The writing game comes with many parts and endless players. First, there’s the ‘Writing’ itself, with the continuous drafts, re-writes, critiques and edits. Then there’s the ‘Publishing’ level. Do you set about contacting publishers and finding an agent or do you self-publish? Second to last is the ‘Book Launch’ lap. Getting reviews, contacting bloggers and the media, organising book signings and launch events. And in last position, there’s the long game that is ‘Marketing’ and it is this that can get you from writer to bestselling author. But you have to be willing to put in the time and effort that is required in marketing in this modern day.
Even before you’ve published, you should be thinking about growing your tribe of followers online. Not a fan of social media? We get you. All those strangers pouring over your every thought, the continual beep of notifications on your mobile or laptop. But here’s a few interesting facts, you may not know:
About 3.03 billion people are on social media around the globe. (BrizFeel, 2018)
Nearly one-third of the world uses social networks regularly. (eMarketer, 2016)
79% of people online use Facebook. (Pew Research Center, 2016)
Instagram hit 1 billion monthly users in June 2018, after hitting 800 million monthly users in September. (TechCrunch, 2018)
After watching a video on Twitter, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online. (Forbes, 2017)
And what’s more, YOU control what people can and can’t see on your online profiles and YOU have the power to turn off the notifications if you don’t want to be notified of new likes or comments.
Whether we like it or not, the future of marketing is online and if you’re not online, how are you going to keep up with everyone who is? For dedicated writers and wordsmiths, it may be easy to view the marketing of their writing as an unnecessary distraction. But if the goal is to have your stories reach the widest audience possible, marketing is a necessary part of being a successful author. It’s also the best way to ensure you see a return on your hard work should you wish to make writing a financially sustainable career.
BookBaby, a leading self-publishing services provider, researched the behavior of successful self-published authors. The research shows that the most successful authors (those who earned over $5,000 in sales over a 12-month period) were more active marketers than lower earners. In addition, successful authors invested in more professional services (including editing and cover design) to improve their final product.
The research also shows it’s not just a matter of how much you market your book, but when. When asked to agree or disagree with the statement, “The marketing of a book should begin even before the book is finished,” 81% of high earning authors agreed or strongly agreed.
The takeaway? Marketing your book should start even before you write Chapter 1 — and the process never really ends. To be successful, self-published authors need to develop a lifetime marketing plan for their books to be used and enhanced over time.
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