Friday, March 8, 2013

Marketing Your Books - Just Keep Your Name Out There

When it comes to marketing your books, there are a ton of approaches that writers take to make sure those sales numbers go up. In the end, though, regardless of the approach you take, the key to all marketing campaigns is simply to get your name out there and make sure people remember who you are. Obviously, this needs to be done positively. You certainly don't want your latest book attached to you because of something negative.

You will often find that the authors that seem to be really doing well with their writing seem to be everywhere. They show up on the internet on websites, they end up posting on social media sites and forums, their work is always at the latest conferences. These authors simply know the value of name placement. They know that when authors go out to get a book to read, seeing a familiar name increases the chance that their book will be picked up.

New authors need to understand that this type of name placement is going to take a lot of work. The time you had been spent devoting to your writing will be decreased on a daily basis as you now spend time strategically getting your name out there.

One thing that you should notice is that these authors are not just flooding the market and throwing their name around everywhere. Like any good marketing plan, the key is to know who will likely be the audience and is it worth getting your name into that market. Sure, you might pick, up one or two authors in these random locations, but could you pick up more if you got your name into another market.

Think of it this way. If you write contemporary romance novels about small town America, would it be worth marketing your books at places like Sci-Fi conventions or Comi-cons? Probably not. Although there are people there that might read your book, this is probably not the best market.

Think of this approach? Is it worth sending copies of your book to a conference you are attending and speaking at? You better believe it. Conferences are great locations for picking up those new authors. They hear you speak and you mention things in your books. The odds are, these authors will likely buy those books when they wander through the bookstore. What are the books they will skip? The authors they just don't recognize.

The Mills and Boon Historical team is taking just this approach with their authors and seeing some great results. In the past, if they had an author with a three-book series, they might have spread those books out over the course of a year. Their new appraoch is to get those names out in consecutive months. For three months, in a row, your name is showing up on the bookshelves. Name recognition for these small blocks of time keep you in the loop and in the reader's mind. After those three books are out, readers will then dive back in and look at your backlists, and sales continue.

I should note that marketing in this way will not result in immediate spikes in your sales. Yes, it will happen, but the focus is not on the present. This is marketing for the long term.

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