Keys to marketing as an author

Check out this blog post around marketing a book…

Into Another World

You’ve written your book or maybe you are on your second or third or perhaps your book isn’t even out yet, but your mind has turned to marketing. How the heck do you get your book noticed in the sea of other books out there?

There really is no sure-fire method for marketing. What works for one author may or may not work for you. But there are two main keys to marketing.

YOU are the BRAND.

The first thing you need to realize is that you are marketing yourself and not your book. Your marketing efforts are building recognition of your brand, which is YOU.

By working on name recognition, your marketing efforts will eventually lead to sales. The key word is “eventually.”

It works the same way as a company running TV commercials. The viewer of the commercial is not often in the position to buy that product…

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12 comments

  1. Good article, Liis. Thanks for reposting.
    For writers of one-offs, the author is absolutely the brand. For series, it becomes more complicated, because there are two brands in play. I always focus on my Friendship series brand. Why? Because in reality, even big-name authors have found there’s minimal crossover between their different series. Readers are more loyal to characters (and hence to series) than to authors. And why wouldn’t they be? The characters are the stars. The authors are like movie directors.
    I’m still trying to decide whether my next series will be under a different pen-name. There’s a great blog post about this very subject over on genrehobo.com (http://www.genrehobo.com/p/self-publishing-secret-5-secret-formula_30.html).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi RG! 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by – You make a really good point about the series and I would agree with you there.

      Ooh, the pen-name dilemma… I guess it’ll be decided on a list of pros and cons?! *hops off to read genrehobo post*

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great reblog! So many authors just started writing because they wanted to write, create things, and when they’re confronted with having to market their work/themselves, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of confusion. In my short time as a book blogger, I already encountered several authors who have basically given up because nothing seems to work when it comes to getting those sales ratings up. Such a shame!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes… Marketing can be a really elusive beast… You need the right message, the right time and place and a bit of luck… Every time you get a marketing campaign wrong it’s all the effort of time and possibly money wasted and it can become disheartening… It’s alright for bigger corporations and known brands to do large scale campaigns- it’s nothing for them, but for the smaller ones failure is a big hit…
      So a “steady as she goes”- approach might be more manageable for self publishers even if they won’t get the results they want straight away… but you gotta be willing to blow it big time on the inputs to get the outcomes… do little but keep the drip-feed going… nearly an anal routine of getting the book/series/author out there at a stubborn pace, even if it’s slow… there are bound to be some long-term results…

      That’s not to even go into the time issues authors may have as most of them have full time jobs, and they rather write than deal with the frenzy of social media and trying to figure out the most popular message or hashtag on Twitter to get the spotlight shining on them… It’s all bloody hard work and I guess, at the end of the day, this is what will separate the successful from the rest of the pot.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, that’s what happens to most would-be writers. As I’ve found out, writing something then trying to market it is the wrong way around and doesn’t work. 80% of the “marketing” is about writing the right book in the first place. If you want readers, you have to base your own work on something that’s already selling. Marketing starts with clearly targeting a genre, otherwise (like me) you’ll struggle to even find a category for your book.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m already half asleep, so I should probably refrain from commenting right now, but I’m going to do a *gasp!* anyways and say that’s just downright stupid. If everyone sticks to that marketing plan, all books will basically become the same (which they probably already are, if you’re looking at a lot of YA and Fantasy themed books). I like it way better when it’s a little different or uncategorized. Keeps ya guessing throughout the book! Way too many synopses/official reviews start with comparing the new book to another book (series). Now if you’d have a shitload of different comparisons all for one single book, that would be cool again. Like, the Godfather meets Men in Tights meets Sharknado meets Little House on the Prairie meets Jurrasic Park. Fuck, I’d read that! (and going to bed now before I’m fouling up even more of Liis’ comment space with mind-numbing gibberish)

        Liked by 1 person

        • While RG makes a good point- that’s where the sales&hype truly are with writing what the makret wants, I tend to shut off completely when I see a massively hyped book- I just know “Yup, I’m probably never going to read it”… And I agree with Anne as well… I like the different, the new, the untested and untried…

          Anne- feel free to foul up by blogspace! 🙂 gibberish or not…

          RG- I’d be interested in reading your reply to Anne 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          • *has one eye open* I forgot to throw my wet blankets into the dryer, so now I have to wait some more before being able to go to bed xd. Just a small note saying that I think RG definitely makes a good point as well! Because it’s true. But poo on the saleshype people!

