This article is posted courtesy of marketing consultant Sia McKye. McKye writes:
I need to stress to all authors that books don’t sell themselves. If you’re tracking your sales on Amazon, you’re realizing that now.
You’re published, and that’s a heady feeling, but now you need to be working just as hard on selling them—and yourself— as you did on the writing and editing. You’re not done. I realize that everyone has another life aside from your writing. I also realize you want to use your spare time to continue writing. If you’re not putting any effort into promoting yourself, where is your market? Your reader base?
A few questions to consider: Do you have your websites up? Are you blogging? Are you utilizing many of the internet options that Pat Bertram has offered in her Book Marketing Floozy blog? In other words, are you building an internet presence? You also need to physically make yourself known as an author. Are you contacting people locally? Local bookstores, libraries, local author groups, newspapers, and radio to publicize yourself as an author and your book? Locally, you have an ‘in’. Use it.
Traditional publishers expect their authors to spend at least two months prior to publication and two months after publication on book promotion. I won’t kid you, it requires a lot of time. You need to be organized and set aside blocks of time to do this. It also means stepping out of your comfort zone to do it. Bottom line here is this is your business, your product that is debuting. Your books/product will only be as good as the effort after the writing to get attention for you and your book. Keep that in mind.
Even if you get bookstores to carry your books, what separates you from all the other authors out there? You need name recognition and a reader base. You have to build that with well crafted stories and advertising yourself.