(You really understand your target reader. Your book breaks new ground in a way that truly appeals to your reader. And you are convinced that you’ve got a winner. This post deals with the next step – the budgeting of sufficient resources towards the marketing of your book. )
Most authors believe that once you have a great book the world will beat a path to your door. But in reality, as the world starts coming towards your door, one person at a time, a million distractions overwhelm it and disperse it to different places.
In order to ensure that your book reaches all of its target readers, you need to commit the time, money and attention required to promote it effectively.
A Great Book + The Right Dose of Marketing Resources = A Best seller
Marketing resources can be in the form of setup resources (ex: getting a great book cover designed, spending money and time on setting up an outstanding online presence etc.) or recurring resources (tweeting daily, doing weekly blog posts, maintaining a monthly BookBuzzr subscription etc.)
Think of your marketing like a rocket being launched into space. In the beginning, the rocket needs to expend a massive amount of fuel to get away from the earth. As it starts moving farther and farther away from earth’s gravitational field, it attains escape velocity. At that point, it needs a much smaller amount of force to keep it moving on.
Most of the big name authors that we hear about today have put in massive amounts of effort earlier on in attaining their escape velocity. They’ve fumbled and bumbled their way through awkward promotional opportunities, book signings and online events. For example, Christopher Paolini, to promote his book Eragon, toured over 135 schools and libraries, discussing reading and writing, all the while dressed in “a medieval costume of red shirt, billowy black pants, lace-up boots, and a jaunty black cap.”
Don’t Over Market
The committing of resources to market your book is not the same as over marketing your book. Posting on forums asking people to buy your book simply shows that you’ve not spent the time in understanding how social media and marketing works. Here’s Amanda Hocking on this issue: “Or they (indie authors) market too hard. All they do is talk about their book and nobody wants to hear, ‘Buy my book.’ They want to have a conversation with you …”
But What If I Don’t Have the Money for Marketing?
A clueless marketer with a $100,000 marketing budget is still just that – a clueless marketer.
You don’t need much money to market. Just a little is enough to get your promotional activities organized. And if you’ve really got a great book, your costs will be covered by your sales. The beauty of social media is that everybody – regardless of whether it’s a best-selling author or an indie newcomer – has exactly the same amount of time in a day to spend on social media. Of course, if you had some resources you could hire virtual assistants to do some of the work for you. But your readers don’t want to talk to your virtual assistants. They want to talk to you.
Spend the time in understanding where your readers hang out. Then add value to their lives. Make them laugh. Inspire them. And hook them with your writings. None of this requires you to spend money. But it requires you to spend uncomfortably long hours learning and doing new things.
As Joe Konrath says in this 2005 blog post titled ‘No Vacation for You’,
“This July, my family demanded some ‘together time’ so I took them up to a cabin in Michigan. Along the way I did signings. And I brought my laptop.
My two closest friends, whom I’ve known for 26 years, coerced me into taking a three day weekend off to go on brewery tours. I went with them, but managed to fit in a library event while they were boozing it up.”
Joe may have made boat loads of money from writing. But I’d wager that a large part of Joe’s success is because of the enormous amount of resources that Joe’s committed towards marketing himself and his books. Will you be the next Joe Konrath or Amanda Hocking? You will never know unless you commit the right amount of resources towards the success of your book.