Unless you are J.K.Rowling, Stephen King, or Orson Scott Card odds are marketing is something you are responsible for. This is true whether you are self-published, have an Independent Publisher or one of the big 5 publishers. (Harper-Collins, Penguin-Random House, HBG, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster at present) So what are you to do? How do you position yourself? Where to begin?
First thing you need to look at is are you going to just write the one book, do a series, or is it important that your name be the common denominator as you will be associated with many books. If you go with the later, you now have to do something that many authors do not want to do, you have to become the brand.
What does that mean? Branding means associating your name with the impression you want a customer to have when they see your name. If someone read your first book and comes across your second or third you want them to recognize your name and have a feeling that they know you (or think they do) and have that be a positive thought that leads them to take a risk on you yet again.
Now all that this entails is more than I can cover in a single blog but I can point you on the right path.
Yes it is important to know whom your audience is, maybe tailor you’re marketing to them but then you are also blocking off the people you could invite into the fold. Then there is the beating out the competition; you could consider that but personally I promote reading in a big way and feel I don’t want people to read less, just include my book in what they read. (Besides, I think I come out favorably in comparison!) Then there is that many would suggest that you work within your parameters. That is okay advice but you need to understand what that means.
I write SciFI – actually Hard Science Fiction. How is that different? It means that I adhere to a set of laws, the laws of Physics, among others. As such marketing involved getting that message across but at the same time not ruling out the people that didn’t care if it was possible. My first thought? SciFi Conventions. And for you other genres look it up online there are conventions about everything! Just figure out your group and go to that specific one.
Now the great thing when you do go is that now you are around your peeps. When I say that I mean you are now mixing with your readers, or soon to be readers, other writers of the same or similar genre (who can give you great advice or you can learn by watching) and marketing in action. Some selling their books will have bookmarks or stickers made up that are free. You see what is important and you know it for next time. You set up your display one way and look over and watch another and think, hmmm. I should try that. Then you do and notice someone else has something even better. It is a cool process.
A cool thing at Cons is there are television interviews – local TV marketing the event and sometimes interviewing the people presenting their work. There are podcasts and radio shows that broadcast from them choosing different people in the conventions to speak with. Also, if you become a guest, they have your name on the marketing for the event that they do. Conventions are a big opportunity!
Unfortunately no one can teach you the interactions part. And the sad thing is a lot of us write and think I’m done onto the next. Perhaps we are not really social beings compared to others. (I was extremely introverted but have since turned around to being social half the time.) Guess what, it is actually easier with the people who are interested in you books. You are of a like mind.
Okay, so now you’ve covered one area. Another is start a blog. I have a science blog. Others have a writing blog, still others cooking or some other specialty. Whatever either your book is about or you want to be associated with. Eventually you also want to have a website – yes to house the blog but for the blog you can a free site but when you do your website you may choose to pay for it and that takes a certain amount of dedication.
Yet another area, and this is big, is Social Media. But then how much is too much? This becomes a tough question but maybe watch what others put out there. Some do quotes of their book with the cover. After a while you also want to put some out there that are just to let people know something about you or are just a joke. Remember, your name is a brand.
These are just a few ideas and thoughts but as time goes on there are many lessons that you’ll learn just by being in the game! Good luck & good branding!
About Target Earth
by Mary Louise Davie
Publisher: Brighton Publishing.LLC
Publication Date: March 7, 2016
Genre: Science Fiction /Fantasy
It’s a new day on Earth in the twenty-third century, and an awestruck public is witnessing the stunning arrival of what looks like a lunar lander in Washington, D.C. Called in for their scientific and linguistic expertise, husband and wife team Danny and Chris Marama wait eagerly to meet the alien visitors, whose spacecraft now rests in the American president’s Rose Garden. When two space-suited beings emerge, they surprise exo-linguist Danny by speaking English, among other languages, as they disclose their agenda: to explore Earth’s technology and return to their home planet with it.
Accompanying them is a prestigious assignment Danny is only too happy to take on. What she doesn’t discover until later is their secret agenda, much more sinister and life-changing for Danny, Chris, and the entire human race. And both Danny and Chris must choose: loyalty to Earth, whose leaders may be targeting their own people for death, or to the alien race—and life.
About the Author
Born in rural Scotch Plains New Jersey (or at least it was – progress?) Now in very rural West Milford NJ (Bears and all!) A background as a chemist, then in Information Technology, with an English Teacher for a mother and a musician for a father – all the ingredients necessary for a Hard Science Fiction writer.