Author Ben Burgess Jr.
I remember when I was publishing my first book. I fantasized about being on Oprah. I dreamt about making the New York Times Best-Sellers List, and in my head the sky was the limit. One thing I didn’t think about was…How would people discover that my book was out there? Every author has that dream of being extremely successful with their book. Everyone wants to be the next Stephenie Meyer or E.L. James. A writer can have the talent, but to make it to that next level you need more than talent alone, especially if you’re self published. If we can’t solely rely on talent, what more can we do? Promotion is highly essential to the success of a book.
Why is Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey so successful? Not only do people find their books entertaining, but they are heavily marketed and talked about. When I wrote my first book “Times Have Changed and Life is Strange” (Shameless plug-in. I know, but it serves a purpose, bare with me. LOL) I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t know what else to do besides getting my friends and family to buy it and pray that they spread the word. The first piece of advice that I can share is to have a plan. You need to know what you’re going to do besides getting your friends and family to support it. You need to know how much you are willing to spend to get the word out on your book. For me, my second time around with my first novel “Monster” (Shameless plug-in #2, I’m on a roll!!! LOL) I wanted and still want to this day to make this book super successful. I want the world to read this book, and I’m willing to pay whatever is necessary to make that happen. It was never about the money for me. To me, I believe my book can change lives and the world, and I want to see my book do that for people.
Now, getting to the important tips. One of the most effective ways to get your book known is through book reviews. Here, you have to do your research. You have to find out if the reviewer reads your genre because if you give your book to any random reviewer, chances are they will not like it and leave a less favorable review. Some will say that reviews are not important, but they are. If you see a book that is getting favorable reviews, chances are you will check it out to see what all the talk is about. While good reviews are great, you want quality reviews. YOU NEVER WANT TO PAY FOR POSITIVE REVIEWS. Take pride in your work. If you get a positive review, know that you got that review because a person was really feeling your work. Some reviewers also do interviews. I recommend doing all types of interviews. You want to get your name out there and reach as many people as you can. You never know who is reading or listening (Some reviewers are on Blogtalk Radio which is a great tool and an awesome experience) to interviews that you’re doing.
Another effective tip, search for book clubs. Book clubs are great because you can get a lot of people to read your book (and possibly leave reviews) all at once. I must warn you, not everyone in the book club may like your book. Book clubs have members with different likes and personalities. There is no guarantee that everyone will care for your book. You have to take the good with the bad. With the book clubs that I have had the pleasure of working with, I like to talk to the members of the group over skype. It allows for the book club to really get to know you and ask questions. I feel it enhances the experience for the readers. Book clubs also help with word of mouth. If lots of clubs are reading your book and enjoying it, they are going to talk( they will talk whether they like it or dislike it, but let’s think positive.)
Another effective strategy is advertising and promotion. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many promoters on Facebook, and I can honestly say if it weren’t for them constantly promoting my book throughout various groups for me, I wouldn’t have had the success I’ve had with “Monster”. Again, you have to research to find a promoter for your genre. You also have to assess to see if it’s in your budget to constantly run promotions. Facebook has millions of people on it. If you can reach a fraction of those people, then you’ll be a success which leads me to my next strategy, fan pages.At first, I made the mistake of having an author page and a book page. While having a book page is cool, you only need the author page. The author page is beneficial because you can post info for all of your books compared to a book page where you’re only talking about one of them. An author page allows you to reach lots of people, and you can advertise certain posts to expand your reach. People like what other people like, so you want to gain lots of “likes” for your page. Post things you enjoy, post quotes, post pictures thanking your fans for the support. Show the readers who you are as a person. It is important to be active and do more than just advertise your books. You want people to see that you’re human, and not just a person looking to sell them a book. Which brings me to another helpful tool, blogging.Some people aren’t fans of blogging. I find it cool because I feel people can see my true self in the blogs. Blogging gives me the opportunity to vent or to talk strongly about topics I’m passionate about. It’s also another way to gain fans and potential sales.
In conclusion, if you wrote a book because you planned on getting rich off it, you need to rethink your reasoning. Write a book because you need to write it. Write it because in your heart and soul you know (not think, know) that the story you have needs to be told. If everything is done correctly, with word of mouth, fan pages, blogging, promotions, interviews, family, friends, and co-worker support, etc, your book should do well. A big part of your success is YOU! Nothing is going to come easy. You have to work hard and want that success. Do what’s in your means,and make your dreams come true.