I realise as I write that this should have been my first ‘Confessions …’ post, because marketing starts way before publishing. I knew this vaguely before, but four months following publication of my debut novel, I now know it for certain.
For me, at times, the idea of marketing has become overwhelming, practically paralysing. The thought, ‘I can’t do enough, so what’s the point in doing anything?’, has inveigled its way in and almost brought me to a halt. I am, therefore, going to try and break things down here into bite-size points. I am hoping this will assist me (especially in the run up to the publication of my second novel this Autumn) as much as it helps my readers.
Your author platform
Unless you have massive dollops of luck, your book won’t sell itself, YOU have to do it. YOU have to be visible and out there. This is scary for some and exciting for others, I find it both by turns and sometimes both at the same time.
It’s never been easier to build an author platform through blogging and social media. I’ve had a website and have blogged regularly for years. Prior to launching my novel series, I gave both a bit of an over-haul. I chose to move to this wordpress website/blog as I find it easy to use and it is essentially free (though I pay annually for my writingourselveswell domain name). There are, however, loads of website/blog packages out there, plus many skilled people in design and all-things web, if that’s what you decide to spend your money on.
My prime purpose in life is to write and I want to keep the amount of time spent on marketing to a manageable level. I have, therefore, decided to stick to one website and one identity. I haven’t, for instance, set up a Facebook page for my book on top of my own personal page. Every aspect to your author platform has to be kept fresh and up-dated. Updating my website, writing a blog post once a week and keeping up with my Twitter and Facebook are enough for me.
I also think it’s about preferring quality over quantity. I’d prefer to bring people to me because I have something of worth to offer, and I know I can only do that if I restrict my activities.
There’s loads of advice out there about building an author platform. Here’s a starting point I can recommend: https://katemcolby.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/building-your-author-platform-what-when-and-why/
I have found Kate M Colby a great source of wisdom and advice, we also did a blog tour together (more on that in later posts). I wish I’d read her post on pen names a little earlier: https://katemcolby.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/building-your-author-platform-how-to-choose-your-pen-name/ Kate Evans is a ridiculously common name, and perhaps if I’d read Kate M Colby’s guidance before publication, I might have gone for Kate H Evans. I’m still wondering if it is too late to change.
Next week more on marketing …..
Meanwhile, do look at my novel, ‘The Art of the Imperfect, the first of a series of crime novels set in Scarborough, http://goo.gl/5r9WBv