Author’s Corner: More about Marketing

More about Marketing

I talked in my previous article about creating a solid marketing plan to brand you as a writer. The question becomes, how do you want to be known? I still struggle with it, because I write things in different genres.

Today, even the legacy publishing houses find themselves unable to promote more than a handful of the thousands of books they publish. Almost without exception, they expect authors whom they sign to have a significant online presence already.

A photo of the author seated at a table with his books on display at a public book signing event

Author R.L. Herron

If that’s the case in traditional publishing, can you imagine how much more you need to do as an indie author?

Depending on how effective they are at creating value and getting it in front of the right eyes, they can even sell a few books. However, even if the writing is good (and for some of what’s out there that’s often a very big assumption), it’s their platform that often makes the difference between success and failure.

Self-publishing has lost its taboo, but that’s only served to open the floodgates. Today anybody can publish (and, unfortunately, often do).

Managing Your Author Brand

Social media, in all of its iterations, plays a significant role in establishing an author’s notoriety (and there’s nothing wrong with being “notorious” if it helps you sell books).

But to stay effective you can’t simply depend on people finding you. You need to search out actively opportunities that strengthen what you have to offer. You must know your key audience.

Some ideas for getting out your message include using social media, writing articles, and lining-up speaking engagements. You should also consider joining online writer sites like AuthorsDB or Goodreads.

Investigating opportunities to connect with other markets will pay big dividends. I’ve spoken at a significant writing conference, talking about indie publishing. I’ve become busy on social media with a blog, and I’m on Twitter and Facebook.

Still, I find I’m constantly looking for opportunities to learn from others. I notice what they’re doing that seems effective and try to adapt some of those concepts to my own promotional efforts. Good content is king, but I’ve learned that sometimes simply doing the unexpected can create excitement and draw-in new readers from other sources.

However, I’ve also learned social media isn’t a platform where you should continuously self-promote … because if you’re constantly shouting, “Buy my book,” eventually people are going to stop listening to you.

I’m betting on sooner.

Show some sincere empathy to your readers by trying to provide interesting new content, encouraging feedback, addressing their concerns and … most of all … being appreciative. Listen closely to what your audience has to teach you. Hang out with other writers. Be truly grateful for the knowledge you gain, share it with others and apply what you learn.

Most of all … keep writing.

Next: Where do story ideas come from?

About R.L. Herron

R.L. Herron, the author of multiple works of fiction, including several Readers' Favorite medal winners, lives and writes in Michigan with his lovely wife, an ugly mortgage, and one extremely large cat. His books are all available on Amazon and online with Barnes & Noble. Visit Author R.L. Herron's Website, Broken Glass.

Comments

  1. Interesting aeries of articles. What new things are on your radar?

  2. Sounds like you’ve had a lot of experience. How is your own book marketing going?

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