A word from our publisher:
Deborah Malone has written three novels published by Lamp Post, and time and time again she has impressed me with her ability to self-promote and sell numerous copies of her books. Here she shares her secrets and provides some great insights into how she has achieved this success. And if you like a good “cozy mystery”, be sure to pick up your copies of Death in Dahlonega, Murder in Marietta, and the newly-released Terror on Tybee Island! Only from Lamp Post!
— Brett Burner, Publisher
TEN TIPS FOR MARKETING
Congratulations, you’re holding your first published book. Now you can sit back and relax. Not! Your work is just now starting – marketing. This is a part of every writer’s world. You must market your books. You’ll need to get the word out about your books, and the best way to do that is to shamelessly self-promote. Below you’ll find a few tips that might help you get started in that direction. Now get out there and promote your book!
1. Establish a website
Once your book is contracted and by the time it shows up in online bookstores, you should have a website – preferably one with your author name as the URL,(www.deborah-malone.com) so that readers can easily find you. Use Google blogspot for free and pay only for the URL.
2. Start a blog
I’ve discovered blogging and reviewing books is a great way to get your name out in the world of writing. You can build a following before you have your book published. If possible use your author name as your URL (see above). Interviews and book giveaways are a great way to draw traffic to your blog. You can use Google or WordPress for free.
3. Start an author Facebook page
If you start an author page as opposed to a personal page it allows followers to connect with you without having to wait for a friend approval. You can post book news, awards, and book signings.
4. Get an update author photo
This doesn’t have to be a high-priced photograph, but make sure it is updated and of good quality. It won’t hurt to have a couple of different shots
5. Set Up Accounts On Reader Sites:
.There is a great opportunity in this area. You can sign up at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Shelfari. Then when your book is published you can set up author pages and list your book and your information.
6. Get Business Cards, Postcards and Bookmarks:
Vista Print offers great prices on these items. You can get your business cards before your book comes out – be sure and put your picture on your card. Someone might not remember your name, but they will remember your face. If you place a small order with Vista Print they will send you discount cards with that order then you can place future orders at a greatly reduced price.
I made my own bookmarks out of heavy duty paper and saved a lot of money. I recommend a great book titled “Stress Fee Marketing” by Renea Winchester; it includes a lot of detailed information on these marketing strategies
7. Solicit Venues To Promote Your Books:
.More than likely people aren’t going to be clamoring at your door asking you to come and talk or sell your books. You have to be pro-active and play detective to find venues to where you can talk about and sell your books. There are plenty of places out there – the question is how do you find them? I’ve found that book clubs, libraries, book stores, writing groups, teaching/speaking at conferences are some great places to start. Looking online, in the local paper, network with fellow authors, attend conferences, search for local libraries (a lot of libraries have book signings and/or books clubs or they can tell you of some in the area) are just a few ways to get started.
8. Never Miss An Opportunity
Always carry business cards and books with you wherever you go. I’ve sold books more than once to strangers I’ve met while waiting on my car to get an oil change, eating out, or at the doctor’s office. You never know when you might find an interested reader.
9. Shamelessly Self-promote
This is something that most of us aren’t comfortable with – that is putting ourselves out in the public to promote our product. You’ll have to get over that if you want to sell books. If you’re at a venue, don’t wait for people to come to you – go out there and meet them where they are. I remember one book signing where no one was coming over to the table, so I got up and started introducing myself, handing them a card and explaining what a cozy mystery is. It ended up being a very successful venture.
10. Put Your Prospective Buyer At Ease
When you are selling your books, this is very important! Ask them a question to start the conversation. You can ask where they’re from, if they like to read mysteries, thrillers, etc. This will usually get the conversation rolling and introduce an opportunity to tell them about your book. Offer them a chance to read the back of your book.