In Part 3, we talked about the who and why of promoting your first book. In Part 4, we’re going to talk about the what and how.
No one author marketing plan fits every author or book. The audience you want to reach and how you want to engage with them, based on your own personality and preferences, are unique to each author. This means that, to make your marketing both effective and enjoyable for you, you’ll want to choose a mix of tools that you enjoy working with.
Popular options include:
1. Web-Based Approaches
Every author should have a basic web presence as a part of promoting their first book, whether it’s an Amazon or Goodreads author page, a Facebook page, or a simple website bio. Curious readers are likely to look you up online, so make sure they can find you (and find how to buy your book) when they do.
Some authors, however, go much further. Regular blogging can help you build a community. Many authors love Twitter for its fast-paced, constant-conversation approach. Several authors even create their own podcasts or YouTube channels in order to connect in a more personalized fashion.
2. Meet and Greet
Before the Internet, book promotion was much more personal. Today, it still is – or it can be. If you prefer meeting people in the real world, consider:
- Book launch parties or signing events
- Giving readings
- Hosting a writing workshop
- Guest-teaching in a school or college classroom
- Pop-up events or performance art
Think about the audience you’ve envisioned for your book when deciding when, where, and how to reach out to potential readers in person.
Added Bonus: Monetizing Your Marketing
An added bonus of either of the two approaches above: they can often be used to make money on their own, in addition to promoting your first book.
For example, blogs can be monetized through ads or product promotions, or you can encourage donations to your work through tools like Ko-Fi and Patreon. Give enough presentations on writing, and pretty soon you’ll be able to charge a fee for your presence – or at least be able to ask the venue to cover transportation and expenses.
Monetizing your promotion is part of becoming a professional author, not merely a writer. It takes time – but thinking about how to do it in the early stages can help you prepare to seize later opportunities.