Book publishing is in a bit of a weird place right now. The internet, much like Gutenberg’s printing press, has put power back in the hands of individuals. The spread of good (and bad) ideas, great stories, entertainment and knowledge has never been so easy.
That being said, there’s also a lot of noise. Finding an audience can be tricky because sometimes the internet feels like a big wide open space that you can shout into without ever being heard.
I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately about book marketing. Authors feel frustrated that they haven’t figured out how to “get the word out” about their books as one reader put it. Many don’t have a whole lot of money to spend on promoting their books and they don’t know how to invest their time wisely.
I’ve worked with a few authors over the past year or so on their book marketing strategies. There are three main questions I always want to find out before we get started. These questions form the basis of how successful an author will be and which direction they need to go to find that success.
Hopefully sharing these questions with you will help provide direction in your own book marketing efforts.
Michael Doane is an author, strategist, and #eventprof who’s passionate about education, technology, and alternative publishing. In his spare time he reads, hikes, and writes novels about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.Email him, or find him on Twitter.
Ricardo Fayet, Co-Founder of Reedsy, recently interviewed me for a write-up he was doing on whether or not it is worth authors partnering with marketers. You can take a look at the article over on the Reedsy blog, but I wanted to share the full set of questions and answers here.
When I started seriously writing back in my teens, I could’ve never imagined the road it would take me down. When I defined myself as a writer way back when, I imagined an easy life in a cozy chair with a pipe hanging from my mouth.
That’s right. I thought I’d end up as an academic. It was my impression that unless you made it big as a novelist that’s the only thing you could do with writing. And I thought it would be an easy road.
Writing black out poetry was probably the hardest creative act I’ve ever done. To look through a book and choose a page to tear out felt like sacrilege, defamation, a literary sin.
Yet it felt so freeing. Reading the words on the page, decomposing the message and manipulating the words to form something different, something new, was such a great release. Being able to free myself from thought and create passively when I always try to be in such control was amazing.
Today I wrote for 15 minutes straight, no edits, no worries. I tried to cut out distractions and just write. I did my best not to stop and self-edit (I won’t lie, it happened… it’s in my nature). The questions that present themselves to you during this type of exercise are always interesting. This time I found myself asking, “How is it I got here and am I moving forward the way I want to be? What would make a perfect world for us all?”
I’m not sure I found an answer, but the question I was left with may surprise you…