Book Marketing for Beginners

This morning I have been deep in the re-writing of The Art of Breathing, the third novel in my crime series. Writing, it’s what I enjoy, it’s what I have some talent and skills in. This afternoon, I am returning to the vexed question of marketing and preparing for the launch of the second in the Art of Survival Coverfront onlyfinalseries, The Art of Survival.

Marketing leaves me feeling helpless and hopeless. There are parts which give me enormous pleasure. For instance, Saturday saw me at the Book Corner, a splendid little shop in Saltburn, ambushing unsuspecting customers and giving a short talk on crime fiction. Getting good reviews of my books and disseminating them is also delightful. But as for the rest, it’s a thorny briar on quicksand.

I have read most of the advice available. I know about the power of three, that generally people will act only having been told three times about something. I know about being timely and relevant, about looking out for anniversaries and events in the media to tie the marketing of my novels to. I know about being friendly and helpful on social media and trying to link with others. I know about raising my profile as a writer through blog tours or offering to contribute to other websites/blogs. I have tried as far as I am able to put some of this advice into practice.

Without the recent changes in technology which have allowed for easier indie publishing and for reaching a potential audience through social media, I wouldn’t be able to do what I am doing at all. On the other hand, I do feel like a very small leaf of mint in a very large pea soup. There are, perhaps, too many books out there, and too many people trying to flog them.

Kate E BookSocial media isn’t the whole story, of course, and I believe it is rare for Twitter and Facebook to be the medium by which books are sold. Traditional media has a much bigger role to play. Hats off, then, to the James Bond Spectre marketing team who managed to get coverage of the film’s launch on every BBC news programme last Friday and a James Bond book read on BBC Radio 4 this week. It was a stunt as breath-taking as many which appear in the Bond films themselves. What a difference it would make to indies like me if just some of that marketing time/space on TV and radio could be more evenly distributed.

My strategy for this coming launch includes:

  • various local events, including a signing at WH Smith in Scarborough on the 21st of November and a talk at Filey library on the 1st of December.
  • A goodreads giveaway (https://goo.gl/pIfyF9) and a Kindle promotion this week only for my first novel in the series, The Art of the Imperfect.
  • Copies sent to local and national media for review.
  • A moderate blog tour.

What are your tips for marketing indie published books?

11 thoughts on “Book Marketing for Beginners

  1. Terry Tyler

    1. Identify the book bloggers who favour the genre in which you write, then follow and support the blog. THEN submit your book for review. Continue to support the blog after they’ve reviewed it.
    2. Write really good books so that people want to review them, and read the next one. That does help!!!

    I agree that there are too many books out there. A couple of years ago my theory was that eventually all the rubbish would fall by the wayside, that people would realise that it isn’t the way to make loads of money, and that it doesn’t matter how many fake reviews you buy if your book is awful. Alas, when some disappear there are always others to take their place!! Good luck with the new book 🙂

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  2. C.A. Morgan

    Oh, to leave marketing to others! I’m right there with you, but the best advice I ever got from the folks who helped me publish my last book – start local and grow your circle. I try to do as many events as I can in bookstores and area schools, street fairs, etc. Making personal connections gets people interested in your success and rooting for you as an author. They become part of your marketing team. I’d still rather not have to deal with it, but after reading “Better” by surgeon Atul Gawande, I realized that every profession has aspects that are distasteful (for him it’s managing staff and paperwork), but if we’re to call ourselves professional writers, we have to attend to our business, even the parts we don’t care for. Best of luck to you, and though fantasy isn’t your preference, hope you’ll send good thoughts my way as I wrap up and self-publish the third book of trilogy.

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    1. Kate Evans Post author

      Thanks ever so for your response and your supportive words. I do think by working together we ‘indies’ can be stronger, even if all we’re doing is cheering each other on, as I heartily do for you. Best of luck.

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    2. Annecdotist

      Good that you point out that every job has parts that the person dislikes. Perhaps when we are following our dream of being writers there’s a fantasy that it will all be lovely that creeps in, even when we know it can’t be this way.
      Kate, looking forward to hosting you later this month on your blog tour.

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