I was recently asked to share some tips on how to market an indie book such as mine. I admit marketing the books I’ve written is a big challenge for a reclusive person like me. Part of this endeavor is like gardening. First you prepare the garden plot, then you plant a few seeds.
How do you prepare the plot?
There is no better way to spread the word about your new book than to have folks tell others it is a page-turner. For this reason, it’s imperative to put your best efforts out there. Don’t release the book until every page, every paragraph and every sentence has been reviewed and polished by you and a team of readers you select.
Revise, revise and revise again. Tighten the prose. Make every word count.
Be willing to assist your friends in their writing also, giving good reviews for others in online avenues. Enter writing contests. Receiving recognition for good writing can help spread the word.
Make your book stand out so that readers will tell others about it. The garden is ready. Plant a few seeds and see what happens.
Plant a seed. I notified groups of friends who may enjoy the book, my musical family and community, which extends around the world, as well as the writing community.
Plant a seed. I set up a blog to post memories about my writing journey, my book releases, and my life. In each relevant post I add links to the Amazon pages of my books so readers can access them instantly.
Plant a seed. A friend designed a banner to use as my cover photo on Facebook when the suspense novel was released.
Plant a seed. I started a mail Chimp account to share the news with my contacts.
Plant a seed. I scheduled a book release party in a local gallery and sent a press release to the local paper.
Invitations to present programs for others filtered in. Though I consider myself shy by nature my mantra when asked to share my books or my experience is “Never say no.” Unless I am already booked for their meeting date, I make myself available and put together a presentation that fits the theme of their meeting. To date, I have prepared and presented thirteen public programs, with two more on the calendar later this year.
Plant a seed. Alert for new ways to publicize the books, I was honored to present a sample of my work to Robin Macy at the Bartlett Arboretum earlier this spring. She had requested that I come tune an old piano at the Arb. (http://www.bartlettarboretum.com/) Coincidentally, she let me know that beloved folksinger John McCutcheon would be performing on the TreeHouse stage July 9. (https://www.folkmusic.com/)
Another seed: Since there is a significant sequence involving the Walnut Valley Festival in Sundrop Sonata in which McCutcheon is mentioned by name, I made plans to attend this event. I met him before the concert, shook his hand, and handed him a book.
Plant a seed. See if it grows.
Sometimes it takes courage for a recluse like me to even plant seeds. Courage, I learned at my home church last Sunday, means being true to your core. I am a writer at my core, and have always been. I’m a writer who loves pianos. This week at the national convention of the Piano Technician’s Guild in St. Louis, I pinned my writer’s business card to my technician name tag. (http://my.ptg.org/2017convention/home)
A little seed. Perhaps it will grow.
Writing is like gardening. First prepare your very best work. Then plant a few seeds. It’s an adventure to see what might grow from those seeds. Follow the leads and see where your journey takes you.