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  • Writer's pictureRenée Purdie

Marketing matters

A lot of people are writing books, or want to write books, but only a small amount of people actually publish books. I believe it's something like 3% which is crazy in and of itself. However, even after you have created your amazing book, you still need to tell people about it or you will never get a sale! Indeed, authors are often disappointed and perplexed by how few book sales they get.

My suggestion to clients is that they actually start marketing their book while they are writing it. That may seem crazy, but you want to build your lists and demand while you go. Apart from it just being good sense marketing-wise, it will give you motivation to actually finish your project because you put it out there. Most authors don't have a ton of money for advertising so social media is definitely a way that you can build organically without having to spend so much money at the beginning.

Now, there is usually a divergence in people's minds concerning what steps are required when you self-publish versus seeking a traditional publisher. My suggestion to people is you should still go through the editing process with a professional editor because you want your manuscript to be as good as it can be before you send it off. You may also need help with writing your pitch letter.

A lot of traditional publishers of course will not even accept your manuscript unless you have an agent, but sometimes getting an agent is as challenging as getting a publishing deal with a traditional publisher. Both avenues require research. You will need to find a publisher or agent who allies with your values and publishes your genre. I suggest that you turn into the whole CIA/FBI when doing your research. Research who has been published by them, what their social media looks like, the book's cover art ... everythinggggg!

According to the agent I was graced to have a conversation with, traditional publishers definitely look at your social media as part of deciding whether or not they're going to take on your book. They basically are trying to see if you are going to be able to promote your book, and if you have a decent platform to start the momentum for book sales. The agent I spoke with indicated that at least one of your social media platforms has to have at least 10,000 followers for them to believe you have enough of an audience.

Another thing you'll need to do is to send out press releases, particularly once you launch your book. Writing articles is also a great way to start developing your "in the media" section for your website. I was recently blessed to be interviewed by a TV station at a vending event and boy was my family excited to see it. I got to talk about my Grandmother and let's face it without our strong ancestors we sure wouldn't be here to tell the story. You can view the full video here:

So, definitely build your social media profiles, your email list and all those other things while you’re writing ✍🏾. You can share videos and images on TikTok and Instagram as you go. You could also create a Facebook group. Basically, the more visible you are and the bigger your audience is when your book is launched, the more you increase your chances of selling more books and ultimately (for most people) that's the name of the game!

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