The truth is hard to discover and once found, harder to live with than being in a world that operates outside of it. But once, as a writer or book promoter, you discover the truths that relate to book publishing, you can position yourself to succeed. Here are some of the truths that I’ve found that too many people are too late to acknowledge – and how you can take action to help yourself:
1. The first book is the hardest one to promote, market, and sell. Many authors are enthusiastic to publish a book and they naturally believe so much in the quality of their book that they let hopes and dreams blind them to the reality of the marketplace. Sure there are breakthrough authors who debut to critical and marketplace success, but they are the rare ones. Expect to invest a substantial amount of time, money, and effort to getting your first book off the ground. You are looking to build readership, brand your name, establish a media resume, and hopefully generate some sales.
2. Don’t expect people to do things for you unless you ask, push, and follow-up. Even friends, family, colleagues, neighbor, churchgoers, and former college roommates need direction on how to help you. Don’t be shy and be specific in what you ask them to do. Sure you hope they buy the book, but did you instruct them to email their networks with an offer that you crafted? Did you think of who they know and push to call in favors? Think of how you can access their resources.
3. Don’t act as if book marketing only happens once the book is out. You need to begin marketing your book at least six months prior to its targeted release date. You then have another 3-4 months post-publication date to impress the news media. That’s your window of time. You can’t wait for the book to come out to first contact print book reviewers or to solicit presentations before local organizations, libraries, and bookstores. You need to seed things with your social media way before that book is out.
4. Don’t wait for book sales to occur so that you have money for PR and marketing. It’s a Catch -22. You can’t hope to get many sales without getting sales. You simply need to borrow – don’t break the bank – in order to properly invest in a timely fashion. If all goes well, sales will come to repay what you borrowed.
5. Set a realistic goal and monitor your efforts. Too many authors have unrealistic expectations as to how their book will do. Set modest goals and evaluate progress. Break down the bigger goal into incremental steps. Don’t get discouraged if things move slowly – just keep at it and experiment. Diversify your strategy and see which areas produce the best results.
Have faith – you can wear the hat of writer and book marketer. Be open to the truth – and then live it!
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2016
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