You've Written Your Book Now What?
Now that you have written the perfect book. Now what? How do you as an independent author get it in book form, get in front of the readers and market it? Writing it was the easy part. Now comes the part where a writer becomes an author. This is the part that separates the hard core writers from those who thought they would write a book and it would sell thousands of copies simply because they wrote it. Not happening. There are as many writers and authors out there as there are ideas. The way to get noticed is to make yourself stand out of the herd. To let the masses know that you have something special. And let me tell you even if you happen to be lucky enough to get a contract with a traditional publisher- you are still expected to market your book. They will not do it for you. In fact if you sign a contract for say 50,000.00- you have to sell that much in books the first year or else you have to pay it all back to the publisher.
If you think "I will just go out and get an agent." Think again. More manuscripts lay unopened on someone's in box, than get read. It is not that they may not be interested it is just they get thousands a day from hopeful writers wanting to get published by a well known publisher. Thinking they will get on the best seller list
and make a fortune.
The first thing each of you must remember "As a writer/author we don't do it to become famous, we do it for the sheer love of writing." If you can wrap yourself around that statement and understand it things will be much smoother in the shark infested waters of the literary world.
That being said, there are things you can do that work. I have run the gamut in this industry. I have had to learn most of it on my own how to get read. Some things have worked and some haven't. I along with all of the other indie authors who I network with have learned how to make the internet work for us. In fact
the traditional houses now are watching us to see what we do. They have been very slow to use the net because they have distribution, we don't. But we don't have to worry about a lot of inventory.
So let's take a minute and look at Marketing 101.It is called the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule was set up years ago when people went door to door. The idea was if you did cold calls to 80 doors you would get 20 sales. That principle still applies. That is why exposure is key. Here are several things you need to do and do them
religiously. Just like your writing.
First build you a facebook page and add friends all over the place. Get set up on twitter, and myspace. Next- go to all the free websites and build pages. Link to other authors like myself who have been out there a while. IF you google my name you will see I am all over the net. I have stranger contacting me about marketing now.
The important things you want to put on these pages are your bio, your book covers, synopsis, reviews, pictures of your appearances, places to buy your book, etc. You first have to market yourself before you market your book. You have to let people know that you have something special. That you are something special. I have known authors who wrote very bad books, but they sold simply because they marketed themselves first. You can't market your product until you first market yourself.
Things you don't want to put on your site are pictures of your kids, pets, vacations, husbands. The reason, this is your business. You don't want folks taking time to view all that when they need to be looking at you and your books.
Face book is different, you have latitude there- also you have latitude on myspace. But on my space you want it to be clean and sharp. The other sites like word press, blog spot, etc you want it to be strictly business. Just on my space alone I have four sites one site for each of my books plus my site with my picture and my name. I also keep them on the top friends of each site.
Keep these sites updated, yes it takes time, but believe me it is well worth it. When someone googles your name you want it to jump out at them. You want to be so accessible that a potential reader has no excuse not to buy your book.
Do book reviews for other authors, which gets your name out there. Post them on Amazon, your sites, etc. That is another avenue to get noticed. BK Walker Books is accepting inquiries to join our review team.
You also want your book to not only be in print form you want it available in e-book kindle and any other form that is out there. That is the reason I use Lulu.
My books can be down loaded in ebook form and I use Amazon Kindle for the kindle book which is growing. Two of my books are on the best seller list on Kindle.
This also gives you another avenue of royalties.
You can never do too much marketing. This is one of those times where more is better. One of the little tricks I use is I carry business cards with me all the time. I also have post cards with pictures of my books on them. When I give out my business cards I also give out the post cards.
Oh yes, never be afraid to give out a card. I gave one out at Target one time when I saw a lady looking for a good book. I don't know if she looked me up or not , but I gave her the card. You can never over market yourself.
In conclusion, let me go back and give you the steps again.
1. Know your story, that is, if you are not proficient in the subject matter research it. Know your place, again if it is not local and you are not sure of the things that are conducive to that place research it. Make it creditable.
2. When writing non- fiction always research your subject, make good notes, give credit for resources, and put them in the book, get permission for names or use fake ones. Note this in your book with an asterisk.
3. Don't try to put everything in your book from your research, and tell a story, not a dissertation
4. You as a writer are unique- the way you write is part of your uniqueness. There is no wrong way or write way to put a book together. It is what is comfortable to you. That is style, time, etc. You set the tone.
5. Trust someone to proof your book, trust me you will be glad you did.
6. Know that before you can market your book, you have to market yourself. So believe in who you are, what you are and what you do.
7. Network with like minds, with other authors
8. Get reviews, write reviews, get on blog talk radio, get advertising stuff- ie cards, postcards, banners.
9. Join a writers association I belong to Florida Writer's Association
10. If you have never spoken in front of a crowd, now is the time to learn-
11. Understand you may never be on the bestseller list, you may never get a movie made, and you may never sell hundreds of thousands of books so write because you love it. Leave it behind for those who love you and who you love.
12. Last But Not Least- Pay it forward. When someone asks you how you did it share the information- don't be afraid to help another writer- it will come back to you three times over.
I have included some handouts including this speech for you to carry home with you so you can use it as a reference, line the cage of your bird or use it for the dog's entertainment. But aside from that- I hope you will keep it close and refer to it time and time again. I have also included my card which has my email,phone
numbers and book store on it. Feel free to contact me anytime. I am here to help.
Lastly, I want to say thank you for taking the time to come and join me here today and maybe I have given you some tools to work with, a path to travel and knowledge which will become wisdom.
Remember, as writers we are odd minded and like minded and we all have a story in us.
If you would like this entire workshop emailed to you, please contact Yvonne or BK with your email address. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section. :)