Book Marketing Woes

31 Jul

Marketing is a word authors either embrace or want to stoke in the fire, but one aspect is universal: It’s necessary.

Whether you’re self-published, published with a small press, or published by a HUGE publishing house, authors have to take on some of the marketing efforts in order for their book to be as successful as it possibly can be. This could mean being present on social media, attending conferences, or purchasing ads. This could also mean spending more time marketing than an author would ever want to. In fact, I work as a social media marketer for authors and publishers. I know how much goes into it because I market all day long. So, trust me, I hear your woes…and today, we’re talking about them.

I’m only using this photo, because I love Scrabble, not going to lie.

I Don’t Like It

Many writers don’t. Unless you’re like me who has a background in marketing, many creative types struggle (or completely reject) the idea of marketing and publicity. And guess what? I understand feeling awful when considering a tweet schedule or a Facebook ad. My tips? Don’t overwhelm yourself. Stick to platforms you actually like. If that means you’re only on Twitter, fine. Tweet away. Stay off platforms you hate, because your readers will be able to sense it. Then talk about what you like. Love Outlander? Great! Write episode reviews. Join fandoms. Just be yourself. Marketing often comes down to just making connections and being you, not selling your book. I mean, who buys a book from a tweet that says “Buy this today! #mybookisawesome #linkbelow #IwannabeJKRowlingoneday”? No one. People buy books because they love that author or their ideas. Share you with the world. Related Article: Authors, Be Yourself

I Don’t Have Time

Just like writers who say they don’t have time to write, guess what? No one has time to write (or market). The key is making time. Even if you only have one hour a week, take that time to schedule your tweets for the rest of the week through Hootsuite or similar companies. Or just be present when you can. If you have the funds, hire a personal assistant to take some of the workload off of your shoulders. Personally, though, I only post when I can talk to fans. Example? If you take a really close look at my social media, you might notice that my photo posts are almost always at 3PM. Why? Because that’s when I wake up. (I work the nightshift.) My photos are generally taken the day before, so my posts are rarely “live.” However, I post when I can so that I can talk to my followers once posted. This also prevents my posts from interrupting my precious writing time. Example? If I post a photo of me writing at a café, I don’t want that to be live because I’ll use my writing time to talk to fans. But if I save that photo for tomorrow afternoon, I can use that photo and talk to them when I am available to chat (and protect that precious writing time while I have it). The key is figuring out what works for you (and when). Related Article: The Truth Behind an Author’s Instagram

Lack of Funds 

This is a big one I hear from clients and companies, and it’s such a big one because it’s essential to success. What do I mean by that? You need to know your budget, and you need to stick with it. If, for instance, your self-publishing budget for the year is $2000, but you spend all of that on ads, how will you buy cover art for your upcoming release? Where are you going to earn that back? Are you going to earn that back? Being honest about your financial situation is important. Advertisements and traveling can rack up a bill…fast. Be careful about what you spend and where. Apply for grants and scholarships. Volunteer at conferences. Ask for help from other authors. Example? Guest post on one another’s blogs or switch mailing lists for a day. It’s free and a great way to increase exposure. Keep your head up, and don’t let your lack of funds bother you. There will always be more opportunities, and support is all around you. Related Articles: The Struggling (Sometimes Starving) WriterHow to Create Book Teases on a Small Budget

Social Anxiety or Other Health Issues

Everyone’s health is unique to their situation. The key is trying to find outlets that are just as unique as you. Don’t automatically count yourself out. Research accommodations. For instance, if you have social anxiety or find leaving the house difficult, online conferences are now available (and growing in popularity). Don’t be afraid to reach out to the event coordinator if you’re interested in attending but you’re not sure how you can. Talk to fellow writers. And don’t feel guilty if you need to take time away from writing or social media to take care of yourself. Writing will always be there, and your health matters. You are awesome. You belong. Related Articles: Writers, It’s Okay to Log Out & Taking a Writing Break and Why It’s Important

I know there are a lot of issues that come up with marketing your book, but I hope this was a solid place to start. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! I’ll try to leave a quick tip. And if you have a topic you want me to cover, feel free to suggest one any time. I love hearing from you!

~SAT

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16 Responses to “Book Marketing Woes”

  1. Don Massenzio July 31, 2017 at 7:59 am #

    Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this great post on the topic of book marketing from Shannon A. Thompson’s blog

  2. The Animation Commendation July 31, 2017 at 10:01 am #

    I think it’s cool that you’re an author AND a social media marketer for authors, lol!

  3. Patrick Dykie July 31, 2017 at 10:23 am #

    As a writer, self publishing his first book, this was excellent. I’ve been trying to build a platform for months. Thank you for some great tips. It is greatly appreciated.

    • Shannon A Thompson July 31, 2017 at 3:47 pm #

      Thank you for reading! And best of luck with your first book. That is super exciting. 😀
      ~SAT

  4. patriciaruthsusan August 1, 2017 at 1:37 am #

    Thanks for this helpful information, Shannon. 🙂 — Suzanne

    • Shannon A Thompson August 2, 2017 at 6:14 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for reading and commenting. 🙂
      ~SAT

  5. Adan Ramie August 3, 2017 at 5:44 am #

    Giving up the marketing platforms and activities that don’t make sense for me was absolutely liberating. It’s nice to know that we can make a plan, try it out, and change it if it doesn’t work for us. Thanks for another uplifting post!

    • Shannon A Thompson August 3, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

      Absolutely! I change my plans all the time, and, like you said, it’s very liberating (and fun)! Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
      ~SAT

  6. Sang Pejuang August 16, 2017 at 8:43 pm #

    This is a very nice post! it encourages me to learn more and more 🙂 if you don’t mind, i’d like to ask your permission to reblog this on my blog. Thanks in advance! God Bless you.

    • Shannon A Thompson August 16, 2017 at 8:44 pm #

      Absolutely! You’re always welcome to reblog with credit. Thank you for reading!
      ~SAT

      • Sang Pejuang August 16, 2017 at 8:45 pm #

        wow! thank you very much! 🙂

  7. Sang Pejuang August 16, 2017 at 8:49 pm #

    Reblogged this on ASSET MANAGEMENT and commented:
    Check this out! It’s an amazing post from Shannon A. Thompson’s blog in the topic of Ebook Marketing.

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