What should I do after publishing my book?
I am going to share some disappointing news with a lot of writers out there.
No one outside of your family and friends cares that you published a book.
I know. You spent weeks, months, years writing your masterpiece. You slaved over every word and rewrote almost every scene and then finally, FINALLY hit that publish button. And you sold some books to your family and friends, maybe some co-workers, but now you need to sell to strangers.
People you don’t know don’t care about your book. They don’t care how long it took or the challenges you had overcome.
You need to make them care. Or at the very least, make them aware.
In this blog post I am going to discuss what an author needs to do after they release their book. Like it or not, hitting the publish button is only the mid-game.
The end game is the marketing.
If Phase 1 is writing the book, and Phase 2 is publishing the book, Phase 3 is selling the book.
If you want to make income off of your writing, you have to sell to strangers and get comfortable talking to them.
I know, I know, talking . . . to people? ME?
Yes, you. Get rid of that anti-social, reclusive hermit stereotype. If you want to make a living off of your writing then you better be able to sell it.
This means rehearsing your pitch in case someone asks you, “What’s your book about?”
Practicing being comfortable with stating the price of your book when someone asks, “How much?”
Preparing to talk about your life and your writing process when someone invites you to their podcast.
Do a little research on Ian Flemming, the author of the James Bond novels. He didn’t just publish short stories and wait for the royalties to come in. Ian Flemming wrote press releases, scoured opportunities to promote his book, looked for papers that would feature his stories, and pretty much did everything he could to promote James Bond. He was his own PR agency.
Therefore, if authors want to see some sales revenue for their books, they need to come up with a PR plan.
Here’s my strategy campaign for A Bitter Winter:
- I am starting local. Any local newspapers, magazines, and websites, will be receiving a pitch from me. The pitch will be a catchy headline and an enticing body copy.
- Write ad copy that sells the book through paid advertising. Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Ads, Goodreads Ads, etc. This step will cost money that I hope to earn back through sales.
- Find reviewers to review the book. On Goodreads, A Bitter Winter has 4 reviews. I want to get that number to 10.
- Guest post on blogs.
- Approach libraries and book stores for opportunities to do author signings or presentations.
- Set up temporary book store stands in areas where my demographic has high foot traffic. (Yes, this means talking and selling to random strangers.)
- Buy booth space or ad space at small conventions. Comic con would be nice, but it’s too expensive.
- Create an audio book and ads (book trailers) to compliment the release.
Even though the list is only 8 bullet points long, it’s still a lot of work and a lot of time. Writing is, as much as we hate to say it, a business. If you were to start a new restaurant, invent a new product, or sell a new service, would you just open the doors and wait for people to come in?
No! You’re going to advertise, advertise, advertise.
When you sell food at a restaurant, a new product, or a new service, do you give it away for free?
Sometimes! It depends on whether the people who get freebies can generate word of mouth.
Point is, publishing the book wasn’t the end of the journey, not by a long shot. Publishing a book means you have now established yourself as a business and your business is story telling.
Write it, publish it, sell it, build it.