Before I started graduate school, I received my syllabi and saw how much work I was going to have. I knew it would be manageable, but that it would probably take me a little bit to get used to the workload as well as managing the rest of my life, like this blog. Two full weeks in, I can confirm that I was right. Which was why I reached out to Briana and asked her if she could write a guest post for you all. She’s a writer and editor, and her first novel is coming out soon. So of course I was thrilled when I saw that the guest post she wrote was about marketing your book as you write it. Enjoy! I’ll be back on Wednesday.
When Kate asked me to write a guest post, I was beyond flattered. I’ve been following this blog for a while, and it’s an honor to contribute. In honor of the upcoming release of my novel Blood and Water, I’m sharing my approach to marketing a book. If you play your cards right, you can sell your book and generate interest while you’re still writing it–all without annoying or scaring off potential readers.
Tweet, Tweet, Tweet
I’m a huge fan of Twitter. When used correctly, it’s a great vehicle for meeting new people, creating a community, and marketing your work. While working on my book, I tweeted my word count each day so that people could hold me accountable. I also saw success from tweeting quotes and bits of dialogue accompanied by the hashtags “#amwriting” and “#BloodAndWater.” Another way to use Twitter is as a soundboard–ask for input on names, settings, characters, or any other aspects of your novel. If you want to see these tips in action, you can follow me on Twitter.
Explore Other Networks
While Twitter is my favorite social media network, there are several others you can use to share your book with people. Pinterest, for example, allows you to create a board for each novel, where you can save relevant images and quotes. On Instagram, you can also share quotes and images related to your novel. If video is more your thing, create a book trailer or read part of your novel on YouTube. You can also use Spotify or 8Tracks to generate a novel playlist and share it with your readers. Give a couple of different networks a try–you never know which one might work best for you.
Write about your writing. Yes, it sounds strange, but trust me, it works. Use your novel as an example in blog posts — share things you learned while writing it, character exercises, setting sketches, and anything else that your readers might relate to. Your posts should focus on being helpful and informative rather than salesy. As you get closer to the novel’s release, don’t underestimate the effectiveness of excerpts and cover reveals. As long as they’re not all you’re posting, they definitely help you drum up some interest.
The most important points to remember with regards to marketing your novel are a) start while you’re still writing it and b) don’t shove it down your readers’ throats. Above all, focus on helping and informing, not on selling your book. As you engage with people and deepen your relationships, sales are sure to follow.
What do you think of these tips? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below! You can find me on my website, Twitter, Facebook, and about a hundred other places. Thanks for having me, Kate!