From plumbers to publishers, the right tools are important for every profession. Unlike the amateur do-it-yourselfer, the physical tools required to do professional jobs are more specialized and extensive. While a handyman may tackle a plumbing job with a basic wrench and soldering gun, a skilled career plumber carries pipe wrenches, basin wrenches, cutters, torches, drills and other essential equipment.
However, a plumbing contractor must also utilize a different set of tools in order to grow and secure new business. While more intangible, these tools are as important as the gear carried in the tool box and include methods and strategies for developing professional relationships, implementing advertising programs and exploiting networking opportunities. No plumbing contractor would expect to be successful by focusing exclusively on physical tools while overlooking the need to grow the business. As a professional writer, you also must focus as much on your book marketing tools as you do on editing, cover design and writing technique.
Publishing and Plumbing Have a Lot in Common
Publishing and plumbing may be unrelated, but the business concepts are essentially the same. Regrettably, many writers fill their bag with the tools required to craft a quality book while completely ignoring those elements that would help grow their brand. These aspiring authors religiously attend writer’s group meetings and buy the books, applications and courses that will help improve their writing skills, but the back half of the process is often neglected. They fail to take the time to assemble the critical tools required to successfully market and sell their books. Eventually, it becomes painfully obvious that failing to adequately address book marketing can be a fatal mistake.
Some Essential “Soft” Tools of the Trade
The “soft” tools of every industry are often difficult to identify and define. For writers, they are the methods and strategies needed to ensure their books receive due consideration in the arena of public opinion. Here are five of the most essential tools you should have in your book marketing arsenal:
- eBook Reader: Reviews are an essential part of the book marketing process, and self-published authors should be as motivated to provide reviews as they are to receive them. Websites like The Hidden Author allow you to list your book, but you must post four reviews annually for other books listed on the website. This can help establish a strong track record of sales and reviews for your book. For most self-published books, the price difference between the printed and electronic version is considerable, so it makes sense to invest in an eBook reader, which will save you money in the long run when posting reviews.
- Publishing Services: Writers have a variety of publishing options for eBooks and POD hard copy. However, most of these companies also provide a variety of free and fee based services that can help optimize your book’s visibility and exposure. Large self-publishers are always competing for business, so dig deep into the programs they offer to help publicize your book.
- Organizational Tools: There are many moving parts in the self publishing process, and it’s easy to become confused and disorganized. Failing to develop a comprehensive plan can negatively impact your sales and marketing efforts. Book Marketing Tools offers a free guide to help you stay organized throughout the self publishing process.
- Email List: An email list is a powerful tool for a variety of reasons. Having direct access to your fans is critical for marketing current books and creating a buzz for future releases. If you develop a positive relationship with another author in your genre, a reciprocal mention to your respective subscribers can be invaluable in raising sales and developing new followers.
- Professional Relationships: Publishing is really no different than any other industry, and it’s largely build on relationships. A writer will benefit from establishing relationships with other writers, editors, marketing professionals, webmasters, publishers, cover designers and many others. Start with those who work in the publishing industry in your local community. One contact can expose you to several more, and soon you will have built a network that will help you avoid unforeseen hazards and achieve your publishing goals more quickly and efficiently.
Choose the Best Writing Tools for the Job
No one would hammer a nail with a glass bottle and expect a successful result. Every aspect of your writing project requires different tools to ensure ultimate success. When it comes to book publicity, look for organizations like The Hidden Author and Book Marketing Tools to provide low-cost, highly effective services dedicated to the self published author.
William Busse is a self-published author who writes horror/thriller fiction. He is a successful entrepreneur who founded two businesses in the HVAC industry. After publishing his book, and despite positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, Mr. Busse experienced frustration with the book marketing process. As a result, he founded The Hidden Author, a new website that helps authors grow sales and gain visibility. Mr. Busse is committed to working to help harness the collective power of the self-publishing community.