Last year, authors Robin LaFevers and Mary Hershey started a promotion blog for shy authors, Shrinking Violets Blog. I asked them to give me ten marketing tips to help us writers start off the new year.
1. Practice good marketing karma.
Don’t always be thinking “how can I promote my book” but rather "how can I entertain my audience or serve my reader. "
2. Make a marketing plan, either for a specific book or yourself as an author, and choose three areas to focus on. There’s only so much any one person can do, and studies show that multi-tasking is highly overrated. Once you’re comfortable with those three areas, you can pick a fourth if you really want to. Or wait ‘til next year’s resolutions.
3. Write a knock out book. We can’t emphasize this enough. Whether you’re published or still pre-published, practice your craft, take classes, learn new techniques, find ways to get more blood on the page, make your writing bigger, better, more.
4. Find one area outside your comfort zone and begin to work on that. Practice de-sensitizing yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable. (Our Milestone Mondays are a great way to do this! ::hint hint::)
5. Make a list of five ways you could increase your visibility quotient.
6. Write a dynamite bio. No, really. Spend as much time, craft, and care as you do with your manuscripts.
7. Identify some of your personal quirks and see if you can create a personae or marketing niche around that. The secret here is to have that personae or niche be genuine and authentic.
8. Find an author you admire, form a co-op and sing each other’s praises.
9. Shop at your local independent bookstore. It’s one of the most important things you can do promotionally, both on the personal level (getting face time with a key bookseller) but industry-wide as well. More independent book buyers mean a wider variety of books being given a chance.
10. Have a fabulous business card designed and printed up, or consider using a fun, high quality bookmark as your business card.