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KEEPING PEOPLE INTERESTED BETWEEN BOOKS

October 4, 2018

They always say the easiest part of the writing process is the actual writing. The rest of creating a book kind of sucks.

Personally, I love almost the entire process. The one part that’s a chore to me, though I don’t necessarily hate it, is the marketing.

Why?

I’m not a salesman. I’m not a natural at it. It’s a forced thing with me. The idea of going out and begging people to buy my books is just something against my nature.

Like a lot of people, I’d rather put all my effort into producing the best product (the book) I can, and leave it to either fate, or others to sell the book.

Unfortunately, the reality is much different for 90% of us writers.

Every year at the writer’s conference, I run across a writer who puts little to no effort into marketing. Their book or books sell like hotcakes. I could envy these people, but I just sluff this off to what I call the Axl Rose syndrome. Axl’s some schmuck from Indiana, without a high school education, who happened to strike it big by some hard work, sheer accident, and a bit of talent. Is he the best rock singer in the world? Some might say so because he got lucky and got exposure. Yet there are literally thousands of singers out there just as good, if not better, who will never be heard.

Why?

Lightning in a bottle.

It could happen to you, but it probably won’t without hard work and MARKETING.

We’re the regular schmucks that have to plow the trenches and get our hands dirty. We have to work for every single sale to make our names.

THE LONG HAUL

Okay, you have a book out there, it may be selling a bit, but what next? Are you setting the world on fire? If you’re like most writers, ah…no.

What to do?

If you’re not a New York Times Best Selling Author (don’t get me started on that misnomer), if your books aren’t already on the shelves at every book chain in the country, you have to have alternatives to keep people interested.

IF…you HAVE your books on every shelf across the country, you can sit back and concentrate on your next work. Maybe the publisher will interrupt that and have you tour. However, you get to spend most of your time doing what you do best.

On the other hand, if you’re like me, you’re stuck watching your Amazon numbers sink like a rock. You have to attend every book festival and signing within reason (and your budget), and eke out as many sales as you can. You have to rely on your web site and social media to keep people interested between books.

You have to keep your fans interested.

KEEPING PEOPLE INTERESTED BETWEEN BOOKS

A static web site isn’t going to cut it if you’re a small time author.

The whole point of social media and a web site is to keep you from having to go out in the trenches and spend money and lots of time you probably don’t have.

Social media is a tool, so why not use it?

I must emphasize that when I’m talking about social media, I’m usually citing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.

When I mention a web site, that isn’t strictly social media. However, a web site should be strongly linked to your social media. Some use Facebook as their web presence, in other words, their web site, but that’s not good enough. You need a separate web site.

Why?

You can put a lot more stuff on a web site than Facebook, plus you have more independent control of it.

How do you keep people interested between books?

You keep your web site and social media accounts busy with stuff about your books (or your platform).

SOCIAL MEDIA AND WEB PRESENCE ARE CRITICAL

Since you probably work for a living, or maybe have other commitments, the most economical way to get the word out to your readers and potential fans is through web presence and social media.

These are critical if you want to do marketing on the cheap and spread to the widest audience possible.

How?

To keep your readers interested between books, you need to tantalize them, pique their interest with tidbits either about the previous book, or about the new one, for instance.

Give out details like profiles of the characters, technical details, info on the towns, peculiars, or something to keep your readers engaged.

Maybe have a contest about the story.

Do something to spread the word about your books.

Another good example is progress reports on the new book.

The idea is to keep you and your books in the forefront of your fans and potential readers memories so that when the next book comes out, they’re more likely to buy it.

Also, it keeps them engaged with you. They give you feedback and let you know they’re still interested. They may spread the word to friends who may link up.

You can either post the details on your web site with links through Facebook/Twitter/Instagram (or whatever) and the details on your web site, or you can post these things directly on each social media site. However, I suggest having them based on your web site with the links on social media. That way your readers are drawn to your central page at the web site.

If you don’t already have a platform like I do, at least on your web site, you can have a depository of info on your book or books.

SUMMARY

The key is to engage your readers and keep them interested between books. Do whatever you have to, and keep them interested. It doesn’t have to be every day, and in fact, should NOT be every day! Once a week, or every couple of weeks, drop something to let them know you’re still around, and still working on the next book.

Happy writing!

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