marketing: my process, part 3

Okay, I realize this post a little late. Haha. I’ve been working hard on Draft 3 of Every Bright and Broken Thing. Anyway, here’s the third and final part in the My Process series!

So now you have a 100% complete book with a beautiful cover and a professional-looking interior. You’ve decided which distributer you’re going to use to self-publish this book. You’re ready to go.

But you suddenly realize that no one is going to buy your book if they don’t know about your book. The only problem is that you don’t know the first thing about marketing.

I’ll be honest in saying that I’m still learning myself. So some of the following steps will be a mix of things that I’ve actually put into practice and things that I’ve picked up from some of the experts that I plan to put into practice myself.

1. Build Your Platform

The general consensus from the marketing experts I’ve listened to over the last few months is pretty much to get your name out there everywhere, on every platform. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, the local news, a blog, a website. Anything and everything that allows you to represent yourself and your work. For me, I have a Facebook author page, an Instagram author page (@brianmcbrideauthor), a blog/website (obvi), and a Goodreads profile.

The first step to marketing is creating an audience. A platform on which you can voice who you are and what you’re about. In this case, your writing. Build an audience requires a lot of time, dedication, and consistency. On my blog, for example, these last few months I’ve made the commitment to post more frequently. Because of that, I’ve received far more engagement (i.e. comments, likes, shares, follows) than in the previous years. On my Instagram page, I try to post a few times a week with things like writing updates, favorite reads, aesthetics for my WIPS, quotes from my debut Love and the Sea and Everything in Between, and other stuff. If you’re already on IG I also highly recommend utilizing IG Stories! I try to post daily. In fact, I probably post to my author page more frequently than I do my personal page (@brianalexandermcbride). IG Stories are a great way to continue engaging your audience without cluttering up both their feeds and yours.

So if you haven’t setup a blog/website, IG page, FB page, do it right now! No, you won’t end up with thousands of followers on day 1 – it take work to build a platform. But the sooner you start, the better.

If you’ve made the commitment to use, say, IG as your primary platform, post regularly and consistently. Also, use hashtags. On IG, people can follow hashtags related to their interests. This is a great way for your story to be discovered! Hashtags I use are #youngadult #fiction #authorsonthegram #contemporary #romance #yalit #youngadultreads and more!

2. Broadcast Your Cover Reveal

Assuming you’ve already finished designing your cover or your hired designer has finished designing it for you, it’s time to start advertising the date of your cover reveal. Generate excitement about it! And when the day comes, be sure to give credit to your designer!

3. Giveaways

I’m currently running my second giveaway of a signed copy of Love and the Sea over on IG. The first was on Release Day. Giveaways are so helpful because if you make one of the rules for entry that in order to enter, your followers have to 1) follow you, 2) tag others to follow you, or 3) ask them to share then it generates a lot of buzz and extra publicity for your story. It also exposes you to whole new people who maybe haven’t even heard of your story or you before!

My current giveaway has got me almost an additional 40 followers. The numbers aren’t huge, but that’s because I only had 250ish followers to begin with. (Big giveaway planned for when I reach 1K BTW so if you don’t follow me yet, head over to IG and do iiiitttt.)

4. Ads

I cannot stress this enough. Every professional will tell you the same thing: it takes money to make money. RUN ADS. Make a short, sweet picture featuring the cover of your book and either reader review snippets or a short snippet of the book itself. (The less text, the better; IG algorithms are more favorable toward ads that are 80% picture, 20% text)

Open a savings account that is specifically for funding these ads. You can run ads on IG that also link to FB. If you’re published through Amazon’s KDP, you can also run ads directly through Amazon. These are paid ads and you get what you pay for! I try to always have at least one ad running at a time.

5. Super Fans

This is actually a marketing tactic I haven’t completely employed yet, but plan to with Every Bright and Broken Thing‘s release (hopefully) later this year. The technical term for this is “micro-influencers.” Basically, Super Fans are people who are passionate about you and your product (i.e. your books). You recruit however many volunteers are willing to, essentially, constantly blast your books all over social media. Sharing reviews, social media posts, etc… all over their own feeds, encouraging friends and family to follow you and check out your books.

When I discovered this marketing tactic in my research, I was instantly on board. I’ve already had writer friends express interest in this and I would totally be a Super Fan for some of my writer friends!

There you have it! Just a real quick series explaining my process with each book from conception to birth to continuous growth. I hope this helped you or inspired you somehow! If so, tell me how in the comments below! 😃

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