This past week we talked about setting up a launch checklist for your book. Today we’re going to be talking about marketing in general, because I think it’s important for an author to understand how to do this.
Whether you’re self-published or traditionally published, it doesn’t matter you’re going to have to do the main lifting when it comes to marketing your book. And so understanding how to go about doing that is really important.
This is going to be sort of a high level overview of how to understand marketing, along with some practical tips to get you started.
Marketing is such a deep topic that I could honestly just create a YouTube channel specifically dedicated to that. There are a ton of podcasts that you can listen to on marketing your books. There’s a lot of courses that you can get on marketing your books or on Ad creation and all that kind of stuff.
What I wanna do is I wanna give you a holistic overview of how you should be thinking about marketing as an author.
The first and most important question if you’re marketing is “Who are you marketing to?”
And really this is a question that is an author you should be thinking about all of the time: Who is your reader?
To quote John Cheever:
“I can’t write without a reader. it’s precisely like a kiss – you can’t do it alone”
As you get deeper into your craft you’ll hear this come up more and more often, that you need to be writing with a specific reader in mind.
And marketing is exactly the same. We want to understand who it is that we’re trying to communicate with so that we can craft our message to be most appropriate for them.
Marketing and advertising have sort of evolved into this slimy, take advantage of people sort of thing and it can really be pretty gross. And so often as authors we have this just natural aversion to it. And that’s totally understandable!
But marketing doesn’t have to be like that. I heard a term recently from another successful author who is really into marketing and helps people with their marketing. She said we should be practicing DIGITAL HOSPITALITY in all of our marketing efforts.
And I LOVE that idea! At the end of the day as an author you are trying to connect with a reader.
And the internet gives us this tremendous opportunity to build relationships with our readers and to build community around stories that we’ve written, stories that we love!
And so I really like this idea of practicing DIGITAL HOSPITALITY with everybody who encounters our books!
But in order to do that you need to know who it is you’re inviting into your home.
And that’s where we want to pick a singular reader and we want to focus all of our attention on that reader specifically.
So how do we go about doing that?
Well there are a couple of things we can do. First we can take a look at our genre and we can say “Demographically, who is it that reads this kind of book?”
For example, I know that my readership is predominantly male. I know that my readership is predominantly between the age of 20 and 45. And so I can pick somebody in that space and say “This is the person that I’m going to try to write for.”
Now there are two schools of thought here:
The first is to target the widest segment, to say, “Okay, because my audience is predominantly male I’m going to write for a male and because they’re mainly in that age range I’m going to pick somebody inside that age range and I’m going to write for them specifically and all of my marketing material will be aimed at them.”
But there is actually another school of thought which is that you should pick your SECOND LARGEST DEMOGRAPHIC. In my case, because I run about 65% male and 35% female in my demographics, I might pick a woman who is in her mid thirties as my target audience.It’s going to be harder to reach her, but if my primary demographic is already finding and reading my books then maybe I wanna focus on this other subsection.
But regardless you have to pick somebody. You have to understand who that person is.
Once you understand who that person is, you wanna figure out where they hang out and then you want to stalk them…
And this is where the sort of slimy feeling in advertising and marketing really comes from, but you do need to know something about them. You need to know where they hang out. You need to know what they like and you need to understand who they are.
Most importantly, you need to understand their needs. Anytime somebody picks up a book they’re trying to solve a problem. They might not know that they’re trying to solve a problem, but they are trying to solve a problem. And if you can identify what that problem is for your specific reader, you’ll understand how your story solves that problem.
And so a problem for a reader might be “I want something to distract me.”
Well if you come and you read my books, you will be distracted.
They might say “I want to feel a specific emotion.”
Now if you’re looking for terror, then I’m probably not the writer for you. But if you’re looking for warmth and hope, I’m absolutely the writer for you!
If you can understand the problem that somebody is trying to solve by picking up up a book to read, you can understand how your book specifically solves that problem and you can craft your message to help them make a good decision.
I wanna give you a really helpful tip here at the end.
YOU DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE TO LOOK VERY FAR FOR YOUR IDEAL READER.
If you’re writing a book, chances are you are your ideal reader! And so picking yourself as an Avatar (which is just marketing speak for your core reader), you’ll instantly be able to unlock all of the answers to these questions
What do you look for when you pick up a book?
What problem are you trying to solve?
What do you like?
And if you can speak to that reader, speak to yourself, then you’re gonna find that marketing all of a sudden becomes really easy!
YouTube Video Link: https://youtu.be/EZ6_vqJdPrg
Thanks for reading and watching.
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