So Who is Responsible for Marketing Your Book?

dollarsignThe other day I had an interesting telephone conversation with a prospective author who was lamenting that his current book just isn’t selling, and he wondered if it would even be worth his time to bother publishing his next book. I asked him what he had been doing to market his book. He told me he hadn’t done any marketing. He honestly believed that all he had to do was list his book on Amazon, and people would come along to buy it.

“Build it and they will come,” may have worked in the movie Field of Dreams, but that mindset simply doesn’t apply in the business of selling books. Nor is it up to your publisher to go out and sell your book for you. They can distribute it, but unless you, the author, go out there and start marketing, it will not sell.

There are a number of things that you, as an author can and should do in order to effectively market your book. These would include:

  • Getting your book reviewed.
  • Having a website or a blog, or both, about your book.
  • Promoting your book on social media sites, like Twitter and Facebook.
  • Listing your book on websites such as Goodreads, Author’s Den and Red Room.
  • Doing some speaking gigs.
  • Having book signings.

All that I have listed above are either free or would cost very little. There are also a number of books on Amazon about how to market your book. Likewise if you do a Google search you’ll find websites about book marketing, some of which offer free newsletters.

If you have the means you can hire a publicist, but be sure that he or she has experience in book promotion, as book promotion is different from other kinds of public relations. Also be sure to talk to them about the cost. Some firms may charge as much as $3000 a month for their services. Others charge much less, and they may do just as good of a job as the higher-priced publicists.

No one ever said marketing a book would be easy, especially now that we’re living in a time when anyone with a computer and access to the Internet can upload a Word file onto Amazon Kindle and call him or herself an author. However, unless your name is Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, don’t expect people bust down the doors to buy your book just because you’ve listed it on Amazon. You’ll have to get off your fanny and do some work.

My tip for the day