For Writers: Marketing 101
One of the biggest advantages of working with a publisher is the company’s marketing resource. You have to ask yourself, are you a writer or a marketer? Do you want to spend all day Saturday writing, doing what you love, then all night doing something you don’t really understand?
The old ways of marketing are changing, evolving (mutating) at an incredible rate. What was “best practice” last week could be a no-no next week. It’s not rocket science, but it is a matter of time—how much do you have to spare not creating a product?
That said there are some basic tips and tools a writer must use to promote their work. Spectacle Publishing Media Group LLC utilizes a team of degreed, certified Internet marketing specialists to promote our author’s works. But we can’t do it all, as much as we’d like to.
Talk about your work
Our research indicates that there’s no better advertising that word-of-mouth recommendations. We all talk about the books we read, excitedly relaying the clever plots and witty prose of a new author we’ve discovered to our friends over dinner or drinks. So, tell people about your writing. Tell them they might be interested in your new short story, your novella or your epic swords and sorcery story. Tell them how to find the piece, online or otherwise. Be excited and they will be excited as well.
You need a website
You really, really do. This is place where you can talk about work some more! Since it’s your website and people are visiting to learn about you, that’s the place to be a braggart! Tell them you’ve been published and where! Tell people about your awards or decorations. Talk about your gritty urban style or your refined autumn prose. Tell them about your great professors in college or the first time you were published. Maybe don’t tell them about your cat’s bladder issues or post pictures of you in your favorite wig. Or maybe you should, who knows? The only thing that’s certain is that you need to have an easily accessible web presence for people who want to learn more about you.
You’re Facebooking all day at work anyway. You’re tweeting and texting and Foursquaring already. Why not post a few items about your writing? Maybe offer a link to where your mom can buy a copy. I know my mom always buys a copy of my stories. Anyway, the tools are all right there and free to use. You can do your social media marketing on your smart phone while you’re on the train or the bus. You can’t do it while you’re driving, but you knew that. Encourage your friends to share you links with their circles. Go for the word-of-mouth recommendation.
Get in front of people
You’ve got to read to them. Most media types these days allow audiences to be passive—to sit and start or mash buttons. The closest you can come to that as a writer is reading to them. Read them a story. Find an open mic, bring some business cards and read your story. Then, mingle and hand out your card. The reading in front the audience is that hard part. First time I did, I puked up my lunch. But I got over it. With practice, you learn to ad-lib awkward phrasing so you don’t stumble. Get out there and share. Check out this post by our Executive Editor, Jared Saathoff for more writerly tips.