Marketing is hard. I knew that. I knew it was hard, which is why I wanted some genie agent to magic away my struggles. The only problem is, I haven’t sent my work to any agent. And yet I wasn’t planning on marketing this book.
How can I explain this? I created this novella, more for myself than anything else. I put a price tag on it and decided it would harness some side change that I could use to buy credit or whatever, whilst I focused on the main ground breaking novel that would amaze agents and publishers everywhere and get me a movie deal. That was the plan.
I wasn’t even expecting to post more than one or two posts about the book on social media. I contacted two people to help me review it and got ready to sit on my laurels. But my friend, and fellow writer, changed that for me. She began to contact reviewers, she posted it on her Instagram story, she wrote about it. And I was moved. I thought, if she believes in it, I need to believe in it. Which leads me to my realisations about marketing:
- If you don’t talk about it, no-one will know about it. It’s not magic.
- You have to believe in what you are selling! You must believe that people have to read your book, that your book will better them in some way. Maybe it’ll make them laugh, cry, rail at the world. But you have to believe that it is worth the money they will spend.
- You have to want to be read. This may seem obvious. But when you write for yourself, even if you tell others about it, you may not be particularly concerned if only 10 people see it; so far as they love it. So to be successful at marketing your book, you need to want, hundreds, thousands, millions of readers and you need to be prepared to do the work to get those readers.
- You have to be consistent. I have noticed that when I post, someone somewhere purchases the book. Coincidence? I think not. So post, and post.
- Post quality content. Don’t just post your book cover over and over. People will block you. Find creative ways to send your message. I use reviews, sketches, bookstagram type pics, audio text vids (don’t know what to call them) and I am still looking and searching for ways to encourage people to purchase without spamming.
- In order to accomplish my fourth point, do your research. Check out people that are doing something similar to you. See what works and what doesn’t work. (Currently, Instagram is my most effective platform)
- Approach book bloggers/book reviewers. The first time I approached a book blogger that I didn’t know, I felt so nervous. But I was surprised by their kind response. Not everyone will say yes, some will not reply. But those who respond positively make it all worth it.
- Don’t be discouraged. Even now, I keep looking at my numbers and wishing for that 100 download milestone. But I know I’ll get there soon. So I keep at it. Because if I stop, I will probably still get to the milestone but it will take much much longer.
- Don’t spend too much on marketing. You may be tempted to pay for reviews, pay influencers to promote your work, pay for graphic representations etc but fight this temptation. A lot of these services, you can get for free (more on that later). There should be money spent on marketing but a lot of us overdo it in our eagerness to be seen. If you thought of your book as a business, you would consider your profit margin etc and you would set aside an appropriate marketing budget.
- When people see you working hard at something, they do what they can to help and support you. I have gotten support from people that I wouldn’t have thought would involve themselves to that extent. Okadabooks has been great to me, the Elsieisyblog has also been fantastic. I have received calls from aunties to advise and support me. I am grateful. So so grateful.
I titled this post How to Market an Ebook part 1 because I am still learning and growing, so I know I will have to do a part 2. I look forward to it!