Welcome to part three of this three part series of posts on investing time, money and effort in your writing.
In the first two parts I covered learning the craft of writing here and then polishing it up and getting it ready to publish here––so now it’s time to consider how best to get your work out to readers.
Publishing and publicising
What follows isn’t a set of rules. It’s based on my own experience and it’s what worked for me. And, yes, again it involves investment on the writer’s part.
So, you may have:
1.submitted your work to carefully researched agents and publishers and you might have got a publishing deal.
2.you may have submitted to the aforesaid and not got a contract and have decided to self-publish i.e. to become an indie-author or author-publisher (pick you term).
3.you may have gone straight to the indie option.
My experience has been 2 and 3, therefore I’m basing my advice on that experience, but a lot of the marketing stuff will apply whether you’re traditionally or indie published.
What sort of investment?
Having finalised the manuscript, the cover and the layout, it’s now time to research and decide on the best methods of distribution for your work––i.e. paper or e-format, or both; availability direct from you, through Amazon, Kobo, Ingram, Apple etc. Take your time – a worthwhile investment. Ask around in the network you’ve been building, as advised in part two here. Consider joining The Alliance of Independent Authors as an associate member and thereby tap into the wealth of advice offered by this organisation, such as their publication above which is regularly updated.
Next decide on your publication date. Consider whether to do previews – perhaps just of your cover on Facebook and on Twitter, for example. If you’ve already got a good network of fellow authors around you, then hopefully they’ll retweet and share on their own networks.
If you’ve not already done so, consider setting up a blog or website to give somewhere for your prospective readers to come to find out more about you. Include links to online sites where your book can be purchased. Then go for launch.
After launch day, keep plugging away, but don’t overdo it. Don’t just go on twitter and post endless tweets saying ‘buy my book’––nothing’s guaranteed to turn off your followers faster than this.
Publicising your work is a long haul, slow burn sort of a process. Thank everyone who reviews, posts, shares and tweets on behalf of your book and be sure to return the favour.
Investigate websites that promote indie-author books, and take advice from your network on which ones are worth the money. Make an informed decision on this one.
Submit your book for consideration to one of the no cost, quality-assurance review websites that have sprung up and which sift through and promote the best indie-published work. An example of such a site is IndieB.R.A.G.
Out in the real world you could consider approaching your local radio station and newspaper with a pre-prepared pitch/press release. You could offer your services as a speaker at local writing/book groups. Perhaps there’s a local book festival you could approach. Ask the local bookshop if they’d take a few copies.
If your book features a hobby or special interest e.g. one of the characters is into hill-walking or whatever, then approach a club or association that has members who’re into the same thing. If the book’s set in a particular town or city, see if bookshops in that town or city might feature your book in its local author section.
And so on…
Yes, it’s a lot of work. Yes, it’s yet another investment – and it’s mainly an investment of time. But if you’re writing in order to reach readers, then you’re going to have to work at it.
You and your writing are worth it!
All the best with all your writing endeavours.