If I had a carrier pigeon, I would have used that too. And smoke signals. And a quick lesson in semaphore before climbing to the top of a really tall building to wave my flags. In the end, I can thank my lucky stars that I live in the 21st century and have access to the internet.
What am I talking about? Well, perhaps you didn’t get the message… I have published my first novel!
Earlier today I took stock of the various media I utilised to get this message out. When you self-publish, the marketing is also your job and responsibility. You can’t shirk it. Or you can, but don’t expect your book to appear on anyone’s radar if you do, let alone threaten any bestseller lists. The simple fact is you have to make like Picard and engage.
Here are the different media I have used for Mrs God:
- AMAZON: The most important web page for your book – where it is downloaded with once click of a button. (Or for the paperback, several clicks!)
- WEBSITE: It pays to have a website with an easily remembered address. The book’s title was already taken, so I added ‘book’ to make mrsgodbook.com.
- EMAILS: Remember when electronic mail was the new techno kid on the block? Well, it hasn’t been rendered redundant (yet) by instant messaging et al. Use your contacts.
- TEXTS: Also not extinct. Use this to inform those few who resolutely refuse to engage with the technological revolution post 1998.
- FACEBOOK: Social media trinity #1 might be suffering from user fatigue, with so many people – especially young people – deactivating their accounts, but you cannot ignore it as a marketing tool. Create an account for your book or character. Also, don’t be afraid to dabble with inexpensive adverts.
- TWITTER: Social media trinity #2 will hone your writing so that you can create concise teasers. All you need is a retweet by Ricky Gervais, Lady Gaga or Rihanna and you’ll be made.
- BLOGS: Social media trinity #3. As a writer you should be tapping away and publishing on your own blog as a matter of course. I was lucky enough to be offered a guest post on a popular self-publishing blog, as well as having a Q&A published on another.
- POSTERS: Old-school marketing #1. Print off your book’s cover and put them up wherever you can (if it’s legal).
- FAN ART: This may not suit every genre. Thankfully I’ve written something that inspired people to draw what they imagined.
- BUSINESS CARDS: Book cover on one side, book website address on t’other. Hand them out whenever someone says: “I heard you’ve published a book.”
- PENS: A little bit expensive, this one, but went down a treat when I gave them out at my book launch party.
- BEER MATS: The venue for the launch party became littered with Mrs God beer mats. Different is good.
- PHONE: Old-school marketing #2. People will find it difficult to ignore your message if you spend the money and time on good old-fashioned communication via telephony.
- RADIO: Treat this like one big telephone call. Don’t forget to research the demographic of your potential audience and tailor the focus of your answers accordingly.
- PRINT: I was lucky enough to be given some space in a national newspaper where I wrote a feature on the rise of self-publishing.
- AUTHOR PROFILE: Once you’ve published your tome, don’t forget to use your very own author profile page on Amazon. It’s free!
- YOUTUBE: Create a movie-style trailer for your book. Or, as I did, get a talented friend to do it for you! People love watching videos.