Guest Blog - Nathaniel M. WreyStay Professional from Publication to Marketing

Congratulations! You’ve written and published a book. It looks great, a dream fulfilled, but now you want to share it with the world, perhaps get some money back. In this blog post, I will share my experiences and how I stayed professional from publication to marketing but Prepare yourself for a bucket of cold ice.

Thousands of other people are in the same boat, shouting on social media for someone to buy their book. Your voice will be lost in the cacophony. You’ll discover a burgeoning online industry promising the secret to successful marketing, taking your money, delivering little. All the positive engagement you achieve on social media will fail to translate into comparable sales. And you’ll give away many free copies of your book to build up a base of reviews, only for a small percentage to leave one. That’s all rather negative, Nathaniel, I hear you say. I’ve written a dystopian novel, so I do negative well. But get those expectations in check, just don’t be put off. You’ve shown the creative energy and spirit to write a book; you can tap into the same forces to do your marketing.

Others are better placed to advise on the dark arts of marketing than me, but I can offer some wisdom on presentation. If you’ve used a company like IAW to prepare your book, it will look professional. Don’t waste that advantage by using unprofessional-looking marketing material (both written blurb and visual). Everything you put out there will reflect on the product you are trying to sell.

You don’t always need to spend a fortune or hire a professional. Having a website is the perfect hub to signpost people to and advertise your books and qualities. My website platform host is SquareSpace, which uses a template model, meaning no coding required. You choose a preferred style to populate your site with your information and images.  Also, video and photo software are accessible and relatively cheap nowadays and come with some great packages to make the simple look impressive (I use Cyberlink PowerDirector and you can watch some of my efforts on my website). Even when you’ve produced something you’re pleased with, run it past someone who can be honest but knows the difference between ‘professional’ and ‘amateur’ (even the wrong font can devalue your product). And don’t overreach yourself: keep it simple. A polished slide is better than a complex but poorly made video.

Also don’t dismiss commissioning someone to help you stay professional from publication to marketing, despite the cost. I invested to get a top-class audiobook made of my book and a map to show off the ‘world’ (listen and see via my website). Neither guarantees me extra sales but they provide a full portfolio of quality and can capture people’s attention in ways a stationary image of your book cover can’t.

My main advice for the marketing journey is to plan for not getting your money back. Think long-term, consider every sale a bonus, and build up your ‘following’ as a fun challenge without the pressure of targets. Economise by focussing all your efforts on the specific demographic for your genre (the more specialist the better). Spend what you’re comfortable spending and respond to opportunities that guarantee an impact. Be consistent and regular with your messages and your quality. And be lucky. Your dream may have a postscript.

Keep writing! You’re a published author now.

Nathaniel M Wrey is the author of the novel Liberty Bound and wartime novella Triumphant Where it Dares Defy

 

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