Writers Journey Goes On…#4

You’ve written a novel. It’s published. Now what, do you ask? I hear the echoes of the Carpenter’s singing “You’ve Only Just Begun.”

How do you let people know THE BOOK is out there? Does any one care? Word of mouth is a pretty good start, tell everyone you know. Social media is a good way to get the word out there. Visiting libraries, offering books in exchange for reviews on Goodreads.com, shout it from the roof top?

Okay, maybe that isn’t the best way to do it, but you get the idea. “Get the word out.” Ways to do that might include bookstores, retail establishments that feature something that might be in your book. Clubs or special interest groups your story would appeal to. For example, if your main character is an avid knitter you have a built-in niche audience. Contact knitting shops or knitting groups and talk to them about your story. You may have to donate a book or two in order to get things started, but that’s a good way to get it out there.

Enter your novel in contests. The fees are generally reasonable and the audience is potentially huge and if you win, you get to talk that up, too.

Marketing is time consuming and expensive. You are not only marketing your new book, but you’re marketing yourself. Do you have a built in audience somewhere? Think about it. Does your book appeal to a certain age, gender or group that you can share it with? Ask around. Think outside the box. We are involved with people at work, at play, at church, at school, everywhere. How can you reach them?

One of my personal favorites is bookmarks. Everyone needs a bookmark and they are an inexpensive investment. There are lots of online printers that will help you design one with your cover and tag line front and center. Hand them out where people like to read – bookstores and libraries, especially. I’m always losing and picking up new bookmarks. Gone are the days when I use the receipt or a ribbon to hold my place. I have a stack of bookmarks and they are generally for books I read and enjoyed.

Talk to other authors and watch what they are doing. One of my favorite authors, C.Hope Clark has an amazing newsletter (Funds for Writers) and built a huge audience for her fiction with that. She gives great advice, too.

Genre fiction will appeal to genre readers, for example, sci-fi readers will try new sci-fi novels and share.

Also, I can’t emphasize enough the power of a book review. I review every book I read on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. Whether I liked it or not, I share my experience. Readers look at reviews to find their new favorite book, believe me. And once they find their favorite author they will read everything they publish.

More next time.