Tuesday, July 18, 2017

16 Book Marketing Strategies For Writers Learned From Thrillerfest

I just got back from speaking on a panel at the annual conference, Thrillerfest, and I’m happy to report that the publishing world is healthy and bustling.

Why am I so optimistic?

This conference, now in its 12th year, has been growing every year.  They expected around 800 attendees but cracked past 1,000.  The New York City gathering of some of the nation’s most talented thriller writers – people like Joseph Finder and Karin Slaughter – also includes first-time, unknown, or self-published authors.  I was happy to offer advice and guidance to all of them, for everyone at every level needs help.  

Best-selling writers want to get bigger or at least maintain their share in the marketplace.  Medium-sized writers want to break into the circle of elites, and the beginners are eager to get established and build a readership.

So what were conference attendees told?  

Here are 16 strategies all writers – regardless of genre or status – can and should follow when it comes to marketing and promoting a book:

1.      Diversify your efforts, from social media, digital media, and traditional media to speaking engagements, advertising, and other efforts.  Don’t overly rely on any one area, especially social media.

2.      Experiment and see what works for you.  Which platform is more effective for you? Which approach will help you reach your targeted goals?  Keep trying until you find what produces good results.

3.      Realize that traditional media validates; social media circulates. Before you go all tweet-happy, make sure you actually have something worthwhile to share or say.

4.      You don’t have to be on all the social media sites – pick one that works best.  Will it be Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Instagram, Pinterest or something else? Will you focus on blogging, podcasting, or video generating? 

5.      Follow what successful authors do.  Copy the best and don’t look back.

6.      Make sure you have a website – don’t just rely on social media pages.

7.      Cooperate with other authors.  Partner with them to reach more readers.  Don’t see them as competitors.

8.      To market well, it requires planning, timing, persistence, creativity, network, time, money, and luck.

9.      Make an effort to have a good business card – the card stock is key.

10.  Put yourself on a disciplined editorial calendar to write blog posts and to participate on social media.

11.  Attend writer conferences.

12.  Always network with others and spend more time growing your network than simply sharing with your existing one.

13.  If something doesn’t go as planned, try again.  At some point, if results don’t follow, try something else.  But always do something to promote yourself.

14.  Understand that book marketing can have a short- or long-term pay-off, maybe even both.  The pay-off isn’t always in book sales, though it can be.

15.  Promote your author brand – not just a new book or a specific character or service.  Seek out media exposure about you as a writer and use social media to connect with others – not just about your book, but about your life.

16.  Though your priority is to write and get published, you have to split your efforts between creating and marketing.  Even if you pay others to promote and market you and your book, you still have to invest some time to be involved.

What actually works in book publicity?

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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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

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