So, you've written a book. It's good. Very good, so good that your agent has got you a publishing deal with a major publisher.
very best editors have tuned your words so they don't just hum, they
roar. Proof readers have scoured the text. There's not a single typo or
grammatical mark out of place in all 120,000 words in your tome.
tome itself is wrapped in the most beautiful cover known to the world
of book design. It's startling to look at and beautiful to hold in your
Waterstones, WHSmiths, Foyles, Barnes and Nobles have all asked to stock it. You're there. You've made it.
problem is the world of books is saturated. There are more books
published every day, particularly since the rise in self-publishing,
than there has ever been. And whilst books are on the rise, the number
of people reading is on the decline. You're in a tough tough market.
Simply having the goods doesn't mean that the goods are going to sell.
YOU need to do that yourself.
If you're lucky enough to have a
publisher, they will do an initial burst of publicity for you at the
beginning. This might involve sending your book to critics, getting you
interviews with magazines. But then, it's pretty much over to you. And
at the start of your career, you're a small fish in a big pond that is
teeming with other fish. And some of those fish are very adept and
To survive, and for your book to be seen, you need to
market it. And to market it, you need to work social media until your
knuckles ache and your eyeballs bleed.
Here are my top ten pieces of advice for an author starting out marketing of themselves and their work;
1) Set yourself up with your own web site,
with a domain to match your writing name. This will be the central hub
to hold everything to do with your book; you, your feeds, information
about you, where you are appearing next.
2) Set yourself up with a blog.
Write, if you can, daily - musings, thoughts, ideas, advice. Build a
following. Share the love. Show people you're enthusiastic and care
about books and your work. Make people realise why they should check you
3) Set yourself up on Twitter.
Twitter is increasingly the main conduit to your audience. Critics,
readers, fellow authors, publishers, they're all on Twitter and they're
all looking for information on you and your books and your thoughts.
Share it with them.
4) Set yourself up on Facebook with an author profile. Use Facebook as a platform to share broader pieces of information about yourself, events, your books.
5) Make sure you have an author account with Amazon and keep it up to date with your work and your social media feeds.
6) Make sure you have an author profile account with GoodReads and keep it up to date with your work and your social media feeds.
Integrate with the writing and reading community. Meet and make friends
with book lovers, bloggers, sellers and opinion formers. Send them your
book to review. Accept every opportunity to do interviews. Every
opportunity to be seen is an opportunity to become a new favourite
8) Don't bother marketing your books to friends and
family. They will either buy the book without hesitation or be so
rankled with jealousy at your success, supporting you by buying your
book is the last thing they'd ever do. Regardless if they are delighted
or horrified at your success, they will not effectively promote your
book. Opinion formers will do this.
9) Don't just sit in front
of the computer. Go out and meet people. Attend writing workshops and
events as a speaker, give readings, put yourself forward for in-store
signings, be busy in the high street marketplace. Start local and then
grow out from there. Make sure people know you, your face and that
you're a person of the people - someone they'd like to meet and read
about. Someone they believe.
10) Stay positive. Remain patient.
Enjoy the ride. You've achieved something millions of people would love
to do. They envy you. They admire your success. Keep going. Keep
writing. Things will begin to happen over time - eventually. One day.