In our writer’s group meeting last month we chatted about book marketing. Here’s what surprised me. Each and every one of us was convinced that no matter what kind of marketing we were doing, we were doing it “wrong.”
That is, we were convinced that:
- We’d chosen a marketing method that was outmoded and outdated (“blogging is dead”);
- Our marketing methods had too much competition (“My book is on page 333 of Amazon’s ads carousel…”;
- Someone, somewhere, had a magic marketing bullet.
All we had to do was find the bullet.
Then we’d sell hundreds (maybe even thousands!) of copies of our book a day.
Book marketing: you CAN do it
Ah… spoiler alert. There’s no magic bullet that I know of, and believe me, I’ve looked. I’m a marketer in my day job, so marketing doesn’t hold many mysteries for me.
Each month in our writers’ group, we take turns in being the “recorder.” The recorder takes the minutes, informally, and makes notes on our discussions, then sends a copy of his notes to everyone before the next meeting.
I happened to be the recorder last month. When I checked on the “book marketing” meeting’s notes for 2017, I noticed that this year, everyone was using some form of marketing. Last year, only 50% of our group was marketing as well as writing.
Admittedly, it’s a small sample, but I’ve noticed this in online writers’ groups too. Book sales aren’t as easy to achieve as they used to be, so authors are taking the plunge into marketing.
From the meeting, here are our two “secret” book marketing tips. The second follows on from the first.
1. Choose one marketing option each month: be consistent
Book marketing can be hopelessly confusing when you’re starting out. What will work for you? Every author is different. Some in our group are traditionally published, others are unpublished, and several are indie authors. So, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to marketing.
Last year, as an experiment, we divided up various forms of marketing among the group. The forms included: press releases, presentations, direct mail, email marketing, blogging and other social media, and advertising.
Each group aimed to use their chosen form for a solid month, and then report back on their results.
After the experiment, we all continued the one-a-month process, to see what worked for us.
Here’s what worked:
- Scheduling time to study, and time to put our chosen method into practice;
- Being consistent, even if we saw few results.
All of the marketing methods took time before we saw results. Nothing was instant; we had to be consistent, even if we felt that a specific form of marketing “doesn’t work.”
2. Book marketing takes time — there’s no magic bullet
We had to spend the time. There was no method which worked if we didn’t work at it. We had to spend the time, and then be patient if we didn’t see results, or if the results seemed meager at first.
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