            Liked by 1 person

            • I couldn’t agree more about surprising readers. I don’t want to write a book that’s been written a thousand times before. And poo, indeed, on the salespeople who came up with the wacky book categories we have. The list reads like a half-finished survey on a rush-hour train by a drunk student.
              With such crummy book discovery tools, the reality is, if you want to sell books, the smart way to do that is to target your own work at an existing readership. Which means, bluntly, basing your books on books that are already selling. Case in point: the glut of BDSM erotic billionaire books after Fifty Shades of Grey. All the bizarro “shifter” books. Zombies. Cozy mysteries, YA distopian, …
              Let’s take a concrete example. Suppose you write a cozy mystery and the heroine is a scuba diver.
              Fail.
              You didn’t write to the market. You’re now in a world of pain. There’s a market for cozy mysteries, but there’s no category for your book, no readers looking for scuba diving mysteries. Cozy niche choices on Amazon are: Animals, Crafts & Hobbies and Culinary. If, on the other hand, your cozy is about a cake shop, you’re in luck. Your lack of imagination has landed you in the pit of success. You can easily market to readers of other culinary cozies. Readers are looking for more of those. Just like cinema-goers are looking for the next superhero movie.
              Genres are about what’s popular. Unknown authors can’t create a new niche and expect to sell.
              I say my books are mysteries (and they are) but they’re not murder mysteries and they don’t fit what mystery genre readers are after, which is a very specific type of book: dead body, sleuth, lots of suspects, clues and red herrings. Want to write a mystery that sells? Here’s some great advice: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/10/15/25-things-you-need-to-know-about-writing-mysteries-by-susan-spann/
              I tried writing a cozy about a doughnut shop and discovered I’d rather do my tax return! I want to write more Frank Friendship books, but the lightning bolt didn’t strike. Writers in my position can either spend 80% of their time trying to find a readership, or can write something the market wants and spend 20% time marketing.
              BTW, I’m still on the hunt for a niche that I actually want to write in, so if you have any ideas, let me know 🙂

              Liked by 2 people

              • “Unknown authors can’t create a new niche and expect to sell.” That’s odd isn’t it? Isn’t writing all about creating new things? I just had to take a look at Cozy Mysteries in the Crafts&Hobbies section just now, thinking what on earth falls into that category, Macrame Murder?? And the first result I get is ‘A Murder in Mohair (Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries Book 8)’ . That’s just hilarious! Then there’s one called ‘The Mystery of the Courthouse Calamity (Eden Patterson: Ghost Whisperer Book 1)’ which falls into the category of Cozy Mysteries -> Crafts&Hobbies ->Horror/Religious/Humorous. “Ghost hunters on a mission, mysterious flying gavels, and down home southern cooking”. It’s like people are writing stuff and then add a bit of baking and cooking to it in the hope they can ride the hype train of cozy cake shop mysteries.
                That’s one brilliant (and hilarious) article! Also, that’s the second time this WEEK that I’ve seen an author asking for niche suggestions. For you, I’m thinking Dark Humour Fiction? 😀 If that’s a niche…

                Liked by 2 people

  3. An interesting post and a great discussion! There are two sides(at least two) to being a writer – any sort of writer. Of course marketing is important and no writer can expect results (results measures by financial success) without effort. However, writing IS about being creative and I think it’s important first to write what you like. It’s all very well looking around for what sells and trying to get in on the act as it were, but if you don’t actually enjoy what you’re writing, what’s the point?

    Liked by 3 people

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