Contributed by Weegee Sachtjen
It’s Friday night and you’ve just arrived at a kicking cocktail party. As you wander through the crowd, you see faces you recognize. Friends, family, coworkers and even your three best friends from second grade are there. Each one of them brought a few of their associates, former sig others and their 2.3 children.
The music is loud but you are able to catch snippets of people talking about the kitten who was afraid of snow, the pasta they ordered from the new Italian restaurant down the road and the Sharpie picture their four year old drew on the bathroom wall. There are even a few heated political debates.
Standing in the middle of the room, you say the words you have been waiting to say for years: “My first book is finished and is now available for purchase.”
A few of the people near you look up from their discussion on the X-Files series reboot to give you a “thumbs up” sign. Your Aunt Jan on your momma’s side gives you a smiley face.
Not the response you were looking for, you climb on to the table and cup your hands around your mouth and shout, “I wrote a book. It’s awesome. Read it.”
“Cool,” your second cousin twice removed says as he pushes his way toward what looks like a bowl made out of bacon. You notice a few more thumbs up. Someone you don’t know gives you a nod.
Sound like a nightmare way to spend a Friday night? Unfortunately, this is every day for a self-published author trying to promote themselves or their new novel.
I know you know the importance of engaging the audience via social media, Amazon, Goodreads, blogs and websites. But where do you begin? Here are three tips to get you started:
Pick the Platform You Like Using
Most authors feel they have to be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Aunt Jan’s Kitty Corner Forum. While every platform offers you a different audience, it will drain you. The key here is to know that you don’t have to be on ALL OF THEM. Dig Facebook? Awesome. Love tweeting? #Fantastic. Pick the one YOU like and feel most comfortable using. If you like doing it, you will do it.
Share the Process
Start early and small. Create an “author account” and invite friends and family to like it. Talk about the writing process. Share your highs and lows on your chosen platform, even if it is only to Aunt Jan on your momma’s side. Gradually, you will build up a loyal fan base that is as eager to hear “I wrote a book” as you are to say it. They will hear you over the kitten videos and bacon bowls.
Know Your Strengths
Knowing what it is you are good at will help determine HOW you want to market your book. Some people love interacting with others at book readings, signings, festivals and launch parties. Other people express themselves better from behind a screen—start a blog, follow and comment on other blogs, and write press releases. Focus on what you do well and enjoy it. Your self-published promotion will be less Friday freakshow and more comfortable for everyone.
See you at the next mixer!
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