If you want to be successful, you need to market your book before it’s even done. Here are a few simple things you can do daily to get the word out.
I’ll be honest. I had no idea how much you really need to market your book – before it’s even done! I was actually very naïve about the entire writing to publishing process before I decided I wanted to be an author. But the second I made that decision, I was all over the Internet doing research – another thing all aspiring authors should do before their book is completed.
I Googled the shit out of the different avenues of publishing and once I decided self-publishing was definitely for me, I narrowed my searches. And guess what?
I was basically clueless about how much work I’d really need to do.
Obviously, this didn’t deter me. It was just an eye opener. I learned that becoming an author isn’t just about the writing. It’s a business. And all businesses need great marketing in order to succeed.
Why you need to market your book before you’re done writing it.
I think it’s actually less about marketing your book as you’re writing it and more about marketing yourself as a writer in general. There are a lot of people out there who don’t see the point in spending their time marketing their writing.
Those people usually didn’t do their research about the publishing and selling process of being an author and they also probably won’t find much success when their book is released.
Don’t be that person.
You need to market your book as you’re writing it and even during the different stages. Why? Because who the hell is going to buy your book if nobody knows it exists? You need a fan base. You need to build interest and get your name out there. Without doing this, there won’t be anyone to buy the book you worked so hard to write. You’ll have to rely solely on someone randomly happening across it online and with millions of books out there, those odds aren’t very good.
But how do you market your book when it’s not even done yet?
It seems nearly impossible but I promise it’s not. There’s tons of helpful advice on how to market your book while you’re still in the stages of writing it.
But before we jump right into those details, let’s talk about what you need to do right away when you know you want to be an author. These are a few things I did within the first month or so of deciding I wanted to be an author:
- Make social profiles – I’m talking about all the social profiles: Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, and any other ones you can think of. Try to make them all the same name, too. For example, on every single form of social media, my username is BellaRosePope. This is the name I’m going to be published as and, luckily, it was actually available on all platforms. If the name you’re going to use for publication isn’t available by itself, you can try adding things like “YourNameAuthor” or “BooksByYourName.” Any way of keeping it simple and memorable is best.
- Make an author website – Yes, you do need a professional author website with a domain name that matches your social handles (preferably). Again, I was lucky that BellaRosePope.com was available to begin with. If you can’t afford to purchase a domain and hosting, you can get free hosting through different website platforms, but it will have the website after your name. For example, if I didn’t buy this domain, my website would read BellaRosePope.wordpress.com. This looks much less professional.
5 things you can do daily to market your book – before it’s done
There really isn’t an all-around checklist you should be following daily. However, I found these methods extremely helpful for me personally and they’re things I do every day or at least once or twice a week to grow my platform and establish myself as a writer.
1. Document your writing process
You can do this on your social platforms or by blogging or even both. I personally do both. When I have something extensive to share or I feel as though I have some tips that have helped me a lot personally, I’ll blog about it and post it on my website (like what you see right now) so I can help others, too.
You can even just post little updates on your social profiles. I find Twitter to be the best place to write short updates about how far I’ve written or if I passed a specific goal I had set. Tumblr is also a great place to post updates, as well.
Here are a few things you can talk about if you’re not sure what to share about your writing process:
- New goals you make for that week
- Anytime you surpass said goal
- When you have a great new idea and want to share how awesome you are (I do this a lot :p )
- Updates on edits
- Issues you’re having in specific parts
- Excerpts of chapters
- Questions when you’re having trouble
- Songs that inspired specific scenes
- Pictures that are reminiscent of your book
2. Get social on Twitter
Twitter is actually a huge hangout for writers in the community. There are tons of them out there just looking for other writers to mingle with. Liking, replying, retweeting, and even messaging different writers can help expand your social network and you may even find new friends or possible critique partners.
But why should you connect with other writers when you want to market your book to readers?
Because writers are readers. I don’t think I’ve ever met or heard of an author who never read or didn’t like to read. Perhaps they’re out there, but the very large majority of other writers love to read.
Not only could they potentially buy your book when it’s published, they may also offer you advice for your writing journey since they’re writers, too.
In order to find other writers on Twitter, just search and use the following hashtags:
- #amwriting / #amediting
- #writer / #writers
- #fantastywriter (that’s for me, you should use #yourgenrewriter)
- #author / #aspiringauthor
- #writerprobs / #writerproblems
Really, you can use any hashtag that gets the message across that you’re a writer. You can also pick up on hashtag use as you connect with more writers in the community.
3. Follow others in the writing community
Every single day I get on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr and I go through the same hashtags listed above and I find writers I think I would get along with. I stalk their profiles and websites and get to know a little bit about them. Then I’ll comment on a few of their things and just connect with them. This is a great way of building your platform base and gaining a following.
4. Join writing events online
A lot of people host daily events for writers, especially on Twitter. These aren’t huge things. More often than not, they’re usually just another writer who posts a theme for the day and you share a piece of your writing based on that and use the appropriate hashtag.
A few that come to mind right away are:
- #SlapDashSat hosted by @SlapDashSat
- #Thurds hosted by @iamfunkhauser
- #FriDare hosted by @Micascotti
- #SciFiFri hosted by @SciFiPrompt
You can also find free writing events on Twitter by following @writevent. A number of authors also hold writer chats on different days of the week via their Twitters.
If you’re in the Tumblr universe (which you should be), there are TONS of “writer tags” you can participate in if you’re tagged. You can even make up your own and tag other writers. Here’s an example of one I invented (that people really hated – in a good way lol). This allows people to market themselves as a writer while also expanding your reach.
5. Share details about your writing
Do this all over the place. Talk about your book. Talk about the world you created. You can even talk about how you got started writing in the first place. So long as everyone within earshot (screenshot?) knows you’re a writer by what you share, it’ll work.
An author who does a great job of this and building hype for her book in general is Jenna Moreci. She hosts an event on her Tumblr every Tuesday called TSCTuesday where she answers your questions about her upcoming book, The Savior’s Champion, and people get PUMPED.
In general, you just need to get the word out that you’re writing a book and will publish it someday. You’ll have more success as an author if people know and remember you.
The most important part of being an author – aside from actually writing the book – is knowing how your market your book. You need people to know who you are and that you have a book in the works. It will build interest and excitement, which will lead to more sales when you finally get published!