Whether you’ve signed with a major publishing house, a boutique publisher or have self-published your book, there is one constant…
You need to market!
PR, marketing and promotion are not luxuries for authors, they are necessities.
The question authors need to ask is not if you should market, but when and how.
Your best bet is going to be a combination of a public relations outreach combined with a social media campaign.
Because public relations is the only form of marketing that reaches your target market and offers you the credibility and validation of being featured in the media.
You are not in a commercial or an ad.
You are featured in the news. You are the news!
To start, keep in mind that marketing your book is different than marketing yourself as an author. A book can be an engine that helps pull the train, but the overall train is your image and brand as a writer. One of the problems with publishing houses is that they focus solely on marketing the book and often overlook valuable PR and marketing opportunities that can be gained from marketing the writer themselves.
I understand a publisher’s perspective. They’re going to make their return off the book sales and the author might not be with them a year or two down the line.
But as an author, you need to think more long term. Each book is a part of your canon. No one work defines you. Your marketing, PR and branding focus needs to be on your overall career as an artist.
Still, if you do have a book coming out, you’re then working with a specific timeline and need to develop a marketing and PR plan targeting your book release. Write out your plan. Have it include objectives, timeframe, goals, strategies and tactics. Whether you’re self-publishing or working with a traditional publishing house will change your approach.
If you’re working with a publisher, they should give you some guidance, but do not expect them to take care of your PR and marketing needs. Realize that you are going to have to take charge of your marketing. If you can hire a PR firm, do it. If not there are still steps that you can take to promote and market your work.
Do some homework.
Learn some of the PR basics.
And remember, effective PR is effective storytelling.
And who better to tell a story than –