172: 172 – Marketing for Authors Who Hate Marketing
It’s a well-known fact that many authors hate marketing. But more and more, marketing is something authors must understand and take part in, EVEN if you’re doing the traditional route. My goal? Is to help teach marketing for authors who hate marketing.
First of all, we need to reframe the conversation about marketing.
What comes to mind when you think of marketing? A sleazy car salesman? That person who is constantly shouting BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK! on Facebook and Twitter? Maybe the direct sales rep who keep sending you private messages?
Put those ideas out of your mind. Let’s shift how you see marketing.
For authors, marketing is about connecting with the ideal readers for your books. You are serving up your books to readers who WANT them. The end.
Sounds much better, right?
Whenever you’re feeling frustrated about marketing and promotion, take a moment to shift your mindset back to this. You are writing books for readers, then helping those readers find them.
FOUR PILLARS OF MARKETING
While there are lots of ways to market, I’m going to break down four main ways that you can market your books:
- Direct: email
- Public: social media
- Paid: ads
- Networking: cross-promotion with other authors
Again, there are many other things you can do to market. But this is a simple overview of the largest avenues for marketing right now. Let’s break them down a little!
Email is my favorite thing. You know this if you’ve been around for a while. Why do I love email so much? Email is a classic. It doesn’t go out of style, though for some, it goes out of favor. It hasn’t changed much in twenty years. It has no algorithm.
Email is the best way to connect with your readers directly.
If you are just starting out or trying to build your sales, start with building an email list. Here are some other resources on that right here on the site:
Social media is not the best sales tool. It’s great for engagement and brand awareness, getting your book out there in front of people.
More than ever, ads matter. But ads also have a learning curve. (Check out my longer post on paid promotions for more.) The main ad platforms that authors use are Amazon ads (formerly AMS ads) and Facebook ads.
Other than email, this is my favorite tool for promotion and can have massive impact. Oh, and it’s free. When you work with other authors, you’ll not only learn what’s working for them and find support, but also discover great cross-promotional opportunities, whether through newsletter swaps, Facebook group takeovers, or other events.
Look to connect with other authors of all kinds of genres. You won’t share cross-promotion as much outside of your genre, but might learn what’s working for other authors or get ideas there. Or just find moral support.
BEFORE YOU THINK ABOUT MARKETING…
If your book cover doesn’t match your genre or look professional, you’ll struggle with marketing. If your blurb isn’t enticing, you’ll struggle with marketing. Period.
Writing to market isn’t about selling out. It’s about researching where your book fits, or even better, researching a market that feels like a good fit FOR YOU, then writing books that meet reader expectations.