Read any blog written by a publisher or published authors and they will say the same thing about publicity and marketing for your book. Your publisher will always do all they can, but the authors needs to play some part too.
Publicists set aside exactly what they do in communication with the author, this can be many things from contacting bookshops, radio stations, sending out review copies, entering you in book awards and many others! But there’s only so much a publicist can do. They cannot go into the author’s home town and enter each bookshop and speak about the book with the manager, you can. They can’t make an author website, you can. They can’t post on social media as the author, you can. They can’t ask your friends and family if they’d be interested in attending a book launch, you can.
There are so many things an author can do to assist with publishing. It’s an extremely rare case that any successful author hasn’t already assisted with the marketing of their book.
We understand that publishing can be a whole new world for authors, but with the internet being so widely available via mobile, computer, iPad even in local libraries – there is always a way to look online for some advice. However, we’re always here to offer advice to authors, and most independent publishing houses will do the same for their authors. If you are not in a position to thoroughly research marketing and promotion that can be done by the author, or you’re self-published or published with a publishing house that, unlike us, doesn’t include marketing and publicity in the publication, we’ll give you some pointers here!
Online Presence – Get yourself a website! You don’t need to spend a lot, many sites offer some great free sites to work on, for more in-depth advice, check out our detailed post about author websites here. Also, social media is a must! Bookshops, radio stations and book bloggers love to tag the author, an author presence on social media does wonders for the publicity.
Grow a fan base – Start a blog on your writing journey, get those interested to sign up for an email list, even think about starting a YouTube channel or a podcast.
Write ideas down – Get yourself a notebook just for writing ideas down in. If you pass a shop you think may be interested, write it down. You hear about a local event on the radio that you could be a part of or you have a great idea for promotion? Jot all of this stuff down, and even share it with your publisher as they’ll likely be able to help with a lot!
Multitask in your free-time – If you’re out in your local superstore shopping for food and groceries, pop by the book section and if you feel you would make a great addition ask to speak to someone there. If you’re out in town, nip into a few bookshops while you’re there, if you see a radio station or book blogger tweet about wanting to read, tweet back! Grab every opportunity!
At the end of the day, even the best books in the world do not sell on their own. Marketing and Promotion is a lengthy process, so you need to be working on your book and with your publicist as much as you can. And remember, that being an author is a business, you need to treat it like one.