Writers have something special going on with their readers, for example: when you visit a blog, and find so many writers who have a small blog, but no real relationship with anyone, because everyone has something to say. It’s great to see comments, and it’s great to develop a relationship with a potential reader, without them promoting their books. The key to selling a book is learning how to promote your book right.
Beginning this journey starts with the proper care and cultivation of your blogs, by encouraging reader relationships first, offering the best you can offer at all times, and by being honest and open.
People are smart, and if you have done a poor job of communicating, now is as good a time as any to fix it, both as a writer and a person.
What readers want is to find something special for them. What you need to do as a writer is take a long hard look at what you have offered your reader so far. I mentioned that I had to go back and look at my blog- I was wrong in thinking that there wasn’t a problem, I didn’t know the how to promote my book extended to my blog. What I didn’t understand was that there is more work now because I had waited. Similar to my choices about publishing. I have to be passionate about rebuilding a lot of relationships. I can’t sit back and think about how I’m going to promote my book if there are problems behind it.
In one of the writing magazines I buy, I was reading about the relationship between a reader and the books they read. There was even an article on book promotion and authors who do this well. The idea is to describe the book, in order to tell readers about it, but without actually promoting it.
Readers can and will do the work for you when they love something- a book or a blog- because they trust you and feel confident in what you have to say. So if you are finding that nothing seems to be going your way in terms of selling your book after all the promotion you have done…. It is time to cultivate relationships. My own book, is one I care about, but it is also a niche market book which means I can connect with a smaller group of people, but I can deepen this connection, and still network to others. This is the right way to promote a book.
Ask your audience what your book means to them, appreciate every answer good or bad, and find beauty in a bit less. A book will be successful as long as it has a relationship with its readers. As long as you push out of your comfort zone. It’s about people- it’s about you being human. The connections you make and the people whose lives you want to change with your writing.
I believe that the relationship between writer and reader is at the heart of great promotion – getting the readers to love your book, that they develop a relationship with the author. This is what promotion is all about – relationships. Often these relationships will encourage the sales of the book for the author, and in the end increase the value of the author in the publishing industry.
What You can Do to Promote A Book More:
Not enough promotion is a killer to writers, and not enough can mean that while you might have a great following on social media, or on your blog, that doesn’t necessarily translate into sales unless you have a relationship with your readers.
My editors for Living a Life of Writing are brilliant, and have made a number of suggestions which have helped me build readership here on the blog. We’ve had our ups and downs, but they’ve pushed me to be a better writer, and to focus more on rebuilding and communicating better. They’ve also pushed me out of my comfort zone in terms of finding ways to help other authors, and because I’ve published a book I have some type of experience with how to start writing a book and working on its promotion.
One way is by guest blogging. If I love a writer, I’m more inclined to let them guest blog on Living a Life of Writing. On a well-written guest blog, you can write about your experiences as a published author, especially if you self-published. Not only is it enlightening for the blog reader, but it offers a link to your blog, or your book. You can also suggest the blog owner go to your website and guest post there.
You might get lucky and get a big marketing push from your publishing company, but this is just as likely not to happen, so be prepared. One book I love is: 1001 Ways to Market Your Books because it gives me ideas- about 1,001 of them. The best one is “be seen but don’t be seen badly”. This to me means don’t promote yourself or your book the wrong way, because there is such a thing as too much.
Be Careful! Too Much Promotion of A Book:
Readers are savvy, they know when they are being sold something they might not want- which is why you need to develop a good relationship with your reader, where they know you’ll tell them about other books you love. Communication is more important than a sale, especially if you want to be seen as a good writer. Some of the best authors promote other writers’ works.
An example of too much promotion are writers who make a point of telling the same people time and again how great their books are– oh and did they mention that they’ve published a book. They always have multiple copies in their over-sized bags, and they simply cannot have a conversation without mentioning their book. Or worse, only talk about their book, and without listening to anything the other person is saying.
There is nothing wrong with this style of promotion. However, the problem is that people do get bored of a one-sided conversation and frankly, the word “salesman” comes to mind. It seems that they see potential buyers but not an audience. Money and not relationships. They see only one thing, and that in itself can be fatal. If they stop and think for a moment, they might see where it all fell apart. Stop and ask questions, be human, and if you can’t remember things, write it down.
Book promotion is a fine art. All writers need to promote, but sometimes it can alienate the very audience that they desire- because they didn’t build the trust or foundation they needed. It is important that promotion comes into play, but if it seems that nothing helps sell the book, more promotion is not the answer. Rebuilding a relationship with your readers is.
If this means apologizing to your readers and going back and fixing things, this is something you’ll need to do, be it on your blog, or in real life.
While some might not recognize a marketing plan, they do recognize when there is a push to sell something. When you find you are left out of plans, this means you’ve gone too far in promoting yourself or your book. Take a step back with a human perspective. Communicate and build strong relationships with your readers and your networks.