How To Ensure Your Book Gets Seen
New releases, whether traditionally published or self-published are flooding the market. To ensure your book gets seen is now tougher than ever.
In a recent article from Publishing Perspectives, their newly appointed editor Porter Anderson discusses the issue of the flooded book market. Highlighted in the piece is the growing difficulty to achieve visibility and ensure your book gets seen with such overwhelming competition.
So if the Big Five houses are struggling with book visibility, how an earth iare independent authors supposed to compete?
It’s good to remember that all best-selling books start from the same place: a brilliant story. You CAN make it happen, stay determined.
What does success mean to you?
It might be tempting to run before you can walk and start broadcasting your novel before it’s really ready. It’s essential when marketing your book to start small, but dream big. Always have your end goal visualised. Whether that’s wiping the smirks off people’s faces when they spot your book in the shops, or winning an esteemed writing prize, figure out the stepping stones to get there.
There are simply truckloads of books released every month, which makes the choice for the reader a daunting one. So, strip it right back and make sure you have an outstanding original product to catch their eye.
Great design = sales
At TJ INK we love great book cover design and have tipped our hat to some of best in the market over on our Pinterest page. Go and take a look at the book covers we love and see which catch your eye and ask yourself why.
The immediacy of a book’s cover is your most crucial element to creating a striking first impression. If the reader likes the cover they’ll read the blurb. If they like the blurb they’ll read the first few pages. Then, If they’ve fallen into the trap of your excellent story then they will check the price and take it to the till. Or, they’ll let it settle in their mind a while before circling back to it.
So in terms of grabbing the buyers attention, your cover is the first in a line of dominoes.
When you have a book to be proud of, inside and out, you can then start showing it off. You just have to display it in optimum areas. This means researching your target readers and making your book visible to them.
This doesn’t mean that when you discover there’s a reading group who devour historical Gothic horror, perfect for your Victorian ghost story, you go in all guns blazing.
People want to buy, but they don’t want to be sold to.
Start conversations with people in the group like you would any other situation and don’t push your writing on them. If you start genuinely interacting with them, they’ll WANT to find out more about your books.
Word of mouth is seriously underestimated. Approaching groups like this can be extremely beneficial for getting the word out and to ensure your book gets seen. If you can get someone who is an advocate of your books and has a big influence on the people around them – even better!
Get away from the desk
Networking. Yes, it’s time to exit the writing nest you’ve made for yourself and exchange your thesaurus and teapot for a room full of people. This can be an intimidating process, let alone talking about yourself and the books you write.
The trick is to come prepared. Research who is going to be at the event and make sure you have your book’s elevator pitch ready to trill off to anyone who asks. And rock it – you’ve written an awesome book, you’ve got nothing to lose.
Ensure your book gets seen
Remember to always have some sort of contact card on you. When that literary agent racks their brain at 3am and tries to remember the name of the writer that approached them with that brilliant concept for a novel, a little bit of card may make all the difference between being published and not.
Place your book in purposeful places. Once you’ve researched your target audience you should know most of their likes, habits and hobbies. Is your book related to a particular piece of history or location? Approach places like the National Trust or museums and see whether they’ll display your books.
Marketing your book isn’t really very different to marketing anything else. You just have to think about what interests your ideal customer.
For example, restaurants offer an early pre-show dining deal for people who are going to the theatre in the evening. These establishments have recognised that their clientèle are people who value going to the theatre and have taken advantage of this, sometimes advertising on the website of the theatre company.
What does your reader value?
If you drum up interest about your novel, why not host a book launch at a local venue? This is a brilliant opportunity to form links with the community and also to build your connections. Set up various ways to create a lasting impact on people even after the launch has finished.
Make the person feel special.
Throw a competition where, to enter, they have to give their email address. You can then start to build up your list for your newsletter. Email marketing is one of the most beneficial types of marketing for authors. Remember to create quality content with useful links and don’t send them too often. Also, encourage the member to forward the newsletter on to anyone they think would be interested.
Do these things with professionalism and determination to ensure your book gets seen. Keep the big dreams in your head, visualise them, and make them your driving force. But remember to start small and work out a route to get there first.
There’s no one route to being a successful author, you have to make your own.
What has worked for you? Have you talked at events, launched a new social media account? Let us know.