By Catrin Cooper
Authors work hard on their books. They do their best in marketing and selling their craft. It’s a fierce battle for authors as they need to fight against outside distractions.
Marketing and Writing a Book
One of the mistakes that some authors make is that they consider marketing as a separate element from writing. That is, they write for years and start to think about marketing when they have finished writing the book.
It’s wrong because book marketing is a critical part of the process. In that case, you need to start marketing your book before you even start writing it.
Thus, you have years to build your reputation, a blog, a following, credibility, and connections. You’ll need all of these things once you finish the book.
To start writing your book, you need to write for the market. How?
Read books and magazines on your genre
If you’re interested in fiction, read magazines or books in that niche. Study it so that you know what makes the readers tick. You will never go anywhere if you don’t pay attention to these details.
If you’re self-publishing your book, you need to start tracking the market and trends. In that way, you know what the business is doing. If you failed to pay attention to the business end of your writing, you’d just be disappointed.
And to study your market, you need to read a lot of books in that genre. From there, you can determine what novels are selling, and who wrote those best-selling books.
Write a novel that people want
You can only achieve it if you write something fantastic, which is the best marketing decision you can make. Create an indispensable book that people want to read. If you do that, you’re creating a market that works, i.e., word of mouth.
Go to Kindle and find out what people love to read. The best-selling Kindle books are those that are written in clear and helpful way. It’s a way that invokes a reaction.
You must only write a novel because you have something to share. Ideally, you need to be the only person in that genre to write the book in your unique voice.
The reason for this is that the best books sell because they have a unique voice and they stand the test of time. They tickle the interest of the readers. Furthermore, it’s not something that’s a trending topic.
Write a novel with an unexpected hook
Your novel has to be articulate and straightforward so that it’ll be easy for you to market it later on. If your novel is unclear, it makes it difficult for your readers to recommend it to other people. And keep in mind that you need your readers to talk about your book to drive book sales.
When writing a fantastic novel, you must ask yourself: “What is exciting about this novel? How can I leverage it so that people will share it with their friends and get more attention?” While you’re writing your novel, make sure to go back to these questions over and over. That’s because when you understand them, you’re putting the marketing in your content to create word of mouth.
Polish your book
Most successful writers in the best cities for writers don’t rush quickly just to get their book out there. You need to ask yourself if the book is really finished.
Often, your product might not be ready for publishing. Most writers who failed were in a rush to publication. As a result, their efforts were defeated.
They send sloppy manuscripts or novels full of grammatical errors and typos. Some of them send out novels that come with plenty of plotting mistakes, inconsistencies in characterization and point-of-view issues.
What must you do instead?
Edit your work first. You can pay an editor to fix the typos and make your book into something that people will want to read. Self-editing is also vital as part of the polishing process. In here, you’re rewriting your material so that when you submit it for publishing, it’s polished. Never send a draft for publishing. Instead, work on it and polish it.
Your best bet here is to hire a professional editor and proofread your novel. In that way, you can avoid needless grammatical errors. As a self-published author, you need an expert editor so that you can separate yourself from the amateurs.
Without a professional editor, it’s like having a car without brakes but with plenty of accelerators. Even though you are opting to self-publish your book, you need to distinguish your book from an unprofessional publishing. It’s no longer a matter of whether or not it’s self-published. If your book looks amateur, no one will read it, and it’ll be dead on arrival.
Hire professionals to edit your book so that they can edit your novel ruthlessly while they can help design it from cover to cover. If you do this, there’s a huge chance that your book will debut on the bestseller list.
There’s still a stigma about self-publishing. Readers think that a self-published book isn’t good enough because it’s not published. Thus, you need to eliminate this hurdle by making your book look like it’s released by a big company. Then, make sure that you build a professional relationship with other successful writers in your niche as social proof.
Don’t hire a publicist
You can hire a publicist to help you market your novel. However, never be tempted to hire someone to get you on Oprah. You’ll never get on her show. It’s also expensive to do so.
Spend your time and money on a little subset of your niche. It’s surprising to know that you can find talented publicists who won’t promise you a lot of high expectations. Keep in mind that the happiest and successful authors are those who don’t expect much.
Ensure you have the best cover
Yes, the cover does matter a lot more than you think. If it didn’t matter, then you would not need to self-publish your book. Instead, just email the text to people.
Even if you’re self-publishing your book, it’s still worth investing to get assistance from editors and designers. Editors will edit and proofread your book before publishing it. The designers can help you get the best cover. Then, spend your time and effort in distributing samples and promotional pieces to people who matter.
It’s never a good idea to skimp on design. Keep in mind that you’ve already spent a lot of your time writing a book. The best thing you can do is to get the best cover design and avoid the shitty one. Never allow your book to see the light of day with a dull cover. Make sure that the cover catches the eye of every reader.
Apart from your book’s cover, focus on the title of your book. It’s part of your marketing. Test the titles and subtitles of your book to ensure that your audience will engage in it once you’ve published it.
And don’t just settle on one distribution platform. You need to use multiple channels to distribute your book and to generate sales.
Lastly, work with the influencers in your niche. Make friends with them. Show them that your book is great and relevant to their audience. That’s why it’s vital that you build relationships with them while you’re still writing your book. You can learn from them and determine how you can provide value to your readers.
When measuring your success, don’t just use Amazon rankings. Instead, measure it by the assets you’ve gathered through the platform you used, like the emails you collected and the partnerships built with influencers.
And before you even start to write a book, you must ask yourself: “What is the purpose of writing this book?”
Catrin Cooper is a freelance writer from San Francisco. She loves creating useful articles for tenants and landlords as well as writing about marketing and self-development. In her free time, Catrin enjoys traveling and yoga.