Close your eyes and imagine an author. Let me tell you what I would have imagined a few years back. I might have imagined a person writing under the piles of books or reading at a scenic lonely place. But today even the picture in my imagination has changed. What do I see now is a person who wants to cling to its laptop but is pulled in a different direction: in the clutter of the digital marketing world.
Self-publishing is not a new phenomenon. It started in 1931 when the author of “The Joy of Cooking” paid a local printing company to print 3000 copies. But the concept of publishing eBooks for Kindle is relatively new. The Authors, who used to spend their time only in reading, penning down their inner thoughts and living in the realm of their imagination, are now forced to become a businessman. Why? Isn’t it enough to write a book and then get lost in the world of words again? I guess it is not a choice anymore. What is the point of writing a book if you cannot make it reach to its readers? No writer wants to write a book, that no one reads. But the question is, in today’s high-tech digital world, how far the authors have reached and at what cost.
I always like to shop from an individual shop rather than a mall, as too much of choices often make me confused and I end up buying something that I don’t want. The same goes for eBook self-publishing. The Indie authors can save their time of chasing publication houses and agents, but the downside is that, when they put their books out on Kindle, contend doesn’t end there. There are millions of e-books available on Kindle store, Amazon and thousands of online bookstores. How will people come to know that your book is good? The answer to this question gives birth to the mayhem of marketing. Authors are not typically people who have a business mind. So it becomes even tougher for them to make their books stand out in a crowd. Sometimes authors end up giving up on their work and are lost in obscurity.
There are many Social Media Marketing and Personal Representative (PR) companies available to take up the work, but it comes at a high cost. What if you are not an established author and don’t have that kind of money. What will you do? If you don’t want to give up on your book, the only choice left is to pick up a hammer and a chisel and start to carve the mountain yourself (hypothetically of course!) It’s a lonely road to travel and you will get many hurdles in your way. But the biggest trouble that the authors face is not being able to fulfill their basic need of writing and reading, as they have to invest enormous time in marketing their book. Social media marketing is a mad rush and if you want to compete there, you got to know the techniques to survive and to bring results.
Six Essential and basic keys for the social media campaign of your book:
- Know your audience: What age group, regions, professional & educational background readers are likely to pick your book.
- Know your book: Sounds weird? What I mean is that you need to know the selling point of your book. What is there in your book, which makes it different from other books of its genre, what is your unique voice?
- Utilize your Selling Point: Once you find out your audience and the selling point, design your campaign around it. Don’t try to reach to everyone. Just pick up your target audience and give them what they are interested in. sell them what is sell-able in your book.
- Chose multiple social media platforms: e.g., you are trying to sell your book on FB, but there are thousands of readers on twitter, who will be more likely to read your book. Build your campaign at least on 3-5 different social media platforms.
- Give to get: you need to initially give away your books to bloggers and Book reviewers, who will not only review your work but also promote your book by word of mouth publicity.
- Build your Authors platform: Don’t shy away from building your brand. Build your website, write on various topics directly or indirectly related to your book, do blogging or vlogging, give interviews, do networking with other authors and take their advice; use as many media platform possible to spread the word for your book and for you as a writer.
The list can go on and on, but these are the fundamental aspects of marketing for any new author.