Gone are the days where an author's only job was to stay locked in his or her attic room, smoke cigarettes, drink whiskey, and type on the manual typewriter. Frankly, I'm not sure those days ever really existed for the majority of authors (Hemingway doesn't really count for so many reasons....)
Today there are authors with the big publishing houses, with small ones, authors who write every word themselves and don't even let a copy editor see it, and authors who probably don't even write the stories their names are on. Heck, you can even see authors playing poker on television!
The one thing they all have in common, though, is that they are marketing their work.
And for many of us, that's harder than writing the novel to start with.
So how do we do it? Sadly, there's no black and white answer. But here are some of the more common ways to get the word out.
- Blog tour. Many authors tour the country from the comfort of their homes. Guest blogging is a quick way to reach readers. Think of it as a virtual "lecture tour" where you meet potential readers you may not have thought of. (By the way, if you write paranormal, feel free to contact one of us for a guest blogging spot!)
- Website. Who doesn't have a website now? The biggest thing to remember with a website is that it needs to "feel" like your novels and be up to date. It's all about branding.
- Speaking of branding, don't forget newspaper ads. Have a "real world" book signing? Take out an ad in the local paper.
- Press release. Even better than an ad, because it's free!
- Book trailers. I'm not sure what I think about these. For those who don't know, a book trailer is a mini-movie which advertises your novel. I'm fortunate that my publisher does this for me, since I don't have the patience to produce something like this.
- Talk it up! This has got to be the most important part of your marketing plan. Tell everyone you know that your book is out. Make sure they know where to get it and how much it will cost. Seriously, word of mouth is the best advertising you'll ever find.
I know there are other ways to market your novel, but these are the ones which have worked for me. What's worked for you? What avenues have I forgotten?