Disclaimer: Hating marketing is not required to use these tools. In fact, if you enjoy marketing, you’ll have a blast using them.
I’m active in several online writing communities, and one of the most frequent things I read about is how much authors hate marketing. It’s usually accompanied by talk about art and creativity, and once in a while someone tosses this suggestion across the virtual meeting room: all you have to do is write a great story and they will come.
Except, thousands of writers have written thousands of great stories and no one, except their parents and their Uncle Bobby in Poughkeepsie, ever came. The hard truth is—whether your path to publishing is via the traditional, indie, or hybrid route—if you want a sustainable writing career that involves receiving income and reaching as much of your target audience as possible, you’ll need to do some marketing. If your target audience is Uncle Bobby in Poughkeepsie, you’re probably that one writer who won’t need to market.
Mention marketing to many authors and the conversation comes to a screeching halt. Marketing can seem like a complex equation that includes long and short-term strategies, talk of ROI, and aliens. Okay, maybe not aliens, but for some, marketing can feel otherworldly. But in its simplest form, marketing is just this: it’s the stories we tell about our stories. How, when, and how often we tell these stories become our marketing plan, whether we ever intentionally create a plan at all. If you’re a writer and you’re on social media, have a website, blog, or even just talk about your work with friends, you’re already marketing. So here are five inexpensive and relatively easy-to-use tools to help optimize the marketing you’re already doing.
Facebook Shop Template
Most of us know we can create an author page on Facebook, and while recent changes to the platform’s algorithms make Facebook pages feel even more inaccessible, it still makes sense for authors to have one. For starters, it can be an effective way to communicate with fans, especially if you use it to create a private Facebook group. But one underutilized benefit of the author Facebook page is the ability to sell books from the platform. You’ll need to start by making sure you set your page up as a shopping template. Written Word Media has a great post that walks you step-by-step through optimizing your Facebook page as a sales funnel. You can find that tutorial here. [Read more…]