Welcome L. Diane Wolfe.
Promotion Begins With the First Word
When do promotions begin? Too often, promotion does not enter the minds of writers until after the book is completed. Passionate to express themselves through words, few consider the potential market for their work. Without this knowledge, we may be doomed to failure, because our chances for success are determined by that very first word.
We write because we love to write. However, unless it is just for personal satisfaction, we need a purpose and a plan. We must consider the marketability of our work before pouring heart and soul into a project. Why work long hours on a project that will be impossible to sell? The publishing industry is tough enough without making it even more difficult to succeed!
Before putting pen to paper, we need to be sure our book will fill a real need. Explore several bookstores to determine if the niche is too small or genre over saturated. Examine the competition in depth. Remember that most book purchases are determined by either subject matter or the author’s reputation. Do we have enough status to be considered an expert in the field? If writing fiction, will our story’s hook be powerful enough to make our work stand out from all the other authors in the genre? It is important that we take all of this into account before passionately writing a book we cannot sell.
If our work fills a real need, do we know how to reach that audience? The world will not beat a path to our door! Book promotion is a multi-faceted endeavor and we must reach our readers by any means possible. Great effort will be required both in the physical and virtual worlds. Do we have the necessary resources? Are we willing to devote the proper amount of time? If we aren’t prepared to do whatever it takes, we’ll set goals for our book that are impossible to attain.
Tie-ins and endorsements play a key role in the success of a book as well. We need to ask ourselves – who would endorse our book? Mentioning specific products, companies, individuals and locations may garner endorsements if done so in a favorable light. The setting of our story might be of great interest to the residents of that location. (In fact, they could be our target audience.) A celebrity endorsement, whether from an actor, an athlete or another author, can greatly increase the credibility of the work. Do not forget organizations, non-profit groups or even political parties that might recommend the book to their members or use it for a fundraiser. We should consider all of these aspects before we create our book.
The promotion process begins with the writing phase. If we fail to prepare during this time, we’ll find it difficult (if not impossible) to properly market our book. In order to spare ourselves the aggravation, we must write success into our book right now!
Thank you Diane. It’s easy to see how you got the nickname “Spunk on a Stick.”
In addition to Wolfe’s travels, she also maintains a dozen websites and blogs, manages an online writers’ group, and contributes articles for several other sites. If you’re interested in her insight into writing, she does characterization sessions for schools and speaks to writers’ groups.
Before you rush off to check out her site, leave a comment or question here for her.