“If you build it they will come.”
We’ve all heard that before, and it worked great to promote Kevin Costner’s baseball-cornfield. But somewhere down the years, many people embraced that slogan concerning their own products.
By now I’m sure you, like me, have discovered that for anything else it doesn’t work!
You can’t put a book out there on Amazon and expect buyers to find it. You have to promote your work via the many channels available today.
Posting about our books (or whatever product we sell) on our blogs can be a part of our larger strategy.
There was a time when I felt embarrassed to promote my work. For some reason I thought promoting my service/product was equivalent to bragging. But it’s not.
Marketing and promotion is about letting your audience know you have a product that meets their needs. Readers follow your blog for a reason. For authors that reason is because they enjoy reading your books, so they’ll be happy to know you’re launching a new one.
Let your creative juices flow and you’ll discover plenty of ways you can talk about your book.
- What inspired you to write the book?
- Where did you get your characters from?
- Write a backstage scene (a scene that never appears in your book, but you know happens)
- Discuss a topic within the book (works as well for fiction as for nonfiction)
- Let your readers learn about your writing process.
- Why did you write the book? (Yes, this is different than what inspired you.)
These are only a few ideas to get your brain started.
Here’s an example: my upcoming book Abba’s Promise.
The Creation of an Anthology
Getting a book from acceptance to publication can be a lengthy process. For Abba’s Promise it’s been two-years. The book releases next month.
My name may be on the cover, but this book is an anthology of 33 stories from 32 other authors besides me. That’s been a long two-year wait for those authors.
Deadline for submission to the anthology was November 2014, but scheduled publication of other books pushed the release date into late 2016.
Though I’ve contributed to several anthologies, this was my first experience as compiler and editor. The process isn’t complicated, but certainly more complex than a book with only one author.
First we (CrossRiver) had to send out a call for submissions. That included posting on our social media networks and sending emails to writers’ groups around the country.
Next, we sat back and watched the email submissions come in over a period of several months. I could have read each submission as they came in and some I did. But for the most part I was much too busy with other projects. I knew I would get a better grasp on the stories by reading them all at once over the course of a day or two.
This step proved the most difficult of all. We needed only 32 and, as with any anthology, had more submissions than needed. I had to determine the best. Not an easy task at all!
Once I chose the stories, I had to send the dreaded rejection letter to those that didn’t get selected. I don’t like sending rejections any more than writers like getting them.
For every step after that multiply it by 32.
- 32 author contracts written and emailed individually.
- 32 stories to edit.
- 32 author bios to edit.
- 32 author photos to review for proper resolution and fix if needed.
- 32 authors to coordinate marketing efforts with.
Once we entered the production phase, I used an email distribution list to communicate. And now as we enter the final weeks before launch, I’ve set up a private Facebook group to coordinate our marketing efforts.
Don’t forget time spent laying out the book and creating the cover. All these things take time and a lot of work. And a financial investment. So of course publishers want their books to sell well, and the authors look forward to royalty checks.
If we don’t market or promote, readers wouldn’t find our books. Without readers to buy our books, publishers (and book sellers) go out of business.
Thank you, faithful readers, for continuing to buy and read and review our books.
ABOUT ABBA’S PROMISE
From our smallest to our biggest need, Abba Father has promised to provide. When trouble or trials strike, we can find ourselves doubting the goodness of His Word. But the writer of Hebrews reminds us to “hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.” (Heb. 10:23 NLT) In Abba’s Promise, you’ll find thirty-three personal stories of God’s provision. From finances to guidance for our lives to a simple exercise ball, these stories will encourage you and strengthen your faith. Available at CrossRiver Media.