If I asked anyone what word first springs to mind when considering marketing, not many would come up with the word fun. I would say that this is particularly true of writers. By necessity writers can be solitary souls and prefer to spend their time with the written word. I am sure many of you reading this blog will be nodding your heads. However, once you have written your book, no matter how brilliant it is, it will only be bought if people know about it. This is where marketing rears it’s head. By now you may want to run for the hills, but bear with me here. Lets see if I can convince you that marketing can be fun.
Marketing, and promotion, basically means getting your work seen by readers. Note I didn’t say bought. The first step is seen. The more times someone sees your book the more likely they are to investigate what it’s all about and put money down for the purchase. I’m going to share a few ways that I have done this and had fun at the same time.
I write crime books set in Scotland where I live. When my first book came out I went around the bookshops for about a 50 mile radius and took pictures of my books on the shelves. Usually these were next to other high flying writers in the Scottish book world. The pictures were sent out into the stratosphere using Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Several Scottish crime writers picked up on this and shared my posts. It was exciting and fun to see my books out in the big wide world of social media. These were not buy my book posts but something which was quickly and easily done. I am sure you will agree this is something that any writer could do.
The next thing I did was asking various venues if they would mind if I did a book signing. Every one of them said yes. In order to make my book table more interesting I decorated it with a noose, some bullets and pens which were syringes full of blood. This got me noticed at the book signings and many people bought books because of it. However, what took it to a whole other level was that it was picked up by the Sell More Books Show Podcast as an example of what can be done to stand out. The first I knew about this was when listening to the podcast in the car. I almost crashed. This sort of social sharing is like gold dust and it certainly got me noticed. Now, some of you reading this may feel that book signings are a step too far. Decorating the table takes the readers eyes off you and on to the books.
Giving talks about your books can also be great fun. I know many writers may be terrified of public speaking and you may be one of them. However, rather than talking only about yourself, how about thinking of a topic related to your book. I did an author talk earlier today. I briefly talked about myself and then I spoke about:
- Research as a writer
- The history of hanging in Scotland
- The history of crime and punishment in Scotland
The audience loved it, particularly the more gory aspects of crime in Scotland. I would add here you might want to tailor your talk if there are children in the audience. My waxing lyrical about thumbscrews would not go down well with a younger audience.
These are just some ideas of how you could make your marketing more fun and less frightening. If you don’t write crime think of methods that would suit your genre. I hope you have found this useful, and all the very best with your own marketing efforts.
Wendy H. Jones lives in Scotland, and her police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie, is set in the beautiful city of Dundee, Scotland. She has written four novels in the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries, Killer’s Countdown, Killer’s Craft, Killer’s Cross and Killer’s Cut. Her first non fiction book Power Packed Book Marketing: Sell More Books was released in March 2016. You can view her Amazon page here.