believe me, you’ll need a lot of support … and coffee.
Your Friends: People are friends because they’re here for us when we need help. Let them know you’re writing a book. Ask them to share ideas with their friends. Ask for comments, feedback, and maybe even a beta-read. If they’re truly your friends, they’ll be there for you.
Online Resources: It’s 2014. An unbelievable amount of content is available online. Search for what other authors, especially successful authors, already do, like book trailers and blogs. Ask them questions, especially those authors writing in the same genre as you do. You’ll be amazed how much further you can go if you just ASK questions. People are willing to help.
I know it sounds like a lot of work on top of writing, researching, editing, and working full time. But think of the possibilities. Use the tools of a good time-management system to automate your online posting. Then, please SHARE how you market your book and how you’ve reached out to your target audience. We all have the same goal: SELL OUR BOOKS.