You Say You’re An Author, Not A Marketer? Think Again

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Sometimes I speak to authors who finally have a book ready for publication after months or years of hard work, yet sadly, in all that time, they neglected to give any thought to a key reality of the book-publishing world.

The responsibility for marketing the book falls on their shoulders and they should have had a promotional plan in place ready to go when the book was launched.

When I point that out, they respond by saying, “But, I’m an author, not a marketer!”

If you are thinking the same thing, it’s time for a quick adjustment in your mindset. Because you have to be both!

If you want your book to have a chance at succeeding, this is on you.

Happily, today there are more ways than ever to market your book (or business, for that matter) and social media marketing should be one of the key components in your promotional plan. Social media provides a number of effective tools that allow you to connect with people who share your passion for the topic you wrote about.

Some of you may be saying, “But I have no interest in social media. I hate the idea of posting on Twitter or sharing my thoughts and pictures on Facebook.”

I get what you’re saying! Like it or not, though, your personal feelings are beside the point. Whether you are a fan of social media doesn’t matter. Whether you believe too much time is wasted on sending out tweets or liking things on Facebook also is irrelevant.

The reality is what it is. You need to recognize its importance or risk falling by the wayside.

I encountered yet another reminder of how crucial it is to establish yourself in the social media world just a few days ago when I had a conversation with an agent friend of mine. She had put together a TV treatment for a client with several novels she thought could be adapted to a series for the small screen.

The feedback she got was predictable – the author needed to have a significant following on social media before the studios would even look at the treatment.

So what’s considered significant? Good question. A number we’ve heard from agents and publishers alike is a minimum of 10,000 followers.

But it’s not only about the numbers. They are meaningful, but just as important for building your online brand is having a large following that you are engaged with. You post a tweet and some of your followers respond with a question. You answer the question and get more comments or questions.

The more active you engage your followers, the better.

Here are a few other marketing tips to remember:

  • Don’t buy fake followers. Yes, you really can buy fake followers on social media, but why would you? These are not people you can interact with or who have the potential to become future readers or customers. Buying fake followers pads your numbers, but it’s a pointless charade and eventually you will be found out. When that happens, your reputation will take a hit.
  • Take advantage of groups and lists. One great thing about social media sites is they give you the ability to connect with like-minded people, many of whom may be future customers. LinkedIn, for example, has groups you can join. On Twitter, it is lists. Either way, these features help you connect with people most likely to have an interest in what you have to offer. It’s also good to connect with the well-known people in your field, because if you can get those people to follow you, some of their following may follow you too. This is a legitimate way to ratchet up your numbers.
  • Don’t abandon traditional media. As wonderful as social media sites are, you don’t want to ignore radio, TV and editorial coverage in print publications and online. These venues are extremely important in helping you build your brand and boost your numbers.

Setting words down on paper – or more likely a computer screen – and ending up with a book is a wonderful accomplishment.

But to avoid staring at a stack of unsold books, you will need to doff your writer’s hat and don your marketing cap. If you don’t feel qualified or have the time to tackle that on your own, you need to find someone to help.

Here’s to dual roles,


P.S. If you need help with boosting your social media marketing, give us a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 211 or simply start by getting your Free Media Analysis here!

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