Working on your book but thinking of leaving the marketing till the final draft is ready? Here are 9 important reasons to start building an author presence right now. <<CLICK TO TWEET>>
1) Letting the reader in at an early stage builds loyalty. Share your elation at completing a tricky scene or stubborn first draft; you’re building a narrative about the production of your book, and, done well, your readers will want to stick around to see how it all turns out.
2) It’s more genuine. Writers can often feel uncomfortable ‘selling’ their work. Offering an insight into life as an author and making connections with fellow writers and your potential readers before you have a product to sell allows for a natural progression once your book is available. You don’t have to build an audience in a few months; you’ve been able to do it in a leisurely manner, building connections with people who are genuinely interested in your book once it’s available.
3) It builds a habit. These days it really is important to cultivate a direct relationship with your readers. Working out how you are going to do this early allows you to get into the habit of doing so, and you are more likely to keep it up.
4) You can try things out. When publication is imminent, every decision can feel daunting. <<CLICK TO TWEET>>
If you start early, you can out different ways of connecting with your readership without excessive worrying. Perhaps Pinterest works well for you, or you find it easier to use Twitter but actually discover you can grow a bigger following on Facebook. Ideally, you can be posting to all of these, but it is often in one forum that you will find it easier to get inspired about your promotional efforts.
5) Getting the basics down early means you will be more likely to try new marketing ideas later. If you already have a good system of keeping in touch with your audience in place, you’ll have the time and inclination to try out new methods. What about a Flipbook magazine of material your target reader would be interested in? Or a series of Podcasts? Or making some of your ‘cut’ material into downloadable extras? You’ll be able to do something special to mark publication if you’ve been confidently building your audience for a while.
6) You can take things at your own pace. The learning curves associated with marketing your book will all feel far less daunting if you don’t have an immediate deadline. There won’t be a sudden panic in realising you need to work out how to produce glossy marketing images for your blog, or to learn how to administer an email list.
7) Early marketing can keep you motivated. Need to stay on track with your writing? Keep yourself on track by sharing your progress with your audience. Simply knowing you are growing a list of potential readers, all interested in a theme in your book, can be a great motivation to reach the finishing line.
8) Planning to invest in paid marketing? It’s crucial to know the essentials of your marketing toolkit are working effectively. You can test out potential adverts with your audiences, and learn which phrases or themes are most compelling in your work. Ask your readership which cover they prefer or which giveaway they’d most like to take part in. <<CLICK TO TWEET>>
If you’ve been actively engaging with your audience for some time, they’ll be happy to help. You’ll also have learnt how to make your marketing most effective by the time you decide to go for a paid promotion. You’ll make sure you have a link to your mailing list sign-up in the back of your e-book file, for example, or to other books in your series, as well as a request for reviews; so that you generate the best possible outcome from your promotion: selling a book, but also building relationships with your readers, so they’ll come back for more, and help spread the word.
9) Before you know it, you’ll be creating the fans that will be your readers for life.
Ready to get started? My Complete Marketing Toolkit will guide you through the essentials of creating and maintaining a professional author presence. It includes plenty of detailed feedback, as well examples of best practice.