It’s pretty common knowledge that to be a writer, you have to spend a lot of time sitting around writing.
It makes sense, then, that most of the writers I’ve met are introverts. They’re lovely human beans with imaginations like the sun as it bursts through the morning fog and reflects off the ocean water in a myriad of glimmering rainbows. (Wow, that turned out really poetic.) But when it comes to talking about themselves or their books…the wordsmiths are all out of their depth.
Fair enough, you say. Luckily, writers don’t really have to do that. They just get to hide in the corner eating ice cream and drinking reader’s tears.
Unfortunately, that’s not entirely true. To be an author, you also have to be a marketer.
Whether you’re self publishing or going the traditional route, the majority of the marketing is up to the author. Obviously for self publishing, you have to organise everything, but for traditional, your publisher will leave most of it up to you as well.
First of all, what is marketing?
Marketing is, in a simple definition, spreading the word about your book. It can come in heaps of different forms, a couple of which I’ll be talking about in this post.
Marketing is important, because without it, your book won’t really be known in the bookish world.
The biggest problem about marketing?
You have to promo your book. You have to sell it. You have to spread the word like crazy.
In a sentence: the biggest problem about marketing is that you have to do it.
But I feel awkward talking about my own book. I don’t know how to attract new readers. I don’t want to sound annoying.
Don’t worry. Marketing isn’t all as hard as it seems at first.
I might not be published yet, but I looove helping authors spread the word about their books. I’ve helped launch so many different novels, traditionally published and self published, and I’m part of a couple really great book loving street teams.
So from my experience, limited though it may be, here’s my top tips for marketing when you’re shy and don’t really want to talk about your book, and don’t really know how to either.
Make a Street Team
This is honestly my top piece of advice.
A street team is basically a group of people who love the author (you) and want to scream about your books to the ends of the earth.
I’m in a couple teams, and some of them are done really well, some of them not so much, but in all of them there’s that common ground. You love the author, therefore you help them tell the world about their books.
If you have a solid street team, they can help you brainstorm launch ideas, they can share posts with all their followers, they can organise details you’re too busy to deal with.
If you have a really awesome street team, you can be busy with a million other things and they’ll pretty much launch your book for you.
For example, Nadine Brandes’ street team (aka: Nadine’s Ninjas. aka: the best street I’ve ever seen) practically launched Fawkes for her, because she was super busy with deadlines for her next book and being pregnant with a little ninja halfling! And now, with the release of her next book (Romanov) coming up, the Ninjas have taken it upon themselves to organise the bookstagram challenges, the giveaway, the spreading of Romanov to all corners of the internet.
Get yourself a street team who will eventually be able to do that for you. 😛
(Also go check out the giveaway I’m hosting for Romanov over on Instagram. It’s going to be epic. 😍)
Host a giveaway
On that note, giveaways can be SO GOOD.
Everyone loves free stuff, so host yourself a giveaway! The bigger the giveaway, the more expensive it’ll be, but (within reason) it’ll pay off.
People get excited about giveaways, and you can also sneakily enlist a hundred other people to help spread the word by making them share the giveaway so they can get more entries.
Secret bribery is totally okay when it comes to launching a book. xD
Hype up the launch day
The weeks around the launch day are the most important time for a book. Pre-orders can bump the book up on Amazon or Book Depository listings so it’s visible to more people. Bookstores will get more copies because they see people are excited. The hype will be real.
Then a few weeks after release day, the buzz dies down and everyone moves on to the next release. It happens to every book. Which means you need to really push the launch.
There are so many fun things you can do to get people excited for launch. Photo challenges on Instagram. Giveaways. Behind the scenes sneak-peaks and previews. Collaborate with a few other epic authors on Facebook and make a launch party. Make goodies exclusive for people who pre-order.
Hype hype hyyype.
This is where the street team can help because there’s no way you can do all the things all at once. 😉
Practice on other peoples’ books
As I said earlier, I haven’t launched a book of my own yet, but I hope to one day. When that day comes, I’ll have a dozen or so past book launches to look at and take ideas from.
I’ll be able to see what worked and what didn’t work. I’ll have connections in the bookish community for people to ask for help. I’ll have been building my platform for the last few years.
Of course I’ll be internally screaming the whole time, but I’ll at least be a little bit more prepared than if I was coming in with no past knowledge or experience.
So do it. Find an author you love. Ask them if they have a street team and if you can join. Then don’t just be a sleepy beetle on the team. Jump right in, volunteer to help, scream about their book from your rooftop, compose a song and sing it at the local train station.
Don’t hold back. This is your chance to try all the things, and it’s not even embarrassing because you get to promo for someone else, not yourself.
Find a friend who loves to talk about books
This is fairly similar to getting a street team, but even more specific.
Find yourself a friend, preferably extroverted, who knows your heart and your vision for this book. Tell them to spread the world. Step back. Watch them go crazy.
I’m half joking with this, but I’m also not. If you’re an introvert and you’re too shy to talk about your book, find a friend who can and will enjoy doing it! We’re all gifted in different ways, so you can take advantage of that!
Marketing doesn’t have to be a pain, even if you’re a shy hermit (as long as you have internet). If you have the right help, it can be so much fun and it can work soo well for your book.
Are you on any street teams? Are there any aspects of marketing you want me to address in more detail in another post? Let’s chat in the comments!
Also I’ve found a way to reply to your comments, despite the weird website glitch on my end, so I’ll finally be responding in the next few days! 😊