This may not seem the most obvious piece of advice on promoting YOUR book, but it’s worth taking frequent steps outside your own marketing plan to examine the marketing activity of other writers.
There are many new self-published authors out there who not only fervently promote their books, but generously share their experiences to help other authors follow in their footsteps. And there’s never been an easier time to glean their advice.
Many of them talk openly about their book promotion success stories on their blogs. It’s the work of moments to sign up to follow such a blog, to stay effortlessly in the loop. They’re mainly self-taught and learning from their own experience, so can appreciate the lot of the newly published author who isn’t quite sure what to do next.
There are a lot of very active authors on Twitter all week, but a Wednesday is an especially good day to start as this is designated as “Writers’ Wednesday”. Many authors who don’t go on Twitter every day will make a special effort to post an update and read the latest posts every Wednesday. Relevant messages will include the tag #WritersWednesday to make it easy to find.
Choose writers to follow whose company you enjoy and opinions you respect. It doesn’t matter whether they’re working in your own genre – their advice will still be valid and most likely be applicable to your area too.
I’ve been hugely impressed by the generous nature of many authors on the web who are happy to share what traditional publishers would almost certainly want to keep to themselves. Here are two great ones to start you off:
- Joanne Phillips, whose blog is subtitled “A Writer’s Journey: Sharing my journey from unpublished writer to bestseller!, has brilliantly promoted online her first novel Can’t Live Without, is one of the best I’ve come across, sharing fascinating details such as her profit and loss account and how she managed to sell thousands of copies as the direct result of a free Kindle download offer. (Her book’s a great read, too, if you like funny, feel-good chicklit.)
- Richard Denning, who writes Young Adult Fantasy featuring time travel to great moments in history. He is an energetic and inspired book promoter, often thinking laterally to generate interest in his books. If you think you don’t have as much time spend on book promotion, take a look at Richard’s extensive website and book list and prepare to be awed – in his day job he is a GP, and day jobs don’t get much more demanding than that.
Spending time in the company of great self-promoting authors and you will also, by definition, be rubbing shoulders with people who share your passion for writing. It’s not just book promotion tips you’ll pick up (and in no time at all, you’ll be finding you have some of your own to share). You’ll also end up chatting about your writing and all things bookish – a great antidote to the loneliness of the long-distance writer, sitting day after day in isolation at a desk.
And you know what they say – success breeds success! Make sure you’re mingling with upbeat, positive thinking writers, rather than with those who are happier bemoaning the writer’s lot and showing you their collection of rejection slips.
By the way, if you find yourself benefitting from an author’s advice, do your best to repay them in kind, in the way they’ll love best: “like” their books on Amazon, write reviews on Amazon and GoodReads, pass on their website links and Twitter handles to other aspiring authors like yourself – and don’t forget to share with them any tricks of the trade that you pick up.
But best of all, READ THEIR BOOKS!
For more advice about Twitter, you might like to read my recent post: 12 Reasons Why Authors Should Be On Twitter
To follow me on Twitter, look for @DebbieYoungBN. (The BN stands for By Name – I’ve chosen this because I write a personal, non-writing related blog called YoungByName – oh, and because there are about a zillion other Debbie Youngs on Twitter!)
Sell More Books!, my new book packed full of practical promotion advice (most of it which will not cost you a penny to implement) will be published by SilverWood Books this autumn – watch this space!