For many authors book promotion is a necessary evil. When I put my author hat on, I totally get this.
Why can’t you just spend all day writing? Why does this whole book promotion thing get in the way of your real passion?
But then we suck it up and we try our best. Some of us have figured out what works, and some of us are still trying to find our groove.
For those still trying to find your groove, I want to encourage you to talk those who have figured it out.
Think of it as author therapy.
You can most definitely learn by talking through your book promotion struggles and listening when others share their successes.
The author group book promotion factor
A lot of authors have gotten on board with author groups and local or regional author and writer associations, but a vast majority of you still haven’t.
Not only do these groups provide great book promotion resources, including events where you get access to book promotion and publishing professionals, they’re also an excellent opportunity to network with authors that are on your same level.
Author and writing groups also provide a challenge in a supportive environment. You’ll notice your writing deadlines get easier to meet.
You’ll also find you have a captive audience to discuss concepts and storylines that may be really new and fresh, and possibly scary to present to your audience.
Last but not least, your writing will improve. Listening to what others are doing and sharing your milestones and getting candid feedback are really excellent tools for taking your writing to the next level while also ensuring you’re following themes and concepts your genre is really into at the moment.
Where do you find an author group? Most cities have them. If not, your state certainly will, or your region at a minimum. Here’s a great resource to check out.
The mentor factor
Too few authors have writing mentors. I think it’s a combination of a lot of factors. Sometimes it’s an ego thing, sometimes people are too shy to ask, and a lot of times I think authors just don’t know how to go about finding one!
Writing mentors are ideally authors in your genre that are a few steps up the ladder from you. Not so far that they’ve lost that detailed insight into where you’re at, but not so close that it turns into more of a mini author group versus a true mentorship.
Writing mentors are also great resources for book promotion ideas. If they’ve seen more successes than you have, I can assure you they’ve made some smart decisions and they’ve figured out what works for them – and what works in your genre.
Book promotion is a broad term that includes a lot of strategies that work across multiple genres, but it’s finessing those strategies to your specific reader market that make your efforts successful. This is where a lot of authors fall short.
They read about book promotion strategies and just follow the steps blindly without taking details into consideration that can make or break your success.
Details like long-standing genre preferences, new themes and concepts that are starting to show up in bestsellers, how fans of your genre like to be reached (are they engaging more with their favorite authors on Facebook or Instagram?) and especially key search terms and phrases that really speak to and pull in the people you want reading your books.
A writing mentor has likely figured a lot of these things out. So in addition to helping you elevate your writing, their book promotion experience is also gold.
Here are some ideas to inspire your considerations:
- An old teacher or professor
- A member of your writer’s group or book club
- An editor of your acquaintance
- A coworker who gets storytelling
- A spiritual or religious leader
- A writer you admire
And here’s a great resource, Association of Writers and Writing Programs, to get connected with a mentor if you don’t have any potential options in your current network.
The book professional factor
Book promotion professionals are another piece to this puzzle.
I do author coaching and consulting and a lot of other super smart, super savvy book marketing powerhouses do as well.
So how do you decide which book marketing company to go to?
Well, first you need to figure out what you need to address. Asking any book promotion professional, “How do I sell more books?” isn’t going to go over well. That’s too broad.
If you know you need help with social media, find someone who’s been super successful on social and has a lot of great training programs available.
I personally focus a lot of time on my Amazon research and understanding how to work the Amazon system, so people struggling with their book promotion on Amazon tend to reach out to me and I love that. More on this further down.
I put together a great list of 50 great websites and professionals that are excellent author resources for book promotion and beyond. Check them out for sure to get started.
But what if you’re unsure of where you need book promotion help? What if you really just want to know how to sell more books?
There are ways to address broader issues with more specific discussion points. It’s just about knowing where to start the discussion, how to ferret out key areas that affect your bottom line, and figure out how to improve on those.
Some talking points for inspiration
Here are some of my favorite topics for coaching, because I feel they address book promotion issues that are really relevant to most authors:
What are you, the author doing? I love going over this in detail and giving feedback – remember this is a GREAT opportunity to get super candid, don’t be afraid to share what you’re doing, even if you think it’s small (or non-existent).
Most authors don’t know what to blog about and this is a GREAT time to brainstorm ideas.
Let’s talk about what’s getting traction for you on social media and what isn’t, and brainstorm new directions you can test out.
We should discuss your elevator pitch and unique selling points. Most authors think they have this nailed, but usually, they don’t.
Over To You
Do you have a mentor, author group or book promotion professional experience that really knocked it out of the park? Please share in the comments about how it improved your own book promotion!