By Catherine Matthews
When it comes to marketing your own work, you may be tempted to take a backseat. After all, you wrote the book. You got an agent, you got a publisher, and now the only thing you should have to worry about getting is a margarita and a beach vacation…right? Well, the answer is yes and no. Yes—you should most definitely reward all of your hard work with a margarita.
Then you should grab a cup of coffee because your work isn’t quite finished yet…Take it from your friends at Holloway Literary: in this new world of publishing, authors play an integral role in the marketing process.
There’s more to social media than simply having an account. Now that you’re a published author, you may consider splitting your online persona into professional and personal platforms. That means having an author website where fans can easily find your work. Then you can start thinking about which specific social media outlet would give your book the best spotlight. Is your fictional protagonist a little fashion-obsessed? Why not hop on the ‘gram and both tag the outfits your character would love while also staging a few of your friends in some ensembles your character might put together? Don’t forget to hashtag your #penname, #styledbycharacter name, #book title and—most importantly— the #release date!
Remember public libraries? What about book clubs? When you’re trying to reach people who read, go where the books are. Contact your local library and ask if they would be interested in hosting an in-person talk with a local author (even better, ask your publisher if they would be willing to make the call—they want sales just as much as you do). Be sure to ask if you can follow up the promo-talk with a signing at a later date. The same goes for book club, ask your friends (and their friends) if they might be up for a reading followed by conversation. A string of mini-events like this can generate buzz in your local area—and if you have connections with the blogging world, then you have a worldwide web just waiting to either live stream, archive footage on video platform sites, or simply report on the all goings-on featuring your work!
Work with your literary agent about developing some marketing goals with which to approach your publisher. After all, publishing houses have the name, connections, and experience marketing books that you’ll want on your side. If you have good ideas that you have researched and feel strongly about—such as requesting 10-15 additional early ARCs so that you can both sponsor giveaways from your author website and possibly contact relevant influencers–don’t be afraid to put together a mini-media kit featuring some specific, realistic, ideas and send it your publisher’s way. And remember; if you can maximize exposure while minimizing costs, you’re halfway to convincing your publisher to play along.
Don’t be intimidated by the big, bad, m-word. You wrote this book—who could be better than you at helping to market it? Keep these ideas in mind and you’ll be well on your way to adding ‘marketing genius’ to your published author toolkit!