A final word on The Publishing Journey as we wrap up this series -
As I've been working through the posts, it's become obvious to me that the publishing journey - from book proposal to post launch exposure and everything in between - is a completely different beast to how I remember when I first started out at the age of 15.
If you aren't venturing down the traditional route - and even if you do - at some point you will need to embrace and learn about the virtual book marketing techniques available to you as a promoter of your own work. This series is packed with good ideas to kick start your publicity and branding - and I've been learning along the way too!
I'm going to squeeze in some last minute marketing advice for you before we get into all things self publishing next week ...
Like most of you reading this, marketing is something I've plunged into head first with no prior knowledge, but thankfully I'm picking up tips and tricks and helpful advice all the time.
Here are 10 pitfalls to avoid when marketing your book and how to stay on the straight and narrow:
1) Don't try to aim for everyone
You have written for a specific genre so stick to it
2) Don't bet on consumer rationality
Research suggests that emotion plays a big part in purchase decisions so market to your audience's whims. Don't be square with your strategy. Think outside the box
3) Don't take market research as the be all and end all
Interpret the data at face value and don't try to read between the lines - that could cost you
4) Don't get seduced by new, exciting marketing methods
Stick to what works whilst evaluating what might
5) Don't advertise your aspirations
You are setting yourself up for a mighty fall by inviting your potential readers to catch you out. Live by them and set the tone for you and your writing that way
6) Don't follow the leader
Focus on your individual hook because that's what makes your story unique. If you try and copy someone else's style or idea and it doesn't work, you are proving to your audience that you will never be as good
7) Don't create a big marketing team
What's that saying? "Too many cooks spoil the broth". I can't afford a big team of people to help me market my work which is just as well because the best committee is a committee of one
8) Don't starve your budget
Tricky because I have no budget, but every writer must somehow get their message out. For now I'm using free social media and the internet. That's as good a starting point as any...
9) Don't expect your marketing efforts to work immediately
It takes time to build a brand. Credibility grows through consistency. Plan plan plan and stick to your plan
10) Don't get stage fright
Now it's time to execute those plans and find out what works and what doesn't
And here's a novel tip for free advertising overseas:
Write a message in the front of your book linking back to a promotional piece about your story on your website or blog. If you travel a lot or know someone who does, give them a copy of your book to leave in a well trafficked area like a cafe, hotel reception or even on public transport. Get them to take a pic of your book in-country and "social media" it, then you could post their pic and words back to your website or blog and keep an area dedicated to this ongoing promotion.
Wouldn't it be amazing to see your book travel all around the world!!!
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.