Welcome to an article written by Ira Blacker. Ira is the primary blogger for Printing By Design, a commercial web and sheet fed printing company, specializing in book printing, magazine printing and catalogs along with all of the other assorted commercial color printing for both sheet fed and web.
"You’ve read the book or in my case the blogs all about how to market your book. Now let’s take a look at what happens before you start exhausting the list of what to do, how to do it and so forth. In the very beginning and at the earliest stages before you even start on your first marketing journey you need to understand “the prequel” of the story of book marketing.
So what you may ask is the “prequel”? It is your guideline for much of all that you will be doing once you get your book back from the printer and start your book marketing campaign. If you were shooting an arrow and wanted to successfully hit something, you would need to know what and where your target was. It is the same with your book when you first consider marketing it. You need to understand and define WHO you are marketing it to.
Ideally before you even start writing your masterpiece you should ask yourself the following questions: “What is my book about?” “Who will it appeal to?” “What makes it stand out?” To what demographics will it register with?” “Will it take place in a particular location or country”?
There are many other questions you could pose in order to best identify who your potential reader is. Is it a he or she, white or black, young or old, upper class, middle or lower class? If you know if similar books that you have read that aim in the same general direction to all or any one of these groups check out their blogs, webs and articles and see who is commenting in order to help you form a profile of what may be your audience to be. You can interview bookstores, libraries, forums, book clubs and ask them who the typical reader may be of the books you may find similar to what you will be writing about or have written.
Once you have a handle on who you are marketing to then you can market directly to them and rifle your time spent rather than shot-gunning it. If you know that your average would be reader is of a certain type you can go after radio interviews on stations that broadcast to that demographic. If your book is one that would generally appeal to women, offer your services as a guest speaker to women’s groups. If a central plot in your group is about a person with a medical condition, offer to speak at hospitals or if your main character is about a business type then you may do well speaking in front of a chamber of commerce at their luncheons. All of these instances do more than just offer you a public relations forum and help establish your “brand” as an author. In most cases you will be allowed to sell your book at the end of the speech or if on the radio you can let listeners know either how to purchase your book or where you will be speaking live next.
Once you have identified your audience you will find many ways of getting in contact with potential readers and can develop a marketing plan based on knowing exactly who you are marketing to. A good example of how to use Twitter and other social networks once you have this knowledge is to see what is trending that relates to what you wrote about in your book.
Utilizing hashtags you can tweet your plot or a section of the book that relates to what is currently trending in order to wind up in the buzz going on. An example of how to do this would be if you had a storyline about two lovers separated by a long distance and trying to maintain their relationship using the streaming video and voice or text using ipads, you could create a clever tweet from your story line and include #ipad which is a very popular stream on Twitter.
I am sure once you grasp this as a concept, as a creative mind and writer you can take this concept and run with it quite well. You will be then better able to “rifle” your marketing time spent in the direction that can provide you the most results and provide you with the optimal ability to market and sell your book. So, keep an eye on the target once you discover what and who it is and good hunting.
Clancy's comment: Many thanks, Ira, for sharing this. More of Ira's tips and wisdom can be found on his blog:
Think about this!