Last week, I did an interview with IndieBookSpot that covers a wide range of territory, including platform building, marketing and promotion, and social media. One of the questions asks, “How can an author increase the chance that their book will be a breakout hit?” I offer five points; here are the first three:
- Have an excellent relationship with your publisher, assuming you have one (including your editor, marketing team, and publicist). Make sure to the best of your ability you have their full support and that you’re giving them everything they need.
- Set aside a budget for marketing and promotion. Even a few hundred dollars is helpful, e.g., for review copies and promotional items.
- Hire a publicist for about 3-6 months to assist you in areas where your publisher will fail to do so, and to help you get media mentions.
- Imagine you’ve just been put in charge of one of the big publishers, and you have to come up with a new digital strategy. Day one: what do you do first?
- Most authors now have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, but do you think Pinterest is going to be a useful marketing tool for authors? What about Tumblr? And how do you draw together all these disparate platforms to create a cohesive online identity?
- What’s the difference between being ‘engaged’ with an audience and being pushy? It seems there’s a fine line sometimes, and it’s so easy to misinterpret tone and intent online.
- What is an author platform? How can someone build their platform from scratch?
- When it comes to marketing, many people want a checklist of things to do. But beyond the basics, doesn’t it have to be a more organic process, and perhaps one that develops over time as an author learns his or her strengths and weaknesses?