For some of you, getting the word out while marketing your fiction book is a piece of cake compared to the writing and publishing that comes before! But for the rest of you, this can be the hardest part, and you may find yourself at a loss for what to do next. Marketing is a completely different animal from fiction writing and requires strategy and shrewd business skills. However, using the same creative energy that propelled you through the initial stages of your journey will give you the drive you need to approach your next step: marketing a fiction book.
Marketing a Fiction Book: Where Do I Go?
The world of marketing can seem huge and boundless. Because of this, it’s vital that you stay focused on your target audience, your genre, and your own personal brand. However, even with this in mind, it can be hard to choose that first step in marketing a fiction book! Who do you go to? Fortunately, this one’s easy – other writers! The first thing you want to do is establish yourself as part of a community. Social media will be your best ally here. Use Facebook, Twitter, and other groups to get your voice out there! Facebook groups are an especially good place to start because they allow you to get to know other group members on a more personal level, and if the group is local, you can arrange and participate in seminars, write-ins, and more!
Be sure to be as engaging as you can – you won’t have many followers when you first start marketing a fiction book, but you can easily increase your own presence by supporting other authors who are trying to do the same. You should focus on building relationships in these early stages (you could even get a head start by getting involved before you finish writing); that way you will already have built a reputation for being reliable and of value to your audience.
I would also advise that you consider using Facebook’s advertising services to aid in marketing a fiction book. First, it provides several categories that you can use to narrow down your target demographic – location, age, interests, and so on. Once you’ve decided on your audience, it’s just a matter of creating an attention-grabbing headline and image to compel that audience to follow your ad to your website or book page. It’s that easy!
Who Can Help Me With Marketing a Fiction Book?
Once you have built up enough of a presence, you’ll need to start being targeted and direct in your next approach. Before you do anything else, I recommend setting up an email address – something like [email protected] will do – that you will use when contacting reviewers, bloggers and media outlets about your book. You’ll also want to pull together a list of various promotional sites centered around marketing your genre. BookBub is an example of such a website. If they’re interested in your book, they’ll add it to their newsletter which will be sent out to subscribers in various categories. Each site will have different policies regarding cost and advertisement options, so it’s up to you to find the best fit.
In your email, make sure to link to the social media pages you’ve been building along with any other websites that are relevant to your book in the footer of your email. Also, be sure to have several review copies set aside for this stage – it’d be embarrassing to be caught flat-footed once you’re in the door! Start contacting the people and outlets that you want reviewing your book. The key here is to remember your manners and never get discouraged. If you don’t receive a response from one contact, leave it be. Don’t pester them into replying – this will only burn bridges and damage your future attempts at marketing a fiction book. For those that do reply, thank them! And remember, just as with your social media presence, you are building a relationship. You want to give them the best possible impression so that they’ll want to continue business with you in the future!
So remember, the best things to keep in mind while marketing a fiction book are to be polite, be involved, and be engaging. Know too that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. Different strategies are going to have varying results across different people. But as long as you cultivate your brand and your unique personality, you’ll have no problem finding a strategy that fits you!
What are your experiences with marketing a fiction book? Were there some strategies that sent you skyrocketing, or were some just duds? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments!